KB124: Installing Character Server on Linux

On Linux, the Character Server consists of a single CGI application called 'animate', located in a file 'animate.zip'.

To integrate it with apache, you can unzip it into the /var/www/cgi-bin directory, then add the following line to your apache config file (/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf):

ScriptAliasMatch "^/animate(.*)" "/var/www/cgi-bin/animate$1"

Now, requests to


will be routed to the animate cgi app. Next, you will need to give it execute permissions, with

$ sudo chmod a+x /var/www/cgi-bin/animate

The 'animate' app has a dependency on Cairo 2, a vector rendering engine. To install this dependency use:

$ sudo yum install libcairo2

Next, you will need 3 subdirectories under the 'animate' executable named 'library', 'partials', and 'results'.

The 'library' directory must contain the two subdirectories 'characters' and 'addons'. The contents of these can be populated from the Characters and Addons directories of a Character Builder installation, located under "Program Files (x86)/Character Builder/Library". This is the location where character and addon products are installed by default.

animate library characters SusanHead ... addons RW2HeadHairPack1 ... partials results

The 'partials' and 'results' folders are caches, and should be made writable as follows:

$ cd /var/www/cgi-bin/ $ sudo chgrp apache partials $ sudo chgrp apache results $ sudo chmod g+w partials $ sudo chmod g+w results

Finally, you can set up a config file. The 'animate' executable will load '/etc/animate/conf/animate.conf' on each run. The main reason for using a config file is to specify a list of domain names that the API can be called from, with the 'domains' parameter:


Without a 'domains' entry, requests from any domain will be honored.

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