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How do I enable ExecCGI via .htaccess file?
How do I enable ExecCGI via .htaccess file?
Rapyd Team avatar
Written by Rapyd Team
Updated over a week ago

The .htaccess file allows users to configure and modify server settings on a per-directory basis. Among the various directives that you can implement with this file, ExecCGI is crucial when aiming to execute CGI scripts outside of the default cgi-bin directory. In this guide, we will demonstrate how to enable the ExecCGI directive through your .htaccess file.

For many website administrators and developers, .htaccess offers a flexible way to control and modify server settings. With the ExecCGI directive, you gain the ability to execute CGI scripts, enhancing the dynamic functionality of your website. This article provides a straightforward method to implement this directive safely.

Introduction to .htaccess and ExecCGI

The .htaccess file, often residing in the root directory of your website, is a configuration file used predominantly on Apache-based web servers. The ExecCGI directive within this file permits the execution of CGI scripts, expanding your site's interactive capabilities.


  1. Access to your website's root directory or the specific directory you want to modify.

  2. A text editor for editing files.

  3. Basic knowledge of file permissions and server configurations.

Steps to Enable ExecCGI via .htaccess

  1. Navigate to the directory where your .htaccess file resides. If you don't have an .htaccess file, you can create one using a plain text editor.

  2. Open the .htaccess file in your text editor.
    To enable ExecCGI for a specific directory, add the following lines:

    Replace /path/to/your/directory with the actual path to the directory where you want to enable CGI script execution.

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    <Directory "/path/to/your/directory">

    Options +ExecCGI


  3. If you're looking to execute CGI scripts with a particular file extension throughout the directory, add the following: This line enables the server to treat files with .cgi and .pl extensions as CGI scripts.

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    AddHandler cgi-script .cgi .pl

  4. Save the changes and close the text editor.

  5. If you have access, restart your Apache server for the changes to take effect. In many shared hosting environments, this step is not necessary as the server automatically detects .htaccess changes.

Best Practices and Precautions

  1. Always backup your .htaccess file before making changes.

  2. Ensure that the scripts you're executing are safe and free from vulnerabilities.

  3. Regularly check file permissions. Ensure that your .htaccess file is set to 644 and your scripts have appropriate permissions to avoid security risks.

Key Takeaways

  • The .htaccess file provides a way to enable ExecCGI, allowing CGI script execution outside the default cgi-bin directory.

  • Proper file permissions and security checks are essential when enabling and using CGI scripts.

  • Regular backups and careful editing ensure smooth server operations and website functionality.


Leveraging the ExecCGI directive via the .htaccess file offers enhanced capabilities for your website. By following this guide, you can safely enable CGI script execution and ensure a more interactive and dynamic web experience for your users. Remember always to prioritize security and conduct regular checks to maintain the website's health.

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