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How to fix "couldn't create child process" errors during MIDAS install

If you're trying to install your self-hosted MIDAS booking system and you see a "couldn't create child process" message in your web browser, this usually indicates that you've not correctly specified the "path to perl" (the location at which Perl resides on your server) during the installation process.

To correct this, simply open the installer (install.pl) in a text editor and modify the very first line. By default, this will read:


If you're running on a Windows server, and Perl is installed at C:\Perl for example, then the first line of the install.pl file should be changed to:


TIP: If you're running an Apache server on a Windows platform, you can instead update your Apache server's "httpd.conf" configuration file to include the following line:

ScriptInterpreterSource Registry

This directive tells Apache to ignore the very first line in Perl files (known as the "shebang" line, which points to the location where Perl is expected to be found on your system), and instead retrieves the specific location of Perl from the Windows registry. This means that it then doesn't matter what the first line of the install file is, and so in future you shouldn't need to manually modify the first line of Perl scripts in order to get them to execute on your system!

More information on the "ScriptInterpreterSource" directive can be found in Apache's own documentation.

If modifying the first line of the installer doesn't resolve the "couldn't create child process" issue, you can try downloading the installer again in a different format (i.e. a UNIX format for a *nix system, or a PC format for a Windows system).

This can be done by simply appending either "?format=PC" or "?format=UNIX" to the end of the installer download link as appropriate. You'll find the link download the MIDAS installer contained within your Welcome Email.

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MIDAS » KB » Support » Article 00035

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