MirBSD manpage: CGI::Cookie(3p)

CGI::Cookie(3p) Perl Programmers Reference Guide  CGI::Cookie(3p)


     CGI::Cookie - Interface to Netscape Cookies


         use CGI qw/:standard/;
         use CGI::Cookie;

         # Create new cookies and send them
         $cookie1 = new CGI::Cookie(-name=>'ID',-value=>123456);
         $cookie2 = new CGI::Cookie(-name=>'preferences',
                                    -value=>{ font => Helvetica,
                                              size => 12 }
         print header(-cookie=>[$cookie1,$cookie2]);

         # fetch existing cookies
         %cookies = fetch CGI::Cookie;
         $id = $cookies{'ID'}->value;

         # create cookies returned from an external source
         %cookies = parse CGI::Cookie($ENV{COOKIE});


     CGI::Cookie is an interface to Netscape (HTTP/1.1) cookies,
     an innovation that allows Web servers to store persistent
     information on the browser's side of the connection.
     Although CGI::Cookie is intended to be used in conjunction
     with CGI.pm (and is in fact used by it internally), you can
     use this module independently.

     For full information on cookies see


     CGI::Cookie is object oriented.  Each cookie object has a
     name and a value.  The name is any scalar value.  The value
     is any scalar or array value (associative arrays are also
     allowed).  Cookies also have several optional attributes,

     1. expiration date
         The expiration date tells the browser how long to hang
         on to the cookie.  If the cookie specifies an expiration
         date in the future, the browser will store the cookie
         information in a disk file and return it to the server
         every time the user reconnects (until the expiration
         date is reached).  If the cookie species an expiration
         date in the past, the browser will remove the cookie
         from the disk file.  If the expiration date is not
         specified, the cookie will persist only until the user
         quits the browser.

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     2. domain
         This is a partial or complete domain name for which the
         cookie is valid.  The browser will return the cookie to
         any host that matches the partial domain name.  For
         example, if you specify a domain name of
         ".capricorn.com", then Netscape will return the cookie
         to Web servers running on any of the machines
         "www.capricorn.com", "ftp.capricorn.com",
         "feckless.capricorn.com", etc.  Domain names must con-
         tain at least two periods to prevent attempts to match
         on top level domains like ".edu".  If no domain is
         specified, then the browser will only return the cookie
         to servers on the host the cookie originated from.

     3. path
         If you provide a cookie path attribute, the browser will
         check it against your script's URL before returning the
         cookie.  For example, if you specify the path
         "/cgi-bin", then the cookie will be returned to each of
         the scripts "/cgi-bin/tally.pl", "/cgi-bin/order.pl",
         and "/cgi-bin/customer_service/complain.pl", but not to
         the script "/cgi-private/site_admin.pl".  By default,
         the path is set to "/", so that all scripts at your site
         will receive the cookie.

     4. secure flag
         If the "secure" attribute is set, the cookie will only
         be sent to your script if the CGI request is occurring
         on a secure channel, such as SSL.

     Creating New Cookies

             $c = new CGI::Cookie(-name    =>  'foo',
                                  -value   =>  'bar',
                                  -expires =>  '+3M',
                                  -domain  =>  '.capricorn.com',
                                  -path    =>  '/cgi-bin/database',
                                  -secure  =>  1

     Create cookies from scratch with the new method.  The -name
     and -value parameters are required.  The name must be a
     scalar value. The value can be a scalar, an array reference,
     or a hash reference. (At some point in the future cookies
     will support one of the Perl object serialization protocols
     for full generality).

     -expires accepts any of the relative or absolute date for-
     mats recognized by CGI.pm, for example "+3M" for three
     months in the future.  See CGI.pm's documentation for

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     -domain points to a domain name or to a fully qualified host
     name. If not specified, the cookie will be returned only to
     the Web server that created it.

     -path points to a partial URL on the current server.  The
     cookie will be returned to all URLs beginning with the
     specified path.  If not specified, it defaults to '/', which
     returns the cookie to all pages at your site.

     -secure if set to a true value instructs the browser to
     return the cookie only when a cryptographic protocol is in

     Sending the Cookie to the Browser

     Within a CGI script you can send a cookie to the browser by
     creating one or more Set-Cookie: fields in the HTTP header.
     Here is a typical sequence:

       my $c = new CGI::Cookie(-name    =>  'foo',
                               -value   =>  ['bar','baz'],
                               -expires =>  '+3M');

       print "Set-Cookie: $c\n";
       print "Content-Type: text/html\n\n";

     To send more than one cookie, create several Set-Cookie:

     If you are using CGI.pm, you send cookies by providing a
     -cookie argument to the header() method:

       print header(-cookie=>$c);

     Mod_perl users can set cookies using the request object's
     header_out() method:

       $r->headers_out->set('Set-Cookie' => $c);

     Internally, Cookie overloads the "" operator to call its
     as_string() method when incorporated into the HTTP header.
     as_string() turns the Cookie's internal representation into
     an RFC-compliant text representation.  You may call
     as_string() yourself if you prefer:

       print "Set-Cookie: ",$c->as_string,"\n";

     Recovering Previous Cookies

             %cookies = fetch CGI::Cookie;

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     fetch returns an associative array consisting of all cookies
     returned by the browser.  The keys of the array are the
     cookie names.  You can iterate through the cookies this way:

             %cookies = fetch CGI::Cookie;
             foreach (keys %cookies) {

     In a scalar context, fetch() returns a hash reference, which
     may be more efficient if you are manipulating multiple cook-

     CGI.pm uses the URL escaping methods to save and restore
     reserved characters in its cookies.  If you are trying to
     retrieve a cookie set by a foreign server, this escaping
     method may trip you up.  Use raw_fetch() instead, which has
     the same semantics as fetch(), but performs no unescaping.

     You may also retrieve cookies that were stored in some
     external form using the parse() class method:

            $COOKIES = `cat /usr/tmp/Cookie_stash`;
            %cookies = parse CGI::Cookie($COOKIES);

     If you are in a mod_perl environment, you can save some
     overhead by passing the request object to fetch() like this:


     Manipulating Cookies

     Cookie objects have a series of accessor methods to get and
     set cookie attributes.  Each accessor has a similar syntax.
     Called without arguments, the accessor returns the current
     value of the attribute. Called with an argument, the acces-
     sor changes the attribute and returns its new value.

         Get or set the cookie's name.  Example:

                 $name = $c->name;
                 $new_name = $c->name('fred');

         Get or set the cookie's value.  Example:

                 $value = $c->value;
                 @new_value = $c->value(['a','b','c','d']);

         value() is context sensitive.  In a list context it will
         return the current value of the cookie as an array.  In

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         a scalar context it will return the first value of a
         multivalued cookie.

         Get or set the cookie's domain.

         Get or set the cookie's path.

         Get or set the cookie's expiration time.


     Copyright 1997-1998, Lincoln D. Stein.  All rights reserved.

     This library is free software; you can redistribute it
     and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

     Address bug reports and comments to: lstein@cshl.org


     This section intentionally left blank.


     CGI::Carp, CGI

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