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Plusnet CGI Tricks:

Setting file attributes in Microsoft FTP:

To alter the attributes of a file "" from within a ftp session (it is easier in a shell but shell is not allowed) use:

quote site chmod 755

The "quote" command means send the rest of the line to the server and "site" means execute a shell command.

Only a small "safe" subset of shell commands are implemented so this isn't a backdoor to full access.

On the bright side hostopia offers a file manager that allows attributes to be set, it also includes a text editor.


Setting up CPAN for local use:

Warning: these instructions are for the old "ccgi" platform not the newer hostopia one. It should work once you determine the correct folder to use.

You should also note that letting CPAN resolve dependencies itself is a BAD idea, many Perl modules list "nice to have" modules that CPAN treats as dependencies. In my experience CPAN would go out of control and keep finding more things to install.

This allows you to use the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) shell to install modules.

  1. Log in to your ccgi space.
  2. Create a folder ".cpan" (note the dot)
  3. Enter the folder
  4. Create a folder "CPAN" (no dot)
  5. Enter the folder
  6. Obtain and edit the file

# $Id:,v 1.5 2005/02/05 19:08:13 jmates Exp $
# Sample configuration to install CPAN modules to a custom
# location, such as under a home directory.
# 1. Change all occurences of HOMEDIRFIX to your home directory,
#    e.g. /home/user
# 2. Review 'makepl_arg' below. For more information on the arguments,
#    read the following documentation using the perldoc(1) command:
#    perldoc ExtUtils::MakeMaker
# 3. Check the paths to various commands (e.g. wget), proxy settings for
#    your environment, the urllist, and the shell.
# 4. Run 'perl -c' to ensure the formatting of this file is
#    correct following the edits.

$CPAN::Config = {
  'build_cache' => q[5],
  'build_dir' => q[/files/<home?>/<username>/.cpan/build],
  'cache_metadata' => q[1],
  'cpan_home' => q[/files/<home?>/<username>/.cpan],
  'dontload_hash' => {  },
  'ftp' => q[/usr/bin/ftp],
  'ftp_proxy' => q[],
  'getcwd' => q[cwd],
  'gzip' => q[/bin/gzip],
  'histfile' => q[/files/<home?>/<username>/.cpan/histfile],
  'histsize' => q[100],
  'http_proxy' => q[],
  'inactivity_timeout' => q[0],
  'index_expire' => q[1],
  'inhibit_startup_message' => q[0],
  'keep_source_where' => q[/files/<home?>/<username>/.cpan/sources],
  'lynx' => q[ ],
  'make' => q[/usr/bin/make],
  'make_arg' => q[],
  'make_install_arg' => q[],
  'makepl_arg' => q[PREFIX=~/ SITELIBEXP=~/cgi-bin/lib LIB=~/cgi-bin/lib INSTALLMAN1DIR=~/share/man/man1 INSTALLMAN3DIR=~/share/man/man3 INSTALLSITEMAN1DIR=~/share/man/man1 INSTALLSITEMAN3DIR=~/share/man/man3],
  'ncftp' => q[ ],
  'ncftpget' => q[ ],
  'no_proxy' => q[],
  'pager' => q[less],
  'prerequisites_policy' => q[ask],
  'proxy_user' => q[],
  'scan_cache' => q[atstart],
  'shell' => q[/bin/sh],
  'tar' => q[/bin/tar],
  'term_is_latin' => q[0],
  'unzip' => q[/usr/bin/unzip],
  'urllist' => [q[], q[], q[], q[], q[], q[], q[]],
  'wait_list' => [q[wait://]],
  'wget' => q[/usr/bin/wget],



Note: That's "Common Gateway Interface" not "Computer Generated Imagery"

Note: Plusnet call their CGI server "ccgi", to distinguish it from an earlier discontinued platform.