Troubleshooting Server-Side Problems

Top  Previous  Next

Below is a list of suggestions you might find helpful in troubleshooting web problems:


1.  For server setup problems, see our Server Setup Documentation on the web.


2.  Make sure Perl is working.  Use our  If it doesn't work, contact your system administrator.


3.  Make sure that the path on the first line of the script ( and is the correct path to your Perl executable.  We have set the path at the most common directory for the Perl interpreter [sometimes called the Perl executable] which is: /usr/bin/perl.  Another common location is /usr/local/bin/perl. Consult the Web server administrator if you don't know the correct path.)


4.  When uploading your files, make sure you upload them in "binary" mode so that the number of bytes in the files do not differ between your machine and the server.


5.  Unix servers are case sensitive when it comes to filenames.  Make sure that the case on your filenames matches.  We'd suggest using all lower case names.  It is a good idea to make your study names all lower case.


6.  Make sure you set the permissions correctly on the files (see our documentation for details).  The admin directory needs "read," "write," and "delete" permissions.  When troubleshooting, you can enable full permissions.  Once it is working, you can tighten your permissions.


7.  Some ISPs or web servers require a special subdirectory where Perl scripts can run.  We refer to this as the common cgi-bin.  Find out from your ISP what their rules are for running Perl scripts.  If you use a directory other than cgi-bin, make sure you update this information in your server directory paths under the Field | Hosting Management dialog.


8.  Make sure your server is configured to treat .cgi files the same as .pl files.  We name most of our server side files with *.cgi.  If your server is configured correctly this will ensure that these files are not visible to others.


9.  Some servers require alternate setups that are different from our default procedure.  In these cases, you might need to change the paths in Server Directory Paths.  Under the Field | Hosting Management dialog, you can modify the system paths.


When changing the paths under Server Directory Paths, the three paths are as follows:


Administrative Directory:Path from where the Perl files are running to the /admin directory


CGI Scripts Directory:Path from login.html and admin.html to the directory that contains and


Relative Path from

CGI Scripts to Graphics:Path from where Perl scripts are running to the /graphics directory


10.  If you have changed the default directory structure, you may need to move the file STUDYNAMEpath.cgi to the same directory as the Perl files so the scripts can find it.  Here are the search paths for STUDYNAMEpath.cgi from the directory from which the Perl scripts are running:




If not found in ../admin/, then it looks for the STUDYNAMEpath.cgi in:


current directory (where Perl scripts are running)


If not found there, it looks for:


current directory/studyname/admin


If not found there, it looks for the STUDYNAMEpath.cgi in:




11.  If you want to delete all the respondent data up on the web that is associated with a study, go to the admin.html and choose Reset Survey.


Lighthouse Studio Perl test scripts


If you are experiencing difficulty in getting your questionnaire to run on the web, it may be helpful to troubleshoot the problem by using very simple Perl scripts.   You can find these scripts in your \User Resources directory in your Lighthouse Studio installation.  Once these 2 test scripts run successfully, your Lighthouse survey will also have a very good chance of running successfully.


Upload the test script to your cgi-bin and test it by opening up a browser and going to


TEST1.PL - simply tests Perl linkage.  A debug test message is written ("Debug Test #1 Successful") if Perl is installed correctly and permissions are set correctly.


Failure here would mean that the Perl interpreter is not being called and executed.  You can check for the correct path to the interpreter on the first line of the script and that Perl has been installed on the machine.  You can also check the permissions on the script to make sure it has "executable" permission.  If you are still having problems, call your ISP and explain that you need help running a simple "hello world" Perl script. - Helps you determine where your current working directory for Perl is.


Page link: