Webserver permission denied error

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# 1  
Webserver permission denied error


I was trying a perl-cgi tutorial and saving the data from online form to a file named (guests.txt). I am using the localhost port 80 for practice.
My page file "guestbook.html" is working as I saw the online form. After filled out the blanks and submit, I was expecting to see the result saved in the guest.txt file, but there was an error:
500 Internal Server Error
 The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

and my log file indicated:
[Mon May 07 00:18:00 2012] [error] Can't open guests.txt: Permission denied\n

The file was created by the form action---a perl script (located in /usr/lib/cgi-bin/). Now my question is:
1) Where is this guest file should go?
2) The problem seems to be with apache, then how to change the permission to let apache write the data to the designated file?
3) Some posts said it is the configuration of the server, how to I change the configuration?
Quite new on this, gurus please clarify this for me.
Thanks a lot!
# 2  
Let's get some context to start with. From the Webserver (assuming that it is a unix server), please post the output from:
find // -name 'guests.txt' -follow -exec ls -lad {} \;
find // -name 'guestbook.html' -follow -exec ls -lad {} \;

When you have found the files, please post ls -lad for the parent directory of both files.

Please post the Operating System and version of all computers involved in this problem making it clear which computer is the client and which is the server.

... my log file indicated. What is the exact path and name of the log file and what software wrote this file?
# 3  
RE: webserver permission error

Thanks methyl!
Maybe I should not say it is "webserver" as I am using my laptop@localhost for testing. I am learning by myself while reading some books and websites. The example was copied from the site, where I posted my question for the author too.

I'm using Ubuntu
~$> uname -a 
Linux yt-laptop 3.0.0-19-generic #33-Ubuntu SMP Thu Apr 19 19:05:57 UTC 2012 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

~$ sudo ls -lad /var/www/guestbook.html
-rw-r--r-- 1 www-data www-data 4986 May  7 11:02 /var/www/guestbook.html

~$ find -name 'guests.txt' -exec ls -lad {} \;
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 43 May  7 10:55 ./guests.txt
~$ cat ./guests.txt 
 came from .E-mail address is .Comments : 

~$ tail /var/log/apache2/error.log
[Tue May 08 20:38:55 2012] [notice] Apache/2.2.20 (Ubuntu) PHP/5.3.6-13ubuntu3.7 with Suhosin-Patch mod_perl/2.0.5 Perl/v5.12.4 configured -- resuming normal operations
[Tue May 08 21:05:59 2012] [error] Can't open guests.txt: No such file or directory\n
[Tue May 08 21:09:51 2012] [error] Can't open guests.txt: No such file or directory\n
[Tue May 08 21:09:54 2012] [error] Can't open guests.txt: No such file or directory\n
[Tue May 08 21:09:57 2012] [error] Can't open guests.txt: No such file or directory\n

And the Firefox browser displayed the message as
Internal Server Error 
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
 Please contact the server administrator,  webmaster@localhost and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
 More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
  Apache/2.2.20 (Ubuntu) Server at localhost Port 80

It seems my Apache is fine as when I tried other tests (even with connection with MySQL database), not problem. But I can't tell anything else with my Apache. Again I felt the problem is with the communications of "my browser". I start with the question: which folder "guests.txt" should be written in. I assume it is /var/www. Am I right?
Here I attached the two files for my script. guestbook.html was located in /var/www/, and guestbook.pl is located in /usr/lib/cgi-bin/.
Did I miss anything?
Thanks a lot!
# 4  
I'm no Perl programmer but in guestbook.pl the program refers to guests.txt in two places - once with a full hierarchial name and once without. This is probably the error. Both lines have exactly the same error message which makes debugging painful.

The find commands I posted should have output full hierarchial names which would tell us where the file is, but you have chosen to run something different.

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