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Installing Go Server Pages

Go Server Pages is not too difficult to build and install. The following explains the process.

Prerequisites

To date, Go Server Pages has been tested only on Linux, specifically Ubuntu. I’d think it should work on macOS, but I’d guess it probably won’t work on Windows. Please let me know your experience with installing Go Server Pages on a platform other than Linux. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Apache. Go Server Pages is written as an Apache module so we assume you already have the Apache Web server (version 2.4+) installed and configured. Compiling the Go Server Pages module requires apxs, the APache eXtenSion tool. In Ubuntu, this can be installed with
    sudo apt install apache2-dev
    
  2. Go. Download a Go compiler (version 1.13+) to compile the various components of Go Server Pages that are written in Go. We assume the availability of a go command for invoking the compiler and associated tools.

  3. A C compiler (needed to build the Apache module) and GNU Make. In Ubuntu, that means
    sudo apt install gcc make
    

Compiling

Go Server Pages builds with a plain-vanilla Makefile. The first stanza of the Go Server Pages Makefile lists various installation directories, commands, and flags that can be overridden during the build process.

Decide where you want to install Go Server Pages. The default prefix is /usr/local. By default, the build system installs helper programs in a bin subdirectory of the prefix directory, Go packages in a lib/gosp/go subdirectory, manual pages in a share/man subdirectory, and other documentation in a share/doc/gosp subdirectory. For example, the source code for the gosp package will be installed by default as /usr/local/lib/gosp/go/src/gosp/gosp.go.

If those directories are acceptable, simply run

make

If not, override prefix (and/or any of the other variables defined in the Makefile) on the command line, e.g.,

make prefix=/opt/gosp

(You can also edit the Makefile, but I personally prefer leaving Makefiles pristine.)

Installing

Caveat #1: The Go Server Pages Apache module will install into whatever directory Apache modules normally get installed into, regardless of the prefix and other directory variables. On an Ubuntu system, this is likely to be /usr/lib/apache2/modules. (Run a2query -d to check.)

Caveat #2: When installing, you must specify the same prefix and other build settings as when you compiled. This is because the Apache module needs to know where it will be able to find its helper programs and Go packages.

Install using the install target:

make install

(or similarly,

make prefix=/opt/gosp install

or the like). This installs and enables the Go Server Pages Apache module and helper programs/package. If you would prefer to install everything except the Apache module, use the install-no-module target instead of install.

You’re not done yet. Once Go Server Pages is installed and enabled the Web server needs to be configured to actually use it. See Configuring Go Server Pages for details.