Enabling FastCGI on Movable Type 4.x

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Getting FastCGI configured and running can be a pain. There are FastCGI instructions on MovableType.org, but the page is so long that it looks kinda daunting.

Strangecode has got FastCGI enabled for all hosting accounts. So after installing Movable Type all I had to do to was the following two steps:

  1. Create symlinks to the primary MT scripts with names ending in .fcgi.

    $ cd /PATH/TO/MT
    $ for F in mt{,-comments,-search,-tb}.cgi; do ln -s $F $(basename $F .cgi).fcgi; done
  2. Add these lines to mt-config.cgi.

    AdminScript mt.fcgi
    CommentScript mt-comments.fcgi
    SearchScript mt-search.fcgi
    TrackbackScript mt-tb.fcgi

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The thing about FCGI that bothers me is that it subjects your processes to untimely death on shared hosting (like Dreamhost) where they’ll monitor and automatically kill anything using more than Xmb of memory. The last time I ran MT4 under it, I was having processes die in the middle of publishing with no obvious way to know where things stopped.

That kind of stateless failure is bad news during a site-wide rebuild.

Now I’ve heard that MTOS in the 4.15 series supposedly has a patch to deal with memory, or someone noticed that old versions of DBI were leaking, something like that. Even so though, it’s a definite concern in a shared hosting environment.

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