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kcgi-framework is a set of file priming a BCHS project using kcgi and openradtool.

The framework implements logging in and logging out over a session-based, RESTful JSON API. It includes the full application stack:

  • database initialisation
  • database interface (C language)
  • REST interface (JSON)
  • front-end formatting (JavaScript)

It also includes a skeleton port for OpenBSD.

The existing code tries to follow best practises for all elements of the stack: clean (style(9)), secure C code that's logically separated, HTML and JavaScript that are well-formed and satisfy CSP policies, and so on.

All parts are documented as fully as possible, from the database schema to the REST API.

The framework is portable for most modern UNIX systems as provided by oconfigure. This includes OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and IllumOS.

You'll only use this framework once for your project---it's not something that's installed.


You'll need an up-to-date kcgi and openradtool.

  1. Copy all files into your project directory.

    Then read and edit the Makefile: it will list all of the variables you'll need to set for your installation. Override these in a Makefile.local or directly in the Makefile.

  2. Review yourprog.ort. This describes your data model and how data passes into and from the database. Its syntax is documented in ort(5).

  3. Browse main.c. It uses the interfaces created by ort-c-header(1) to drive the REST API.

  4. Read index.xml and index.js, both of which interface the REST API.

You should probably use TypeScript instead of JavaScript, but I'm keeping this simple. Realistically that only means installing the TypeScript compiler, adding some TypeScript to JavaScript in the Makefile, and that's it.

Then deploy in the usual way:

% ./configure
% make
# make install

There are several additional targets:

  • installwww: only HTML and JS sources

  • installapi: REST OAS2.0 API docs

  • installcgi: CGI script and a fresh copy of the database (warning: this will replace the existing database)

  • updatecgi: install only the CGI script


If you want to create a user, use encrypt(1) to generate a password hash and insert those into the database prior to make installcgi. (The hashing method depends upon the operating system.)

Assuming a user and substituting yourpassword for your password and yourhash for the output of the encryption:

% make
% printf 'yourpassword' | encrypt
% sqlite3 yourprog.db
sqlite> insert into user values ('', 'yourhash', 1);
sqlite> .quit

The printf instead of echo is so that the trailing newline is not considered part of the password.

You can also run this on your live database, of course.

Package management

kcgi-framework includes the building blocks for an OpenBSD port by including necessary files.

The port is in the OpenBSD directory. As-is, it installs the CGI script in /var/www/cgi-bin and the database and database specification in /var/www/data.

The port uses the yourprog-upgrade script, which generates the difference between the database specification for the existing database in /var/www/data with the current version's specification. It then patches the database and installs the current specification. This keeps your database smoothly up to date.

It's possible to embed this directly into the port PLIST, if desired.

Of course, this is something you'll need to carefully test! It uses ort-sqldiff(1), which has its limitations.


All sources use the ISC (like OpenBSD) license. See the file for details.


basic framework for a simple kcgi application





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