Is CGI Scripting Language?


Heather Bennett

Is CGI Scripting Language?

In the world of web development, there are various technologies and tools that help in creating dynamic and interactive websites. One such technology is CGI, which stands for Common Gateway Interface. However, it is important to note that CGI is not a scripting language itself but rather a protocol that allows web servers to communicate with external programs.

What is CGI?

CGI is a standard method used by web servers to execute scripts or programs on behalf of clients and generate dynamic content. It acts as an interface between the web server and external programs written in scripting languages or other programming languages.

CGI and Scripting Languages

While CGI itself is not a scripting language, it can be used with various scripting languages like Perl, Python, Ruby, and even shell scripts. These scripting languages provide the instructions or code that the web server needs to generate dynamic content.

The process typically involves the following steps:

  • The client sends a request to the web server for a specific URL.
  • The web server receives the request and identifies it as a CGI request.
  • The web server executes the specified script or program using the CGI protocol.
  • The script or program generates output based on the instructions provided.
  • The web server sends the output back to the client as an HTTP response.

Advantages of Using CGI

CGI offers several advantages when it comes to creating dynamic websites:

  • Compatibility: Since CGI is a standard protocol supported by most web servers, it allows developers to use their preferred scripting language without worrying about compatibility issues.
  • Flexibility: CGI supports a wide range of scripting languages, giving developers the freedom to choose the language that best suits their needs and preferences.
  • Scalability: CGI allows for the integration of external programs, which can handle complex tasks and data processing, making it easier to create scalable web applications.


In summary, CGI is not a scripting language itself but rather a protocol that enables web servers to communicate with external programs. It is commonly used in conjunction with various scripting languages to create dynamic and interactive websites. Understanding the role of CGI and its relationship with scripting languages is essential for any web developer looking to build dynamic web applications.

Remember: While using CGI, it’s important to ensure proper security measures are in place to protect against potential vulnerabilities.

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