mod_gridfs / README

This is an Apache 2.2+ module that supports serving files from MongoDB GridFS.

See and for more information.

See LICENSE file for licensing details.

This code is available free of charge from (be sure to grab the "release" tag of the latest branch).
Old driver that is written in C and used MongoDB C driver is still available in the "c-driver" branch.
The latest pre-built binaries ( that you can place in your Apache modules directory) are available from

Building (see next section for Ubuntu fast-forward instructions):
Make sure you have g++, SConstruct and boost libraries (filesystem, system, thread) installed
Install Apache 2.2+ and APXS (choose worker MPM)
Grab the module from, remember the absolute path to the directory (referenced as /path/to/mod_gridfs later on)
Grab MongoDB C++ driver from (2.1+ required, don't use *-latest and unreleased versions), unpack it and go to its directory
Fix the driver build environment (build static library with PIC to allow module to be built as a shared library):
	echo 'env.Append(CCFLAGS="-fPIC")' >> SConstruct
Apply the GridFS slaveOk patch:
	patch -d src/mongo/client < /path/to/mod_gridfs/patches/gridfs-slaveok
Build the driver:

Ubuntu pre-build instructions:
sudo apt-get -y install wget g++ scons apache2 apache2-threaded-dev libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-system-dev libboost-thread-dev

Ubuntu build instructions (MongoDB C++ driver v2.2.2):
wget --no-check-certificate
tar xzf release.tar.gz
rm release.tar.gz
mv onyxmaster-mod_gridfs-* mod_gridfs
cd mod_gridfs
tar xzf mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.2.2.tgz
rm mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.2.2.tgz
mv mongo-cxx-driver-v2.2 mongo-cxx-driver
echo 'env.Append(CCFLAGS="-fPIC")' >> mongo-cxx-driver/SConstruct
patch -d mongo-cxx-driver/src/mongo/client < patches/gridfs-slaveok
scons -C mongo-cxx-driver
make -C gridfs

Ubuntu pre-installation instructions:
sudo apt-get -y install apache2 libstdc++6 libboost-filesystem[version] libboost-system[version] libboost-thread[version] && sudo apt-get -y install make apache2-threaded-dev

Ubuntu installation instructions (copy mod_gridfs directory to a target machine first):
cd mod_gridfs
sudo make -C gridfs install

Ubuntu post-installation instructions (cleanup, not required but recommended for production machines):
sudo apt-get -y purge make apache2-threaded-dev && sudo apt-get -y --purge autoremove

GridFSConnection -- sets connection string ("host[:port]" for single hosts, "replicaSetName/host[:port],[host[:port], ...]" for replica sets)
GridFSDatabase <database> -- sets database name
GridFSCacheMaxAge <maxAge> -- optional, sets cache max age in seconds (default is 1 week, maximum is 10 years), set to 0 to disable expiration caching (see Notes below)
GridFSConnectTimeout <timeout> -- optional, sets MongoDB connection timeout in seconds (default is 5 seconds)
GridFSSlaveOk <On|Off> -- optional, sets MongoDB slaveOk mode (horizontal sharding)
GridFSUsername <username> -- optional, sets MongoDB authentication user name
GridFSPassword <password> -- optional, sets MongoDB authentication password

Configuration example:
GridFSConnection rsTest/db1,db2
GridFSDatabase my_database

Implementation notes:
This module was developed to serve static content that is cached on frontend reverse proxies, hence by default it sets the following headers:
	Cache-Control: public, max-age=<max_age>
	Expires: <Date+max_age>
	Last-Modified: <uploadDate>
	Etag: <md5> (if MD5 is available for file)
You can disable "Cache-Control" and "Expires" headers by setting GridFSCacheMaxAge to 0.

Content-type, if not specified in GridFS file "contentType" field, is automatically determined using mod_mime (or any other type checker module that works without accessing file contents).
Also, it supports HEAD requests, conditional queries (If-Modified-Since and/or If-None-Match with proper 304 Not Modified response).
It doesn't support range queries (not going to be implemented soon).

Known problems:
If you're using gcc version less than 4.5, Apache parent process would crash when reloading modules (on a restart after module list is updated).
This is a known problem with gcc and libstdc++. Unfortunately, the only workaround is to upgrade your compiler and standard C++ library.

Written by Aristarkh Zagorodnikov
Initial context (location) awareness suggestion and implementation by Stafford Brunk (
Authentication support implementation by Radoslav Hampartsumyan (
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