Rich has spoken a number of times about the elusive Apache module modpony. This module does nothing more than render an ASCII art image of a pony to the browser. Rich jokingly refers to this as one of the better things you can do with your Apache web server in his "20 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Your Apache Web Server" presentation. Unfortunately, modpony doesn't actually exist, and the half-hearted attempts to bring it into existence resulted in various segmentation faults and other server crashes.

Until today!

Rich has announced the release of modpony! It's a simple Apache module, and is super easy to build from <a href="">source. Unfortunately, Rich has a low opinion of Debian, so his installation instructions are insufficient for that distribution. Here's what I did to get modpony running on

$ sudo apt-get install apache2-prefork-dev
$ sudo apxs2 -cia mod_pony.c
$ sudo echo "LoadModule pony_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/" >> /etc/apache2/mods-available/pony.load
$ sudo a2enmod pony
$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 force-reload
$ cd /path/to/website
$ touch pony

Then, put this in your .htaccess file:

<Files pony>
     SetHandler pony

Note: I'm using modvhostalias for my virtual hosting configuration, which means I can't use the <Location> directive in a configuration file in the same way as described in the mod_pony source. Thus, I'm using the .htaccess mechanism to display my pony.


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