Password protection

Hello.  I have absolutely no experiance in CGI stuff, but I have a new web server that supports CGI-BIN, whatever that is.  Now, I hear that I can use that to password protect my pages, but have ABSOLUTLY no idea how to do it.  I only know how to make my page designs, and upload files.

I want to be able to control access to a "Members Area", based on a list of users and passwords.
I think what I want is a script that is ready-to-use.
ei. I just want to be able to plug it in and make it work.
Thanks!
StarFieldSoftwareAsked:
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mramsayCommented:
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mramsayCommented:
http://www.freecode.com
This site has a range of cgi programs that you should check into

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julio011597Commented:
If you mean access authentication such that Experts-Exchange provides, you don't need CGI; that's a matter of web server setting.

Anycase, you should state which OS and web server you are on.
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alamoCommented:
It all depends on what server you are using... if you are using a server such as Apache or httpd then you can do what you want by just configuring files, though it does in fact become easier to set up and maintain with CGI scripts (a form to add a user, for instance). If you are using IIS on NT then you can't do standard password authentification (the pop-up box kind) without addding your users as users on your NT system - which may be easier or may be harder, depending on yout point of view. (There is another way to do it on IIS but involves API programing).

There are also other ways to implement passwords which restrict access but aren't server-validated passwords in the same sense. Cookies is the most common... this requires CGI programming, though I bet their are scripts around. It has its drawbacks but migth be enough, you need to tell us more!
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StarFieldSoftwareAuthor Commented:
I am being hosted on unix, and my hosting company does not support user names/ passwords on files and directories.  I either can set the file to be open to the general public, or only to me.

I have a CGI-BIN, but don't know how to use it.

Thanks!
-Travis
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eribacCommented:
StarFieldSoftware,

Goto "http://www.itm.com/cgicollection/index.cgi?page=1", and download the Register.pl script. This script will allow you set up a password protection area within you site. This scipt is fairly simple to set up and use, but you will have to invest some time into it.
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StarFieldSoftwareAuthor Commented:
I looked at the register.pl file, but have no idea what to do with it.  It also refers to another file, something like htpasswd.pl, which I don't have.

Sorry, but I can't use this if I don't have any background in this area.
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mac119Commented:
I think you really want to be able to use the authorization features of the web server your provider uses, rather than mucking about with a cgi-bin script.

Most providers don't let you muck about too much with user or group privileges on your files, so if you used a cgi-bin script to guard your files, the area from which you would have to read the files would be readable as well.

Servers like NCSA and Apache allow per-directory settings in files named .htaccess; assuming your provider uses Apache (better, and still free) you should go to http://www.apache.org and peruse the documentation sections which deal with Apache's authorization scheme.

It is possible to embed your files in cgi scripts and only allow output to be generated if certain conditions are met (for example, correct user and password cookies) but this is such a pain in the neck that I don't think anyone really does this.
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StarFieldSoftwareAuthor Commented:
I asked my provider about authentication stuff and they said that they don't provide that.  That is why I need a CGI script. (possibly perl?)
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netproCommented:
The very best source for a beginning CGI programmer is in a new book "CGI-Perl CookBook" written in Perl by Matt Wright and Craig Patchett.

It will cost you only $29.95 but it has a security program that will do exactly what you want, and more importantly it has all the documentation (line by line of source code) that tells you how the program works. The book also has many other original Perl programs which are of commercial quality. The CD that comes with the book has program versions for Windows, UNIX and Mac. If you have your own server as I do these programs will open up a new world of Web magic.

The best place I have found to obtain the book with CD-ROM is  at the BookPool http:www.bookpool.com for $29.95.

P.S. I have absolutely "no" connection with the book or authors except I am a very happy Webmaster using these programs.


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netproCommented:
I almost forgot--for a preview go to http://www.cgi-perl.com to see some of the Perl programs.
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