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The oddest thing is that in the /var/www/cgi-bin directory, this script actually works. But in my cgi-bin directory (~/public_html/cgi-bin) I get the header error. In addition, a script that I wrote a year ago (on different server - I changed the shebang line when I moved to this server) won't work in either directory.
Permissions to directories and files are all set to 655.
I am at a loss as to what the problem may be and hope I can get some suggestions.
I had to re-install my Linux (using RedHat Enterprise now). The relevance will become evident below.
Several posts suggest /usr/sbin/suexec may be the culprit. For Enterprise, it apparently is. I moved it out of its directory, restarted the webserver, and voila! my troubles were over! (Just with a simple script, not sure about more complex ones)
I am 100% positive that suexec did NOT exist in my copy of RedHat 9.0, so I am not sure what the problem there was. Maybe it did exist and I never noticed.
Seems like a rather foolish idea to have suexec if it causes such a huge problem.