What is a CGI-Bin?

July 20, 2007 / Web Hosting

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface and Bin is a part of CGI which helps to resolve the query from browser websites. That are working with the help of this script. A program, often written in C or Perl, that receives and processes information passed to it by a user through a Web page.

CGI programs manipulated data entered by the user, i.e., transferring the content of a form to an e-mail message or using data as a database query. Some HTTP servers require CGI programs to reside in a special directory. This directory is often “”/cgi-bin””.

However, better servers provide ways to distinguish CGI programs so they can kept in the same directories. As the HTML files to which they are related. This is a “bin” or storage folder on a server that stores programs that perform the calculations and return the values to HTML for display.

This is a directory that allows you to execute a CGI script written usually in Perl or UNIX Shell. Perl and shell programs are self-compiling and can utilized immediately after transfer to this directory/folder.

The way CGI works from the Web server’s point of view is that certain locations are defined to served by a CGI program. Whenever a request to a matching URL is received. The corresponding program is called. With any data that the client sent as input. Output from the program is collected by the Web server. Augmented with appropriate headers, and sent back to the client.

Because this technology generally requires a fresh copy of the program to executed for every CGI request. The workload could quickly overwhelm web servers, inspiring more efficient technologies such as mod_perl or PHP.  That allow script interpreters to be integrated directly into web servers as modules. Thus avoiding the overhead of repeatedly loading and initializing language interpreters.

However, this is only applicable for high-level languages that need interpreters. Such overloads can avoided by utilizing languages like C. By using C or similar compiled languages it is possible to reach higher efficiency levels. Because such programs terminate their execution cycle faster than interpreted languages with less operating system overhead.

Even better, RPG programs on the IBM iSeries/AS400 may stay resident in memory with databases already open, allowing for faster execution on subsequent usage. The optimal configuration for any web application will obviously depend on application-specific details, amount of traffic, and complexity of the transaction; a software engineer analyzes these tradeoffs to determine the best implementation for a given task and budget.

Web servers often have a cgi-bin directory at the base of the domain, to hold executable files.