As described in the walk-through in Chapter 2, the standard way to build and install mod_perl is to run Makefile.PL with the following sequence of commands:
% perl Makefile.PL configuration options % make % make test % make install
This will automatically build a mod_perl-embedded version of Apache and install it in the standard location. The configuration options you specify give you extensive control over the building and installation process.
There are several reasons for mod_perl 's bewildering number of configuration options. Many of the options came to be during the early days of mod_perl, when new options were frequently added in an "experimental" state. As these features matured and stabilized, their activation switches remained for those site administrators who do not want to expose certain areas of the API to programmers. By turning off unwanted features, sites can also reduce the size of the Apache executable somewhat, although this overhead is small compared to the size of the Perl runtime itself.
Most first-time users of the Perl API will want to configure mod_perl with the EVERYTHING=1 option in order to turn on all features. Later, when you've experimented with the API, you may decide to dispense with some features, and you can reconfigure the server with a more select set of options. Other recommended options are USE_APACI=1, to use the Apache AutoConf-style Interface (APACI), and APACHE_PREFIX=/ ...