MapServer for Windows (MS4W) README

Author:Jeff McKenna, GatewayGeo
Last Updated:2021-03-31


Welcome to MS4W, the quick and easy installer developed by GatewayGeo for setting up MapServer For Windows and its accompanying applications (e.g. GeoMoose, Mapbender, OpenLayers, etc.). The purpose of this package is to allow novice to advanced MapServer users to quickly install a MapServer development environment on their Windows systems. The reasons for needing to do this are diverse but, in general, this package supports: developers who want to get to a stable state quickly, trainers who need an easily-installed configuration identical across multiple installs, and novices who need help just getting all the needed bits and pieces together.


The MS4W package is designed to perform a full installation of Apache, PHP, MapServer CGI, MapScript (CSharp, Java, PHP, Python), and to provide the capability to install additional applications easily and quickly. The simplest way to do this on Windows is to provide a predetermined directory structure and force everything into that mold.

The directory structure, while fixed within itself, is designed to be somewhat portable. While the file needs to be installed at the root of a hard drive, it doesn’t have to be the C:/ drive. Moving the package to the root of a different drive is simple - just copy it there. To move it to a subdirectory is more difficult - you’ll need to search for /ms4w in all the files and replace it with your new path.

The design also accommodates simple upgrades to the core package and to applications, without affecting the local configuration or the configuration of other installed applications.


The following are included in the base package:

  • Apache version 2.4.46
  • PHP version 7.4.13
  • Python version 3.9.1
  • MapServer 7.7.0-dev CGI and MapScript
  • GDAL 2.4.4 and bindings
  • MapCache 1.11dev
  • MapServer utilities
  • GDAL/OGR utilities
  • PROJ utilities
  • PDAL utilities
  • shp2tile utility
  • osm2pgsql utility
  • shapelib utilities
  • shpdiff utility
  • avce00 utilities
  • spatialite utilities
  • unixutils
  • OWTChart 1.2.0
  • H264 Streaming Module for Apache


If your server needs support for a specific version of PHP, Python, Apache, MapServer, GDAL, Oracle, ECW, Microsoft SQL Server, or any of MS4W’s hundreds of libraries, or a specific Windows version, or an entire MS4W package in x64 or 32bit, please contact GatewayGeo.

MapServer Version Information

MapServer version 7.7.0-dev (MS4W 4.0.5) OUTPUT=PNG OUTPUT=JPEG

MapServer Build Environment

Compiled, packaged, documented, and tested by GatewayGeo. Please help support this great product that is downloaded over 6,000 times a month by organizations of all sizes - please contact us directly at for custom builds or requests. Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Library versions used to build this version of MapServer:


OGR Formats Supported

See the OGR formats page for full driver descriptions.


If you require a specific data format or an updated supported version, please contact GatewayGeo for custom build information.

Supported Formats:
       PCIDSK -raster,vector- (rw+v): PCIDSK Database File
       netCDF -raster,vector- (rw+s): Network Common Data Format
       PDF -raster,vector- (rw+vs): Geospatial PDF
       MBTiles -raster,vector- (rw+v): MBTiles
       EEDA -vector- (ro): Earth Engine Data API
       DB2ODBC -raster,vector- (rw+): IBM DB2 Spatial Database
       ESRI Shapefile -vector- (rw+v): ESRI Shapefile
       MapInfo File -vector- (rw+v): MapInfo File
       UK .NTF -vector- (rov): UK .NTF
       OGR_SDTS -vector- (rov): SDTS
       S57 -vector- (rw+v): IHO S-57 (ENC)
       DGN -vector- (rw+v): Microstation DGN
       OGR_VRT -vector- (rov): VRT - Virtual Datasource
       REC -vector- (ro): EPIInfo .REC
       Memory -vector- (rw+): Memory
       BNA -vector- (rw+v): Atlas BNA
       CSV -vector- (rw+v): Comma Separated Value (.csv)
       NAS -vector- (rov): NAS - ALKIS
       GML -vector- (rw+v): Geography Markup Language (GML)
       GPX -vector- (rw+v): GPX
       LIBKML -vector- (rw+v): Keyhole Markup Language (LIBKML)
       KML -vector- (rw+v): Keyhole Markup Language (KML)
       GeoJSON -vector- (rw+v): GeoJSON
       GeoJSONSeq -vector- (rw+v): GeoJSON Sequence
       ESRIJSON -vector- (rov): ESRIJSON
       TopoJSON -vector- (rov): TopoJSON
       OGR_GMT -vector- (rw+v): GMT ASCII Vectors (.gmt)
       GPKG -raster,vector- (rw+vs): GeoPackage
       SQLite -vector- (rw+v): SQLite / Spatialite
       ODBC -vector- (rw+): ODBC
       WAsP -vector- (rw+v): WAsP .map format
       PGeo -vector- (ro): ESRI Personal GeoDatabase
       MSSQLSpatial -vector- (rw+): Microsoft SQL Server Spatial Database
       PostgreSQL -vector- (rw+): PostgreSQL/PostGIS
       MySQL -vector- (rw+): MySQL
       OpenFileGDB -vector- (rov): ESRI FileGDB
       XPlane -vector- (rov): X-Plane/Flightgear aeronautical data
       DXF -vector- (rw+v): AutoCAD DXF
       CAD -raster,vector- (rovs): AutoCAD Driver
       Geoconcept -vector- (rw+v): Geoconcept
       GeoRSS -vector- (rw+v): GeoRSS
       GPSTrackMaker -vector- (rw+v): GPSTrackMaker
       VFK -vector- (ro): Czech Cadastral Exchange Data Format
       PGDUMP -vector- (w+v): PostgreSQL SQL dump
       OSM -vector- (rov): OpenStreetMap XML and PBF
       GPSBabel -vector- (rw+): GPSBabel
       SUA -vector- (rov): Tim Newport-Peace's Special Use Airspace Format
       OpenAir -vector- (rov): OpenAir
       OGR_PDS -vector- (rov): Planetary Data Systems TABLE
       WFS -vector- (rov): OGC WFS (Web Feature Service)
       WFS3 -vector- (ro): OGC WFS 3 client (Web Feature Service)
       HTF -vector- (rov): Hydrographic Transfer Vector
       AeronavFAA -vector- (rov): Aeronav FAA
       Geomedia -vector- (ro): Geomedia .mdb
       EDIGEO -vector- (rov): French EDIGEO exchange format
       GFT -vector- (rw+): Google Fusion Tables
       SVG -vector- (rov): Scalable Vector Graphics
       CouchDB -vector- (rw+): CouchDB / GeoCouch
       Cloudant -vector- (rw+): Cloudant / CouchDB
       Idrisi -vector- (rov): Idrisi Vector (.vct)
       ARCGEN -vector- (rov): Arc/Info Generate
       SEGUKOOA -vector- (rov): SEG-P1 / UKOOA P1/90
       SEGY -vector- (rov): SEG-Y
       ODS -vector- (rw+v): Open Document/ LibreOffice / OpenOffice Spreadsheet
       XLSX -vector- (rw+v): MS Office Open XML spreadsheet
       ElasticSearch -vector- (rw+): Elastic Search
       Walk -vector- (ro): Walk
       Carto -vector- (rw+): Carto
       AmigoCloud -vector- (rw+): AmigoCloud
       SXF -vector- (rov): Storage and eXchange Format
       Selafin -vector- (rw+v): Selafin
       JML -vector- (rw+v): OpenJUMP JML
       PLSCENES -raster,vector- (ro): Planet Labs Scenes API
       CSW -vector- (ro): OGC CSW (Catalog  Service for the Web)
       VDV -vector- (rw+v): VDV-451/VDV-452/INTREST Data Format
       GMLAS -vector- (rwv): Geography Markup Language (GML) driven by application schemas
       MVT -vector- (rw+v): Mapbox Vector Tiles
       TIGER -vector- (rw+v): U.S. Census TIGER/Line
       AVCBin -vector- (rov): Arc/Info Binary Coverage
       AVCE00 -vector- (rov): Arc/Info E00 (ASCII) Coverage
       NGW -raster,vector- (rw+s): NextGIS Web
       HTTP -raster,vector- (ro): HTTP Fetching Wrapper

Oracle - see the GDAL Plugins section of this document to enable


"ro" means read-only
"rw" means read and one-time creation only
"rw+" means read, create and update
"w+" means write-only
"v" means that it supports virtual files

GDAL Formats Supported

See the GDAL formats page for full driver descriptions.


If you require a specific data format or an updated supported version, please contact GatewayGeo for custom build information.

Supported Formats:
        VRT -raster- (rw+v): Virtual Raster
        DERIVED -raster- (ro): Derived datasets using VRT pixel functions
        GTiff -raster- (rw+vs): GeoTIFF
        NITF -raster- (rw+vs): National Imagery Transmission Format
        RPFTOC -raster- (rovs): Raster Product Format TOC format
        ECRGTOC -raster- (rovs): ECRG TOC format
        HFA -raster- (rw+v): Erdas Imagine Images (.img)
        SAR_CEOS -raster- (rov): CEOS SAR Image
        CEOS -raster- (rov): CEOS Image
        JAXAPALSAR -raster- (rov): JAXA PALSAR Product Reader (Level 1.1/1.5)
        GFF -raster- (rov): Ground-based SAR Applications Testbed File Format (.gff)
        ELAS -raster- (rw+v): ELAS
        AIG -raster- (rov): Arc/Info Binary Grid
        AAIGrid -raster- (rwv): Arc/Info ASCII Grid
        GRASSASCIIGrid -raster- (rov): GRASS ASCII Grid
        SDTS -raster- (rov): SDTS Raster
        DTED -raster- (rwv): DTED Elevation Raster
        PNG -raster- (rwv): Portable Network Graphics
        JPEG -raster- (rwv): JPEG JFIF
        MEM -raster- (rw+): In Memory Raster
        JDEM -raster- (rov): Japanese DEM (.mem)
        GIF -raster- (rwv): Graphics Interchange Format (.gif)
        BIGGIF -raster- (rov): Graphics Interchange Format (.gif)
        ESAT -raster- (rov): Envisat Image Format
        FITS -raster- (rw+): Flexible Image Transport System
        BSB -raster- (rov): Maptech BSB Nautical Charts
        XPM -raster- (rwv): X11 PixMap Format
        BMP -raster- (rw+v): MS Windows Device Independent Bitmap
        DIMAP -raster- (rov): SPOT DIMAP
        AirSAR -raster- (rov): AirSAR Polarimetric Image
        RS2 -raster- (rovs): RadarSat 2 XML Product
        SAFE -raster- (rov): Sentinel-1 SAR SAFE Product
        PCIDSK -raster,vector- (rw+v): PCIDSK Database File
        PCRaster -raster- (rw+): PCRaster Raster File
        ILWIS -raster- (rw+v): ILWIS Raster Map
        SGI -raster- (rw+v): SGI Image File Format 1.0
        SRTMHGT -raster- (rwv): SRTMHGT File Format
        Leveller -raster- (rw+v): Leveller heightfield
        Terragen -raster- (rw+v): Terragen heightfield
        GMT -raster- (rw): GMT NetCDF Grid Format
        netCDF -raster,vector- (rw+s): Network Common Data Format
        HDF4 -raster- (ros): Hierarchical Data Format Release 4
        HDF4Image -raster- (rw+): HDF4 Dataset
        ISIS3 -raster- (rw+v): USGS Astrogeology ISIS cube (Version 3)
        ISIS2 -raster- (rw+v): USGS Astrogeology ISIS cube (Version 2)
        PDS -raster- (rov): NASA Planetary Data System
        PDS4 -raster- (rw+vs): NASA Planetary Data System 4
        VICAR -raster- (rov): MIPL VICAR file
        TIL -raster- (rov): EarthWatch .TIL
        ERS -raster- (rw+v): ERMapper .ers Labelled
        L1B -raster- (rovs): NOAA Polar Orbiter Level 1b Data Set
        FIT -raster- (rwv): FIT Image
        GRIB -raster- (rwv): GRIdded Binary (.grb, .grb2)
        MrSID -raster- (rov): Multi-resolution Seamless Image Database (MrSID)
        JP2MrSID -raster- (rov): MrSID JPEG2000
        MG4Lidar -raster- (ro): MrSID Generation 4 / Lidar (.sid)
        RMF -raster- (rw+v): Raster Matrix Format
        WCS -raster- (rovs): OGC Web Coverage Service
        WMS -raster- (rwvs): OGC Web Map Service
        MSGN -raster- (rov): EUMETSAT Archive native (.nat)
        RST -raster- (rw+v): Idrisi Raster A.1
        INGR -raster- (rw+v): Intergraph Raster
        GSAG -raster- (rwv): Golden Software ASCII Grid (.grd)
        GSBG -raster- (rw+v): Golden Software Binary Grid (.grd)
        GS7BG -raster- (rw+v): Golden Software 7 Binary Grid (.grd)
        COSAR -raster- (rov): COSAR Annotated Binary Matrix (TerraSAR-X)
        TSX -raster- (rov): TerraSAR-X Product
        COASP -raster- (ro): DRDC COASP SAR Processor Raster
        R -raster- (rwv): R Object Data Store
        MAP -raster- (rov): OziExplorer .MAP
        KMLSUPEROVERLAY -raster- (rwv): Kml Super Overlay
        PDF -raster,vector- (rw+vs): Geospatial PDF
        Rasterlite -raster- (rwvs): Rasterlite
        MBTiles -raster,vector- (rw+v): MBTiles
        PLMOSAIC -raster- (ro): Planet Labs Mosaics API
        CALS -raster- (rwv): CALS (Type 1)
        WMTS -raster- (rwv): OGC Web Map Tile Service
        SENTINEL2 -raster- (rovs): Sentinel 2
        MRF -raster- (rw+v): Meta Raster Format
        PNM -raster- (rw+v): Portable Pixmap Format (netpbm)
        DOQ1 -raster- (rov): USGS DOQ (Old Style)
        DOQ2 -raster- (rov): USGS DOQ (New Style)
        PAux -raster- (rw+v): PCI .aux Labelled
        MFF -raster- (rw+v): Vexcel MFF Raster
        MFF2 -raster- (rw+): Vexcel MFF2 (HKV) Raster
        FujiBAS -raster- (rov): Fuji BAS Scanner Image
        GSC -raster- (rov): GSC Geogrid
        FAST -raster- (rov): EOSAT FAST Format
        BT -raster- (rw+v): VTP .bt (Binary Terrain) 1.3 Format
        LAN -raster- (rw+v): Erdas .LAN/.GIS
        CPG -raster- (rov): Convair PolGASP
        IDA -raster- (rw+v): Image Data and Analysis
        NDF -raster- (rov): NLAPS Data Format
        EIR -raster- (rov): Erdas Imagine Raw
        DIPEx -raster- (rov): DIPEx
        LCP -raster- (rwv): FARSITE v.4 Landscape File (.lcp)
        GTX -raster- (rw+v): NOAA Vertical Datum .GTX
        LOSLAS -raster- (rov): NADCON .los/.las Datum Grid Shift
        NTv1 -raster- (rov): NTv1 Datum Grid Shift
        NTv2 -raster- (rw+vs): NTv2 Datum Grid Shift
        CTable2 -raster- (rw+v): CTable2 Datum Grid Shift
        ACE2 -raster- (rov): ACE2
        SNODAS -raster- (rov): Snow Data Assimilation System
        KRO -raster- (rw+v): KOLOR Raw
        ROI_PAC -raster- (rw+v): ROI_PAC raster
        RRASTER -raster- (rw+v): R Raster
        BYN -raster- (rw+v): Natural Resources Canada's Geoid
        ARG -raster- (rwv): Azavea Raster Grid format
        RIK -raster- (rov): Swedish Grid RIK (.rik)
        USGSDEM -raster- (rwv): USGS Optional ASCII DEM (and CDED)
        GXF -raster- (rov): GeoSoft Grid Exchange Format
        BAG -raster- (rwv): Bathymetry Attributed Grid
        HDF5 -raster- (rovs): Hierarchical Data Format Release 5
        HDF5Image -raster- (rov): HDF5 Dataset
        NWT_GRD -raster- (rw+v): Northwood Numeric Grid Format .grd/.tab
        NWT_GRC -raster- (rov): Northwood Classified Grid Format .grc/.tab
        ADRG -raster- (rw+vs): ARC Digitized Raster Graphics
        SRP -raster- (rovs): Standard Raster Product (ASRP/USRP)
        BLX -raster- (rwv): Magellan topo (.blx)
        PostGISRaster -raster- (rws): PostGIS Raster driver
        SAGA -raster- (rw+v): SAGA GIS Binary Grid (.sdat, .sg-grd-z)
        IGNFHeightASCIIGrid -raster- (rov): IGN France height correction ASCII Grid
        XYZ -raster- (rwv): ASCII Gridded XYZ
        HF2 -raster- (rwv): HF2/HFZ heightfield raster
        OZI -raster- (rov): OziExplorer Image File
        CTG -raster- (rov): USGS LULC Composite Theme Grid
        E00GRID -raster- (rov): Arc/Info Export E00 GRID
        ZMap -raster- (rwv): ZMap Plus Grid
        NGSGEOID -raster- (rov): NOAA NGS Geoid Height Grids
        IRIS -raster- (rov): IRIS data (.PPI, .CAPPi etc)
        PRF -raster- (rov): Racurs PHOTOMOD PRF
        RDA -raster- (ro): DigitalGlobe Raster Data Access driver
        EEDAI -raster- (ros): Earth Engine Data API Image
        SIGDEM -raster- (rwv): Scaled Integer Gridded DEM .sigdem
        DB2ODBC -raster,vector- (rw+): IBM DB2 Spatial Database
        GPKG -raster,vector- (rw+vs): GeoPackage
        CAD -raster,vector- (rovs): AutoCAD Driver
        PLSCENES -raster,vector- (ro): Planet Labs Scenes API
        NGW -raster,vector- (rw+s): NextGIS Web
        GenBin -raster- (rov): Generic Binary (.hdr Labelled)
        ENVI -raster- (rw+v): ENVI .hdr Labelled
        EHdr -raster- (rw+v): ESRI .hdr Labelled
        ISCE -raster- (rw+v): ISCE raster
        HTTP -raster,vector- (ro): HTTP Fetching Wrapper

Directory Structure

  • ms4w/
    • the main directory, assumed to be at the root of a drive, normally C:
  • ms4w/Apache
    • the Apache installation
  • ms4w/Apache/bin
    • the Apache binaries
  • ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin
    • the location of mapserv.exe and its supporting libraries, and php.ini, php.exe.
  • ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/zooplugins
    • location of ZOO-Project files to enable additional support (see the ZOO-Project section of this document)
  • ms4w/Apache/conf
    • the Apache configuration files. These should not be modified. Place all application-specific and local httpd.conf files in /ms4w/httpd.d (see the README.txt in that directory)
  • ms4w/Apache/error
    • error files for Apache to use
  • ms4w/Apache/htdocs
    • the Apache Web root directory, you shouldn’t install much in here except perhaps for testing.
  • ms4w/Apache/icons
    • icons used by Apache
  • ms4w/Apache/include
    • include directory for compiling against Apache
  • ms4w/Apache/lib
    • lib files for building against Apache
  • ms4w/Apache/logs
    • log files for Apache are stored here, this should be archived or cleaned every so often.
  • ms4w/Apache/manual
    • the Apache manual pages.
  • ms4w/Apache/modules
    • modules for Apache (see the Apache Modules section of this document)
  • ms4w/Apache/php
    • the PHP installation
  • ms4w/Apache/php/ext
    • location of phpmapscript dll
  • ms4w/apps
    • put all applications in subdirectories here.
  • ms4w/apps/etc
    • sample fonts and symbols for use in MapServer mapfiles
  • ms4w/gdalbindings
    • contain GDAL bindings for CSharp, Java, and Python (see the GDAL Bindings section of this document)
  • ms4w/gdaldata
    • supporting files for GDAL data formats
  • ms4w/gdalplugins
    • move dlls to this folder that are required for GDAL plugins e.g. ‘oci_OCI.dll’ (see the GDAL Plugins section of this document)
  • ms4w/httpd.d
    • put all application-specific and local httpd.conf files here (see the README.txt in that directory)
  • ms4w/msplugins
    • location of the plugin dlls for MapServer (see the MapServer Plugins section of this document)
  • ms4w/msplugins/mapscript
  • ms4w/proj
    • an installation of PROJ (formerly referred to as “PROJ.4”)
    • the epsg file used is /ms4w/proj/nad/epsg
  • ms4w/Python
    • an embedded installation of Python
    • must execute setenv.bat before use
  • ms4w/tmp
    • temporary files go here. This should be cleaned regularly
  • ms4w/tmp/ms_tmp
    • temporary files that need to be Web-accessible go here (i.e. image files created by mapserver). This is available as /ms_tmp/ via URL. Normally this means that your MAP files would have an IMAGEPATH of /ms4w/tmp/ms_tmp/ and a IMAGEURL of /ms_tmp/
  • ms4w/tools
    • contains useful tools such as the gdal/ogr utilities and mapserv utilities (note that before running these you must execute the /ms4w/setenv.bat script in your command window)

How to Install MS4W

Upgrading from an older version of MS4W

If you already have MS4W installed please do the following:

  • open a DOS command window and execute the file ‘/ms4w/apache-uninstall.bat’ at the commandline. This file will stop and uninstall your Apache service. You should see the following message flash in the command window:
The "Apache MS4W Web Server" service is stopping.
The "Apache MS4W Web Server" service has stopped.

Removing the "Apache MS4W Web Server" service
The "Apache MS4W Web Server" service has been removed
  • your old apache service has now been removed
  • make sure no files or other services point the your ms4w folder. If your browser is currently open and you are a viewing an ms4w page you will not be able to rename the ms4w folder. Therefore you must close all ms4w documents, all ms4w browser windows…make sure no running files point to the ms4w folder.
  • rename the old ms4w folder to something like ‘ms4w-old’
  • extract the file to the root of a drive on your machine
  • if successful, you should have a new directory named ‘ms4w’ at the root of the drive you chose (e.g. C:/ms4w or D:/ms4w ).
  • follow the rest of the install instructions in /ms4w/README_INSTALL.txt to start apache…

Extracting MS4W for the first time

Please read through the following instructions before starting your installation.

  1. To install the MS4W .zip file, use a compression program (e.g. 7zip) to extract the package at the root of a drive, e.g., drive C:/. If successful, you should have a new directory named ‘ms4w’ at the root of the drive you chose (e.g. C:/ms4w).


    If you are using the setup.exe installer: Some applications may have a problem if you install MS4W in a path containing spaces. It is therefore not recommended to install MS4W in a path that contains spaces. It is always best to install MS4W at the root of a drive, such as C:/ or D:/

  2. Be sure to follow the instructions in the local file /ms4w/REQUIREMENTS.txt to install the C++ Redistributable on your system before proceeding.

  3. Start your MS4W Apache Web Server by running /ms4w/apache-install.bat (open a Command Prompt window and execute it at the command line - it is not recommended to just double-click the file). This file installs Apache as a Windows service (called “Apache Web Server”) so that it starts whenever your machine is restarted. When executed, the following message should be displayed in the command window:

    Installing the Apache MS4W Web Server service
    The Apache MS4W Web Server service is successfully installed.
    Testing httpd.conf....
    Errors reported here must be corrected before the service
    can be started.
    The Apache MS4W Web Server service is starting.
    The Apache MS4W Web Server service was started successfully.

    This means that Apache is running and installed as a service.

    Note for Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista Users:

    In order to run the apache-install.bat file, you must do the following:

    1. In Windows Explorer, goto the location of your cmd.exe file (C:/Windows/System32)
    2. Right-click the cmd.exe executable and choose Run as Administrator
    3. Navigate to your ms4w folder in the command prompt window and run apache-install.bat
  4. To test that Apache is running properly, open your Web browser and find your local host Web service by entering one of the following URLs:


    You should now see the main MS4W page in your Web browser. This gives you general information about your install along with configuration information. If this is your first time using MS4W it is very important that you review the listed “Features” installed within MS4W, and test them by selecting each link found on this page.

  5. Technically, at this point, MS4W is installed! However, as you may have noticed from the MS4W main index.html page, there are no applications running. What this means is that there are no Web applications like GeoMoose or OpenLayers found within MS4W’s Web-accessible directory, /ms4w/apps/. The MS4W-configured Web applications can be found on as separate zip files.

  6. To install these Web application into /ms4w/apps/ all that is required is to unzip the Web application compressed file at the same root directory as MS4W (e.g., C:/).

    Two things should happen when uncompressing this file. First, the Web application directory should appear within /ms4w/apps/. Second, a new httpd_*.conf file should be added to /ms4w/httpd.d/httpd_*.conf. (The /httpd.d/ directory contains Apache configuration files that define which files on your computer/server are Web-accessible. For each Web application that you install, a new configuration file will be found.)

  7. The definitions of these Web-accessible directories are called Web Aliases. In order to activate a Web Alias you must restart Apache. To test your latest installed application, go to the MS4W main index.html page (i.e., http://localhost/). In the applications section you should now find a link to the application you just installed. Select the link to the recently installed application to see if it is configured correctly. Another option is to find the Web Alias for your application and call it from your Web browser directly. For example, if you have installed the latest MS4W version of GeoMoose, the Web Alias is “geomoose2”. To go to the GeoMoose index page, simply enter http://localhost/geomoose2/.

    Note: Applications with configuration files (e.g., GeoMoose and OpenLayers) generally do not require any editing of their files in order to work. Just unzip to the appropriate driver root and restart Apache.

    WARNING: It is very possible that you may wish (but not encouraged!) to run multiple versions of the same product. For example, GeoMoose 2.8.0 vs. GeoMoose 2.8.1. When installing these ms4w GeoMoose application packages, you will notice when unzipping GeoMoose that the httpd_geomoose2_ms4w.conf file found under ./ms4w/httpd.d/ will be overwritten by the GeoMoose you are currently installing. The reason for this is that the GeoMoose Alias stays the same from version to new version of GeoMoose. So, if you overwrite the httpd_geomoose2_ms4w.conf when unzipping and then restart Apache, you will get the latest version of GeoMoose that you just installed. To run both GeoMoose versions simply follow the instructions in Step 7.

  8. You also can create new Web Alias(es). To configure your own personal Web Alias(es), follow the instructions in /ms4w/httpd.d/README_HTTPD.txt

MapServer Plugins

Oracle 10g & 11g & 12c

Steps to Enable Oracle 10g or 11g or 12c Support in MS4W

Oracle Spatial support in MapServer is handled by two methods: 1) natively in MapServer, or 2) through the GDAL library.

  1. Make sure you have Oracle 10g or 11g or 12c client software installed on your machine (the same machine that you are running MS4W on).


    Since the default MS4W package is 32-bit, you must install the Oracle 32-bit client, in order to allow MapServer and its tools to communicate with Oracle (even if the Oracle server is x64). If you need a full x64 custom MS4W build please contact GatewayGeo.

  2. For direct access to Oracle Spatial, replace the existing libmap.dll in /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/ with the one in the /ms4w/msplugins/oracle/ folder.

    If this is successful, executing the following at the commandline (after setting /ms4w/setenv.bat) “mapserv -v” should return a string that contains “INPUT=ORACLESPATIAL”.


    It is possible that MapServer/Apache may have trouble locating your Oracle client dll (oci.dll). If you are having trouble connecting, try copying your oci.dll (possibly from a path such as /oracle/product/12.1.0/client/BIN) into the cgi-bin directory (/ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/)


    Setting the Windows environment variables ORACLE_HOME and TNS_ADMIN will help MapServer/GDAL connect to your Oracle instance.

  3. For access to Oracle Spatial through the GDAL library, move the ogr_OCI.dll plugin file up from /ms4w/gdalplugins/ignored/oracle12/ into /ms4w/gdalplugins/

    If this is successful, executing the following at the commandline (after setting /ms4w/setenv.bat) “ogrinfo –formats” should list the OCI driver.

  4. Restart Apache to be safe.

  5. For mapfile configuration see (note that the LAYER syntax differs depending if you use native access or through GDAL). Here are some examples:

    ## Connect through OGR

      NAME "park-ogr"
      CONNECTION "OCI:user/pass@SID"
      DATA "PARK"
        NAME "Parks"
          COLOR 255 0 0
          OUTLINECOLOR 120 120 120
    END # Layer


    In the CONNECTION parameter you can specify a different HOST or PORT with the syntax: “OCI:username/password@host:port/SID”

    ## Connect through MapServer’s OracleSpatial type

      NAME "park-native"
      CONNECTIONTYPE oraclespatial
      CONNECTION "user/pass@SID"
        NAME "Parks"
          COLOR 255 255 0
          OUTLINECOLOR 120 120 120
    END # Layer

Microsoft SQL Server 2008

A read-only, native MapServer driver that connects to Microsoft SQL Server 2008’s spatial capabilities is available in MS4W as of version 2.3.0.

Steps to Enable SQL Server 2008 Support in MS4W’s MapServer
  1. The plugin exists in /ms4w/msplugins/mssql/msplugin_mssql2008.dll

  2. Modify your SQL Server 2008 layer in your mapfile to use the CONNECTIONTYPE PLUGIN parameter and point to the appropriate plugin using the PLUGIN parameter. Use the CONNECTION parameter to specify the required connection parameters to access SQL Server, and use the DATA parameter to specify the table that holds the spatial information:

      PLUGIN "C:/ms4w/msplugins/mssql/msplugin_mssql2008.dll"
      CONNECTION ";uid=dbusername;
                   pwd=dbpassword;database=Roads Database;
                     Integrated Security=false"
      DATA "the_geom from roads"
  3. Test your layer, possibly by using the shp2img commandline utility with the ‘-all_debug 5’ switch

    The associated RFC document with the original notes on this support is RFC 38

MapScript configuration

MS4W >= 1.5.0 includes pre-built support files for CSharp, Java, PHP, and Python mapscript. In order to make use of these, however, they must be installed and configured in the appropriate locations on your system.


  1. Files are located in /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/csharp
  2. See for installation notes.
  3. Learn about the SWIG MapScript API at


  1. Files are located in /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/java
  2. Learn about the SWIG MapScript API at



As of the MS4W 4.0.0 release, PHPMapScript uses the SWIG MapScript API.

  1. PHPMapScript dll is located in /ms4w/Apache/php/ext
  2. PHP’s configuration file “php.ini” is located in /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin
  3. PHPMapScript is loaded by default
  4. As of the MS4W 4.0.0 release, the PHPMapScript extension uses the SWIG MapScript API (see SWIG MapScript API docs at
  5. All of your PHP scripts must now always first include the mapscript.php file containing MapServer constants:
// required SWIG include (contains MapServer constants for PHP7)
  1. Test this syntax with the provided quickmap.php file at /ms4w/Apache/htdocs/quickmap.php (see usage instructions in the top of that file)


Using the packaged Python Installation

As of MS4W 4.0, Python is distributed as part of the base MS4W install. To call Python, open a Command Prompt window and cd to /ms4w/ and then execute setenv.bat. You should see a message displayed such as:

mapserv, GDAL, Python, PHP, and commandline MS4W tools path set

Next, in the same window, execute python --version. You should see a response such as:

Python 3.9.1

You can then upgrade pip (Python’s package management system tool) as:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip

And install specific packages and versions through pip such as:

python -m pip install Sphinx==3.3.1


As of MS4W 4.0, Python MapScript is already installed for you, (you can see the mapscript files inside /ms4w/Python/Lib/site-packages). You can jump to the “Testing the Configuration” steps below.

Installing the Python Mapscript Support Files


The Python mapscript support files included in this distribution are built for Python 3.9.x; they will not work with 2.7 Python versions. It is strongly recommended that you use the Python instance that is distributed inside MS4W (at /ms4w/Python/).

Quick and dirty (for use with ms4w only)
  1. Unpack /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/python/mapscript* in a safe location
  2. In the directory structure that results from the above step, navigate to /Python-3.9.x/Lib/site-packages
  3. You should find 3 files there:
    • _mapscript.cp39-win32.pyd
    • mapscript-<version>-py3.9.egg-info
  4. Copy the 3 files into the /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin directory.
  5. Place any python cgi scripts that you want to run under ms4w in the /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin directory, and add a “shebang” line at the top of each script. See the section on Configuring Apache to run Python scripts below for shebang-line details.
More robust (for system-wide access)
  1. Unpack /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/python/mapscript* in a safe location
  2. In the directory structure that results from the above step, navigate to /Python-3.9.x/Lib/site-packages
  3. You should find three files there:
    • _mapscript.cp39-win32.pyd
    • mapscript-<version>-py3.9.egg-info
  4. Copy the three files into the site-packages directory of your Python 3.9.x installation (eg., C:/ms4w/Python/Lib/site-packages)
  5. Add <drive_letter>:/ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin to your system’s PYTHONPATH environment variable.
Configuring Apache to Run Python Scripts


As of MS4W 4.0, mod_wsgi is installed for you. (you can see the mod_wsgi files inside /ms4w/Python/Lib/site-packages). For configuring the module, edit /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf and look for the section “mod_wsgi settings” around line# 620

You have a couple of additional options here:

via shebang lines

This may be the preferred approach if you have multiple Python installations on your machine.

Add a “shebang line” to the top of each python cgi script in /ms4w/apache/cgi-bin. This line must be the first line in the script, and it must begin with #! followed by the path to your systems python executable. For example:

#!C:\ms4w\Python\python.exe -u

The -u option shown above causes the script to use unbuffered output, which is generally what you need in web-serving contexts.

via Apache directives

This approach obviates the need to edit every python script in your cgi-bin directory; however, it may be problematic if you have multiple Python installations.

Add the following line to the end of ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf:

ScriptInterpreterSource Registry

You may also want to add these:


The first of the above lines causes your python scripts to use unbuffered output (which you probably want), while the second passes the value of your system’s PYTHONPATH environment variable through to Apache’s environment (if set).

Testing the Configuration

Follow these steps to test your Python MapScript installation:

  1. Move the file /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/python/ into the /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/ folder.

  2. Open the file in a text editor.

  3. Edit the first line of that script to point to your proper Python path.

  4. In your web browser goto

  5. The script tests that the Python CGI is working, and that the mapscript module can be successfully imported.

    If successful you will see an HTML page listing several environment settings on your machine, as well a list of the Python MapScript module attributes at the bottom of the page.

Python Troubleshooting:

  • If you get an Internal Server Error check the Apache logs for info.
  • Make sure your script points to a valid Python installation path.
  • Make sure you are using a recent Python version (containing the cgitb module).
Python MapScript Documentation

Python MapScript is handled through the SWIG API for MapServer:

GDAL Plugins


See the previous section to configure GDAL for Oracle connections: Steps to Enable Oracle 10g or 11g or 12c Support in MS4W


As of MS4W 3.2.0, an old ECW version 3.3 SDK is used to read and display ECW files in MS4W. If you require more recent functionality from the newer v5+ SDK, please contact GatewayGeo for a custom build quote.

Steps to Enable ECW Support in MS4W
  1. For access to ECW files through the GDAL library, move the gdal_ECW_JP2ECW.dll plugin file up from /ms4w/gdalplugins/ecw/ into /ms4w/gdalplugins/

    If this is successful, executing the following at the commandline (after setting /ms4w/setenv.bat) “gdalinfo –formats” should list the “ECW” and “JP2ECW” drivers.

    ECW -raster- (rw): ERDAS Compressed Wavelets (SDK 3.x)
    JP2ECW -raster,vector- (rw+v): ERDAS JPEG2000 (SDK 3.x)
  2. In the same Command window, use gdalinfo to verify that your specific ECW file can be read:

    cd ms4w
    cd your/data/folder/
    gdalinfo 00203065F09.ecw

    should return something like:

    Driver: ECW/ERDAS Compressed Wavelets (SDK 3.x)
    Files: 00203065F09.ecw
    Size is 1029, 1022
    Coordinate System is:
           SPHEROID["GRS 1980",6378137,298.257222101,
  3. For display in MapServer, after moving the plugin, follow the regular Raster Data document. Here is an example mapfile configuration:

      NAME "ecw"
      DATA "00203065F09.ecw"
        NAME "ECW test"

GDAL Bindings

MS4W contains GDAL bindings for CSharp, Java, and Python, and are located at /ms4w/gdalbindings

Using the Python GDAL Module


Since the MS4W 4.0 release, Python is included in the base MS4W (after you run setenv.bat you can call Python). If you have your own Python instance instead: Python 3.9 is required for the Python GDAL module in MS4W, and you must have C:/python-3.9.x in your PATH to use the utilities.

The Python GDAL module and its utilities are installed in /ms4w/gdalbindings/python/gdal/. To run the utilities:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window
  2. cd ms4w
  3. setenv.bat
  4. cd gdalbindings/python/gdal
  5. excute the python utility, such as:
python notes:

  • -n (nodata_value) switch requires the NumPy module (the embedded Python instance in MS4W already includes NumPy)
  • raster_copy_with_nodata() also requires the NumPy module (the embedded Python instance in MS4W already includes NumPy)


In order to use FastCGI you must do the following:

  1. Open /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf in a text editor

  2. Uncomment line#178, such as:

    LoadModule fcgid_module modules/
  3. At the bottom of the file you will see a commented “<IfModule fcgid_module>” section. If you want to use FastCGI directives (listed on the mod_fcgid page) you can uncomment the section and add your directives, such as:

    <IfModule fcgid_module>
       FcgidMinProcessesPerClass 0
       FcgidIdleScanInterval 1
       FcgidProcessLifeTime 10
  1. If you are connecting to an Oracle database using FastCGI, you must also add your Oracle Bin directory (where the ‘oci.dll’ file exists) to the PATH variable above, such as:

    <IfModule fcgid_module>
        FcgidInitialEnv PATH "c:/oracle/product/10.2.0/client/BIN"
  2. Save the file and restart apache (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

  3. Change your CGI application to point to “/fcgi-bin/mapserv.exe” instead of the usual “/cgi-bin/mapserv.exe”

  4. Add the following parameter to your layer for which you want this FastCGI connection:

  5. Try the application. If successful you should see the “mapserv.exe” process in the Windows Task Manager remain open while the user interacts with your application.


  • in testing this was successful with PostgreSQL 9.0.4 / PostGIS 1.5.2, and with Oracle
  • general MapServer and FastCGI notes can be found in the FastCGI Howto.

Apache Modules

MapCache Apache Module

The MapCache Apache module and the mapcache commandline utilities (as of MS4W 3.1.0) are included. In order to use the MapCache Apache module you must do the following:


For information about MS4W’s included HTTPS certificate bundle, and specific tips for MapCache, see the later section Certificates for HTTPS of this document.

  1. Open /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf in a text editor

  2. Uncomment line#184, and change to your correct path, such as:

    LoadModule mapcache_module "C:/ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/mod_mapcache.dll"
  3. Around line#412 of your httpd.conf file you will see a “<IfModule mapcache_module>” section. Modify the path to the included MapCache configuration (XML) file, such as:

    <IfModule mapcache_module>
       <Directory "/ms4w/apps/mapcache/">
          AllowOverride None
          Options None
          Require all granted
       MapCacheAlias /mapcache "C:/ms4w/apps/mapcache/mapcache.xml"
  4. Modify the mapcache.xml file. Please see the associated MapCache docs for assistance.

  1. Save your httpd.conf file and restart apache (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

  2. If the module was successfully loaded your /ms4w/Apache/logs/error_log.txt file should contain a message similar to:

    [notice] Apache/2.4.46 (Win32) mod-mapcache/1.11dev configured
    -- resuming normal operations
  3. Test your MapCache configuration by following steps in the associated MapCache testing docs

  4. The MapCache seeding utility is also included. To run the mapcache_seed.exe file be sure to first execute the /ms4w/setenv.bat file in your command window.

  1. The MapCache detail utility is also included. To run the mapcache_detail.exe file be sure to first execute the /ms4w/setenv.bat file in your command window.


  • this module was tested with the cache types: disk, sqlite, tiff, and berkeleyDB. You should follow the MapCache Cache Types docs for assistance, or contact GatewayGeo for assistance/custom builds/configurations.

  • the module was tested on Windows 10; if you are using an older version of Windows and require this module you should consider upgrading, or contact GatewayGeo for assistance/custom builds/configurations. .

  • as this module is still in development, feedback is more than encouraged, it is required. Please send your MapCache questions to the MapServer-users mailing list. You are also encouraged to contact GatewayGeo directly for custom builds and to help fund the development and maintenance of MS4W.

mod_wsgi Apache Module

The mod_wsgi Apache module is included, as of the MS4W 4.0.0 release. The following steps explain how to configure the mod_wsgi Apache module:

  1. Open /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf in a text editor

  2. Around line#621, make sure the paths are correct, such as:

    # mod_wsgi settings
    LoadFile "c:/ms4w/python/python39.dll"
    LoadModule wsgi_module "c:/ms4w/python/lib/site-packages/mod_wsgi/server/mod_wsgi.cp39-win32.pyd"
    WSGIPythonHome "c:/ms4w/python"
    SetEnv PYTHONHOME "c:/ms4w/python"
  3. Save your httpd.conf file and restart apache (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

  4. If the module was successfully loaded your /ms4w/Apache/logs/error_log.txt file should contain a message similar to:

    [notice] Apache/2.4.46 (Win32) mod_wsgi/4.7.1 Python/3.9 configured
    -- resuming normal operations
  5. To test that Apache has loaded the module, at your Command prompt, cd into the /ms4w/Apache/bin/ directory. Then execute the following:

    httpd -t -D DUMP_MODULES

    You should see a list of loaded modules, and mod_wsgi should be listed near the end, such as:

    setenvif_module (shared)
    version_module (shared)
    fcgid_module (shared)
    mapcache_module (shared)
    wsgi_module (shared)
  6. You can use your file explorer and see the mod_wsgi files inside the folder: /ms4w/Python/Lib/site-packages

H264 Streaming Module for Apache

The H264 Streaming Module is included for Apache (as of MS4W 3.1.0). One of the features of this module is enabling your viewers to immediately jump to any part of the video regardless of the length of the video or whether it has all been downloaded yet. In order to use the H264 Streaming Module you must do the following:

  1. Open /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf in a text editor

  2. Uncomment line#183, such as:

    LoadModule h264_streaming_module modules/
  3. Around line#608 of your httpd.conf file you will see a “<IfModule h264_streaming_module>” section. You can leave this section as-is (no changes are needed):

    <IfModule h264_streaming_module>
      AddHandler h264-streaming.extensions .mp4
  4. Save your httpd.conf file and restart Apache (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

  5. To test that Apache has loaded the module, at your Command prompt, cd into the /ms4w/Apache/bin/ directory. Then execute the following:

    httpd -t -D DUMP_MODULES

    You should see a list of loaded modules, and the H264 Streaming Module should be listed near the end, such as:

    log_config_module (shared)
    mime_module (shared)
    negotiation_module (shared)
    setenvif_module (shared)
    h264_streaming_module (shared)
  6. To test the module on an actual video file:

    • Download this mp4 file locally (right-click and Save Link As):

    • Copy the file into the folder /ms4w/Apache/htdocs/

    • Open a Command prompt window, and cd into /ms4w/ and execute setenv.bat

    • Execute the following command in that same window:

      wget -S -O mapserver-6-0-visualization.mp4 ""

      You should see a response as follows (notice the mention of the “X-Mod-H264-Streaming” and also that the size of the video is very small (click on the saved file now in /ms4w/mapserver-6-0-visualization.mp4 and view it, only the first 5 seconds of the video should be loaded):

       1 HTTP/1.1 200 OK
       2 Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:10:31 GMT
       3 Server: Apache/2.4.27 (Win32) mod_fcgid/2.3.9
       4 X-Mod-H264-Streaming: version=2.2.7
       5 Content-Length: 574375
       6 Last-Modified: Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:15:30 GMT
       7 ETag: "451ed18-525f4f7037480;574375"
       8 Accept-Ranges: bytes
       9 Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=100
      10 Connection: Keep-Alive
      11 Content-Type: video/mp4
      100%[====================================>] 574,375      547.77M/s    ETA 00:00
    • Now test the module in your Web browser, by going to:

      • the streamed video should be only 5 seconds long (if the whole video is shown, then there is a problem with the configuration of the module)
      • experiment with the “start” and “end” parameters of the URL
  7. Read more about the module’s parameters:

Apache mod_rewrite & mod_alias Usage

As described earlier, MS4W is designed so you can easily include your application’s Apache settings in the /ms4w/httpd.d/ folder (see the README_HTTPD.txt inside that folder for more information). The following examples will use the existing MS4W “MapServer CGI Viewer” application; the CGI viewer’s Apache settings are stored in the file “httpd_cgi_viewer.conf” inside the /ms4w/httpd.d/ folder. The contents of the file is:

Alias /cgi/ "/ms4w/apps/cgi-viewer/htdocs/"

<Directory "/ms4w/apps/cgi-viewer/htdocs/">
  AllowOverride None
  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Multiviews
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all


If you would prefer to make your application changes directly in the /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf file you can, or also include them in an .htaccess file inside your application’s folder.

Let’s say one of the filenames has changed (from “viewer-index.html” to “ttt.html”), but we want to make sure the old url works. MS4W loads the mod_rewrite module by default (more about mod_rewrite:, so we can add a few lines into our “httpd_cgi_viewer.conf” to call this rewrite, such as:

Alias /cgi/ "/ms4w/apps/cgi-viewer/htdocs/"

<Directory "/ms4w/apps/cgi-viewer/htdocs/">
  AllowOverride None
  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Multiviews
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteBase "/cgi/"
  RewriteRule "^viewer-index.html$"  "ttt.html"


We can alternatively use the Redirect directive through the mod_alias module, which is loaded by MS4W by default (read more about mod_alias at such as:

Alias /cgi/ "/ms4w/apps/cgi-viewer/htdocs/"

<Directory "/ms4w/apps/cgi-viewer/htdocs/">
  AllowOverride None
  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Multiviews
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all

Redirect 301 "/cgi/viewer-index.html" "/cgi/ttt.html"


Be sure to always restart the Apache service after any changes made to conf files (execute apache-restart.bat at the commandline, after executing setenv.bat in the same window)


TinyOWS and demo data are included (as of MS4W 3.1.0), giving you full WFS-Transaction support (making data changes in an MS4W map that is then saved to the underlying database). In order to use TinyOWS you must do the following:

  1. Make sure that you have PostgreSQL and PostGIS installed locally, or have connection details for accessing it remotely. This has been tested with PostgreSQL 13.1 and PostGIS 3.0.3

  2. First we must create a database and load some sample data:

    • Open /ms4w/apps/tinyows/demo/install-demo-data.bat in a text editor

    • If necessary, modify the PG-PORT, PG-SUPERUSER-NAME, and PG-SUPERUSER-PASSWORD for your installation (lines ~17-19). Save your changes.

    • Open a Command prompt window, and cd into /ms4w/ and execute setenv.bat

    • cd into /ms4w/apps/tinyows/demo/ and execute the following in that same window:

    • Verify that a new database was created (“tinyows”), and that there is a spatial table (“frida”).


You can use QGIS to view your new “frida” PostGIS layer (through Layer/Add Layer /Add PostGIS Layers)

  1. Next we must configure TinyOWS:

    • Open /ms4w/apps/tinyows/config.xml in a text editor

    • If necessary, modify the online_resource and pg connection parameters, for your installation. Refer to the TinyOWS documentation for parameter descriptions. Save your changes.

    • to test this configuration, in the same Command prompt window, execute the following (change the drive path if necessary):

      set TINYOWS_CONFIG_FILE=C:/ms4w/apps/tinyows/config.xml
    • once that is set, execute the following in the same Command prompt window to see details about your TinyOWS configuration:

      tinyows.exe --check

      the response should be something like:

      TinyOWS version:   1.1.0
      FCGI support:      Yes
      Config File Path:  C:/ms4w/apps/tinyows/config.xml (TinyOWS XML)
      PostGIS Version:   3.0.3
      PostGIS dsn:       host=localhost user=postgres password=postgres dbname=tinyows port=5432
      Output Encoding:   UTF-8
      Database Encoding: UTF8
      Schema dir:        /ms4w/apps/tinyows/schema/
      Display bbox:      Yes
      Estimated extent:  No
      Check schema:      Yes
      Check valid geoms: Yes
      Available layers:
        public.frida (31467) -> tows:frida [RW]
    • Note that Apache sets this same environment variable TINYOWS_CONFIG_FILE in the file /ms4w/httpd.d/httpd_tinyows.conf

  2. Next we should configure the demo HTML application:

    • Open /ms4w/apps/tinyows/demo/tinyows.js in a text editor
    • Verify that urls (such as used there are correct: see lines 65 & 69
  3. Finally we are ready to test a WFS-T transaction to your database:

    • in a Web browser, goto (or modify that address if need be)

    • click on the “Draw Feature” icon on the top-right of the map, and click anywhere on the map to generate a polygon (to close the polygon double-click).

    • now click on the “Save Changes” icon, you should see a message in the right panel of that page as:

      Transaction successfully completed
    • Changes to the “frida” layer should be saved to the database.


pycsw catalogue server is included in the base MS4W installer, as of the MS4W 4.0 release, giving you a lightweight metadata publisher, that runs through MS4W’s embedded Python instance. Through pycsw you can not only serve your metadata catalogue, but also harvest other remote OGC services (WMS, WFS, WCS, WPS, etc.), as well as remotely edit your metadata repository (through CSW-T transactions). Here are some important notes on this pycsw instance:

  1. pycsw runs through the mod_wsgi Apache Module (see around line#626 of the file /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf). Please see that section for mod_wsgi configure instructions.

  2. pycsw can alternatively be configured to run through CGI, instead of through mod_wsgi:

    • comment the mod_wsgi section around line#626 of the file /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf as:

      # run pycsw through mod_wsgi
      # WSGIApplicationGroup %{GLOBAL}
      # WSGIScriptAlias /pycsw "/ms4w/apps/pycsw-xxx/pycsw/"
      # SetEnvIf Request_URI "/pycsw$" "PYCSW_CONFIG=/ms4w/apps/pycsw-xxx/default.cfg"
      # <Directory "/ms4w/apps/pycsw-xxx/pycsw">
        # Order deny,allow
        # Allow from all
      # </Directory>
    • uncomment the CGI section around line#635 of the file /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf as:

      # run pycsw as CGI
      ScriptAlias /pycsw "/ms4w/apps/pycsw-xxx/"
      SetEnvIf Request_URI "/pycsw$" "PYCSW_CONFIG=/ms4w/apps/pycsw-xxx/default.cfg"
      <Directory "/ms4w/apps/pycsw-xxx">
        Options +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
        Allow from all
        AddHandler cgi-script .py
    • restart the Apache service (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

  3. You can configure this sample service, in the file “default.cfg”, and you can find the path to it on line#629 of the file: /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf (look for the “PYCSW_CONFIG” setting there). For definitions of the parameters see pycsw’s configuration guide.

  4. You must restart the Apache service after each change to that .cfg file. (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

  5. A sample CSW service is pre-configured for you, and the GetCapabilities request is:


You can use the QGIS “MetaSearch” plugin to access your local MS4W catalogue (through the menu Web/MetaSearch/MetaSearch). Create a new “Service” entry there with the URL:

  1. To use the “” utility:

    • open a Command window
    • cd ms4w
    • setenv.bat
    • cd apps/pycsw-xxx
    • python bin/ -h

    For usage parameters of the admin utility see pycsw’s administration guide.


ZOO-Project Web Processing Server is included as an add-on package, as of the MS4W 4.0 release, giving you a full WPS server, that runs through MS4W’s Apache instance. Here are some important notes on this ZOO-Project WPS instance and its many compiled services:

  1. Please see your local MS4W homepage ( for a working list of GetCapabilities, DescribeProcess, and Execute requests for the various WPS services.


Since 2020-01-30 a local demo is included, leveraging ZOO-Project’s vector-based spatial analysis, through OGR services. You can find the demo linked on your local MS4W homepage (as “local OGR Services demo”).

  1. The following support has been compiled into the ZOO-Project kernel, as part of MS4W:

    • MapServer support (official docs)
    • PHP support (official docs)
    • Python support (official docs)
    • C# Mono support (official docs) see note below to enable
    • Java support (official docs) see note below to enable
    • GDAL and OGR support (official docs)
    • Status service support (official docs)


If you require a specific WPS service support, or a specific version support, that is not part of the base MS4W, please contact GatewayGeo.

  1. The ZOO kernel configuration file main.cfg can be found in /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/ . For definitions of the parameters see the configuration guide.

  2. Individual ZOO service configuration files (.zcfg) can also be found in /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/ . For definitions of the parameters see the services configuration guide.

  3. To enable C# Mono support you are required to do the following:

    • move the zoo_loader.cgi plugin file up from /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/zooplugins/mono/ into /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/

    • add the following to your main.cfg file, pointing to your local installation of Mono:

      lib=C:\Program Files (x86)\Mono\lib
      etc=C:\Program Files (x86)\Mono\etc
  4. To enable Java support you are required to do the following:

    • move the zoo_loader.cgi plugin file up from /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/zooplugins/java/ into /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/

    • add the following to your main.cfg file, pointing to your local installation of JDK:

      java.library.path=C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.8.0_77\jre\bin\client HelloJava.class
    • You may have to move your local jvm.dll file into /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/ as well

Certificates for HTTPS

As of MapServer 5.4.1, MapServer can connect through HTTPS connections to WMS/WFS servers. MS4W 3.0 (and newer) includes the necessary configuration as follows:

  1. Certificate authority bundle is included in /ms4w/Apache/conf/ca-bundle/cacert.pem


  2. Apache’s httpd.conf points to the ca-bundle:

    SetEnv CURL_CA_BUNDLE "/ms4w/Apache/conf/ca-bundle/cacert.pem"


MS4W’s MapCache module will check for this CURL_CA_BUNDLE value set in Apache’s httpd.conf, and in the instances that it cannot find the value (which occurs on some x64 systems) it will check for the following hardcoded paths, in this order:



  1. MS4W’s setenv.bat points to the ca-bundle:

    set CURL_CA_BUNDLE=\ms4w\Apache\conf\ca-bundle\cacert.pem
    set SSL_CERT_FILE=\ms4w\Apache\conf\ca-bundle\cacert.pem
    set OPENSSL_CONF=\ms4w\tools\openssl\openssl.cnf
  2. MS4W’s php.ini points to the ca-bundle:

  3. For more information on SSL certificates, see:

  4. To setup MapServer as a client to access a remote WMS/WFS server through HTTPS see:

  5. To enable HTTPS for your server host (to serve its own certificate, for your domain such as, you can use “win-acme” at Here are some important tips specifically related to win-acme:

    • follow the steps for Apache at

    • be sure to set the SavePrivateKeyPem option in win-acme’s settings.config to True

    • edit your httpd.conf and around line#176 be sure to uncomment the line:

      LoadModule ssl_module modules/
    • change the ServerName parameter in httpd.conf around line#226 to your domain such as:

    • add the following to the bottom of your httpd.conf (edit the paths to your generated certificate files):

      <IfModule mod_ssl.c>
          Listen 443
      <VirtualHost *:443>
          DocumentRoot "/ms4w/Apache/htdocs"
          ErrorLog "logs/https_error_log.txt"
          CustomLog "logs/https_error_access.txt" common
          SSLEngine on
          SSLCertificateFile "C:/ProgramData/win-acme/"
          SSLCertificateKeyFile "C:/ProgramData/win-acme/"
    • restart Apache (execute /ms4w/apache-restart.bat)

    • use a tool to verify your certificate such as


Warning: dl(): Unable to load dynamic library ‘/ms4w/Apache/php/extensions/php_mapscript.dll’

  1. Verify that the dll in question exists in the specified location (/ms4w/Apache/php/extensions/). If this dll is not in that location, you might have to modify the application to point to a different version of the dll (e.g. you might have php_mapscript.dll in the extensions directory, and your application might be configured for php_mapscript_48.dll which is not in the extensions directory).

  2. This php_mapscript dll requires several other dlls, and the problem may be that one is missing on your system. In order to hopefully get more information on what dll is missing, go to a command prompt, and do the following:

    cd ms4w\Apache\cgi-bin
    php C:/ms4w/Apache/htdocs/phpinfo_mapscript.php

    A windows error window should open with a message like:

    The dynamic link library ***** could not be found in
    the specified path...

    Locate this missing dll and copy it either to /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/ or your system32 folder.

  3. If you are still unsure what dll is causing this unable to load dynamic library error, a useful utility to find what associated dlls are missing on your system is Dependency Walker. Download the utility, execute the exe, and open your php_mapscript dll.

The Program can’t start because MSVCRxxx.dll is missing from your computer

Please follow the instructions included locally inside the document /ms4w/REQUIREMENTS.txt to install the C++ Redistributable.

Clicking on apache-install.bat flashes a DOS window and does not install the service

To see the exact error message, open a Command window, and execute the ‘apache-install.bat’ file from a DOS prompt.

cd ms4w


Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted. : make_sock: could not bind to address no listening sockets available, shutting down

Apache with MS4W is configured to use port 80. Your system might be already using this port (IIS could cause this for example). If you want to change the port that Apache uses modify the following file:


line 120: Listen 80

TCPView is an example of shareware that lets you see how the ports on your machine are being used.

The procedure entry point xxxx could not be located in the dynamic link library xxx.dll

Make sure that MapServer (or the utility that you are trying to use) is actually using the ‘xxx.dll’ file that is part of the MS4W package. You could be experiencing ‘dll hell’ ( where MS4W is actually finding an older dll on your system. Try renaming the other dll(s) of the same name, keeping the one in MS4W as is, and retrying your application/command.

Other Problems…

  1. Search the mailing list archives to see if someone has encountered/solved your same issue.
  1. If your issue has not been brought up on the mailing list and dealt with, submit a question to the MS4W mailing list. Include the steps to reproduce your problem, and state your exact error message. Also specify which version of MS4W you are using.

Modifying MS4W for an Installation not at the Drive Root

Do the following steps in a text editor:

  1. Open /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf and search for “/ms4w/” and replace with your new path from your drive root (such as “/Temp/ms4w/”)
  2. Open /ms4w/Apache/cgi-bin/php.ini and search for “/ms4w/” and replace with your new path from your drive root (such as “/Temp/ms4w/”)
  3. Open all files in /ms4w/httpd.d and search for “/ms4w/” and replace with your new path from your drive root (such as “/Temp/ms4w/”)
  4. Open /ms4w/setenv.bat and search for “/ms4w/” and replace with your new path from your drive root (such as “/Temp/ms4w/”)
  5. Configure your add-on packages, typically installed at /ms4w/apps/

Recommendation: avoid installing MS4W in a path that contains spaces

Installing the MS4W MapServer Binaries in Other Environments

The following instructions will help non-MS4W users who want to only use the MapServer binaries included in MS4W:

  1. Download and extract the MS4W base package locally from
  2. Do not install the Apache service (apache-install.bat)
  3. Copy the .dll files from the /ms4w/apache/cgi-bin/ directory into your desired cgi-bin directory:
  4. For PHP/Mapscript, goto /ms4w/Apache/php/ext/ and copy the php_mapscript.dll file into your own PHP extensions directory. CSharp, Java, and Python mapscript files can be found in /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/
  5. For the commandline utilities that come with MS4W (mapserv, gdal, etc.) copy all of the .exe files from /ms4w/tools/ to a desired location, but be aware that these utilities use dlls that were installed in the cgi-bin directory. Therefore you must add your cgi-bin directory into your Windows PATH environment variable before running the utilities.
  6. Microsoft IIS users should refer to the IIS Howto for MapServer.

Using Custom EPSG Projections

Custom EPSG projections can be added to the bottom of your epsg file at /ms4w/proj/nad/epsg/.

As of MS4W 3.0-beta11, previously included custom projections for Canada have been removed. Here is some of the history:

  • GatewayGeo officially applied to have the custom Canadian projection EPSG:42304 (common in Ontario and in the Atlas of Canada) included in the EPSG geodetic registry in 2009
  • the projection was accepted as EPSG:3978 in the EPSG geodetic registry on 2009-06-02
  • this new EPSG code is included in PROJ 4.7.0 release (2009-09)

For reference, here are the old custom Canadian EPSG codes:

## Custom projection codes for Canada
## WGS84 / LCC Canada
<42101> +proj=lcc +ellps=WGS84 +lat_0=0 +lon_0=-95 +lat_1=49
        +lat_2=77 +x_0=0 +y_0=-8000000.0 +datum=WGS84
        +units=m no_defs <>
## NAD83 / BC Albers
<42102> +proj=aea +ellps=GRS80 +lat_0=45 +lon_0=-126.0
        +lat_2=58.5 +x_0=1000000.0 +y_0=0 +datum=NAD83
        +units=m no_defs <>
## NAD83 LCC for Canada
<42304> +proj=lcc +ellps=GRS80 +lat_0=49 +lon_0=-95
        +lat_1=49 +lat_2=77
        +datum=NAD83 +units=m no_defs <>

Securing your MS4W Installation

MapServer requests often contain the MAP= parameter with a directory path to a mapfile, that can be used to execute malicious code, or possibly traverse through the server’s filesystem. If you have installed MS4W on a publicly visible server, you must pay attention to preventing these malicious attacks. Here are the recommended security steps to implement on your MS4W server:

Security Steps to Enable

  1. (Strongly Recommended) Set MS_MAP_PATTERN in your local Apache httpd.conf file, to disallow common malicious manipulation of the MAP= parameter:

    1. open in your favorite text editor the file /ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf and add the following line to the bottom of the file:

      SetEnv MS_MAP_PATTERN "^(C:)?\/ms4w\/apps\/((?!\.{2})[_A-Za-z0-9\-\.]+\/{1})*([_A-Za-z0-9\-\.]+\.(map))$"

      The above regular expression will limit paths to the common C:/ms4w/apps/ directory (where all MS4W mapfiles and applications live), allow encoded urls, allow “.” or “_” or “-” in MAP= paths but disallow “..” directory traversing.

    2. restart the Apache MS4W Web Server service


    You can build and test your regular expression with the online tool RegExr. Follow these steps to test there:

    1. Click on “Javascript” in the top-right and select “PCRE” (which is the actual regex library used by MS4W).

    2. Click on “Flags” in the top-right and click to disable “global” and disable any other that are enabled.

    3. In the “Expression” panel at the top, paste your draft regular expression:

      SetEnv MS_MAP_PATTERN "^(C:)?\/ms4w\/apps\/((?!\.{2})[_A-Za-z0-9\-\.]+\/{1})*([_A-Za-z0-9\-\.]+\.(map))$"
    4. Move your mouse over parts of the expression, and a helpful popup will appear explaining what that section is (in regular expression language, which helps you learn the terms and/or search for more specific help online). For example, below you can see that I clicked inside the first character set: [_A-Za-z0-9-.] that specifies what characters (including numbers, underscore, dash, or period) are allowed in the path:

    5. Now begin to add tests, by clicking on the “Tests” button below the expression, and click the “Add Test” link. Here, paste in your first test, which can be one that must work/be valid, such as C:/ms4w/apps/ogc-demos/ You can even give it a name “Valid path”. A green checkmark should instantly appear, telling you that the path is valid, according to your expression.

    6. Add a test for malicious directory traversing, as: ../../../Users/All/Users/Microsoft/Settings/ Your result there should give a red X, showing that this is not allowed with your expression.

    7. Add a test for a malicious filetype, as: xxx.js Your result there should give a red X, showing that this is not allowed with your expression.

    8. Repeat after me, say this out loud 10 times:

      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
      Regular expressions are fun, I love regex.
    9. Sleep easily as you have helped secure your MS4W server.

    The above MS_MAP_PATTERN expression has now been implemented on the MS4W official demo server. MS4W is installed there on the default (and recommended) path of C:/ms4w/, and all applications and mapfiles live in the recommended C:/ms4w/apps/ sub-directories. You can now try yourself some example tests against that server, with that secure MS_MAP_PATTERN set through Apache:


    Future MS4W releases (as well as MapServer releases) will likely contain a default MS_MAP_PATTERN enabled.

  2. (Recommended) Set MS_MAPFILE through Apache, to hide the MAP= path from MapServer requests, on your public MapServer services.

  3. (Optional) Set MS_MAP_NO_PATH through Apache, to forbid all MAP= requests in your visible MapServer calls.

Password Protection Configuration for Applications

The following section explains how to add password authentication to your MS4W application. However there are many other possible settings in Apache for this, so please consult the Apache HTTP Server documentation.

Here are the minimal steps for password protection:

  1. Modify your application’s httpd_xxx.conf file, so that “AllowOverride None” is replaced with “AllowOverride AuthConfig”, such as:

    Alias /gmap/ "/ms4w/apps/gmap/htdocs/"
    <Directory "/ms4w/apps/gmap/htdocs/">
      AllowOverride AuthConfig
      Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Multiviews
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all
  2. Create a password file.

    • open a DOS command window, and go to Apache’s bin directory

    • enter the following (replace “jeff” with the username you want to create, press ENTER and you will be prompted for a password to create):

      C:/ms4w/Apache/bin> htpasswd -c htpasswd.txt jeff
  3. Create the htaccess file.

    • create a file in your application directory (/ms4w/apps/gmap/htdocs/ in this example) named ‘.htaccess’

    • the file should contain (you can modify it however you wish though):

      AuthType Basic
      AuthUserFile C:/ms4w/Apache/bin/htpasswd.txt
      AuthName "Password Required"
      require valid-user
  4. Restart Apache

    • run /ms4w/apache-restart.bat
  5. Access your application in a web browser.


  • some Windows versions may have difficulty with the ‘.htaccess’ filename, so you might try naming it something else, but you would have to modify Apache’s httpd.conf file (/ms4w/Apache/conf/httpd.conf) and add your filename, such as:

    AccessFileName .htaccess yourfilename

    ‘htaccess.acl’ is recommended, such as:

    AccessFileName .htaccess htaccess.acl
  • for more information please see the Apache documentation

MS4W Applications

The following applications come with a pre-configured install package for MS4W. Go to to find the desired package, and extract the packages to the MS4W root (e.g. if you installed in C:/ then extract at C:/, and if you installed the base in D:/ then extract the packages to D:/).

  1. GeoMoose
  2. Mapbender
  3. MapServer CGI Viewer
  4. MapServer Itasca Demo Application
  5. MapServer OGC Workshop
  6. Matomo Analytics
  7. OpenLayers
  8. pycsw
  9. ZOO-Project WPS Server


Some applications may have a problem if you install MS4W in a path containing spaces. It is therefore not recommended to install MS4W in a path that contains spaces.

Color Syntax file for Notepad++

To add nice coloring to your MapServer .map files, follow the instructions at

Additional Support

General questions and comments should be sent to the MS4W mailing list, which you can join at:

Requests for changes and enhancements to MS4W should be filed in the MS4W tracker.

Custom support is also available from GatewayGeo.

About this Document

Component Licensing

MS4W contains several component packages that are provided under their own licensing terms.


Copyright (c) 2008-2020 Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Copyright (c) 1996-2008 Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies of this Software or works derived from this Software.



Refer to the GDAL license found at /ms4w/gdaldata/LICENSE.TXT


Portions of this computer program are copyright (c) 1995-2020 LizardTech, Inc. All rights reserved. MrSID is protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,710,835. Foreign Patents Pending.


Portions of this software are copyright (c) 2020 The FreeType Project ( All rights reserved.


Refer to the Apache license found at /ms4w/Apache/LICENSE-APACHE.txt


Refer to the PHP license found at /ms4w/Apache/php/LICENSE_PHP.txt