Perl 5.004beta Install Notes


Install - Build and Installation guide for perl5.


The basic steps to build and install perl5 on a Unix system are:

	rm -f
	sh Configure
	make test
	make install

	# You may also wish to add these:
	(cd /usr/include && h2ph *.h sys/*.h)
	(cd pod && make html && mv *.html <www home dir>)
	(cd pod && make tex  && <process the latex files>)

Each of these is explained in further detail below.

For information on non-Unix systems, see the section on Porting information below.


You should probably at least skim through this entire document before proceeding. Special notes specific to this release are identified by NOTE.

This document is written in pod format as an easy way to indicate its structure. The pod format is described in pod/perlpod.pod, but you can read it as is with any pager or editor.

If you're building Perl on a non-Unix system, you should also read the README file specific to your operating system, since this may provide additional or different instructions for building Perl.

Space Requirements

The complete perl5 source tree takes up about 7 MB of disk space. The complete tree after completing make takes roughly 15 MB, though the actual total is likely to be quite system-dependent. The installation directories need something on the order of 7 MB, though again that value is system-dependent.

Start with a Fresh Distribution

If you have built perl before, you should clean out the build directory with the command

	make realclean

The results of a Configure run are stored in the file. If you are upgrading from a previous version of perl, or if you change systems or compilers or make other significant changes, or if you are experiencing difficulties building perl, you should probably not re-use your old Simply remove it or rename it, e.g.


If you wish to use your old, be especially attentive to the version and architecture-specific questions and answers. For example, the default directory for architecture-dependent library modules includes the version name. By default, Configure will reuse your old name (e.g. /opt/perl/lib/i86pc-solaris/5.003) even if you're running Configure for a different version, e.g. 5.004. Yes, Configure should probably check and correct for this, but it doesn't, presently. Similarly, if you used a shared (see below) with version numbers, you will probably want to adjust them as well.

Also, be careful to check your architecture name. Some Linux systems call themselves i486, while others use i586. If you pick up a precompiled binary, it might not use the same name.

In short, if you wish to use your old, I recommend running Configure interactively rather than blindly accepting the defaults.

Run Configure

Configure will figure out various things about your system. Some things Configure will figure out for itself, other things it will ask you about. To accept the default, just press RETURN. The default is almost always ok.

After it runs, Configure will perform variable substitution on all the *.SH files and offer to run make depend.

Configure supports a number of useful options. Run Configure -h to get a listing. To compile with gcc, for example, you can run

	sh Configure -Dcc=gcc

This is the preferred way to specify gcc (or another alternative compiler) so that the hints files can set appropriate defaults.

If you want to use your old but override some of the items with command line options, you need to use Configure -O.

If you are willing to accept all the defaults, and you want terse output, you can run

	sh Configure -des

By default, for most systems, perl will be installed in /usr/local/{bin, lib, man}. You can specify a different 'prefix' for the default installation directory, when Configure prompts you or by using the Configure command line option -Dprefix='/some/directory', e.g.

	sh Configure -Dprefix=/opt/perl

If your prefix contains the string ``perl'', then the directories are simplified. For example, if you use prefix=/opt/perl, then Configure will suggest /opt/perl/lib instead of /opt/perl/lib/perl5/.

By default, Configure will compile perl to use dynamic loading if your system supports it. If you want to force perl to be compiled statically, you can either choose this when Configure prompts you or you can use the Configure command line option -Uusedl.

GNU-style configure

If you prefer the GNU-style configure command line interface, you can use the supplied configure command, e.g.

	CC=gcc ./configure

The configure script emulates a few of the more common configure options. Try

	./configure --help

for a listing.

Cross compiling is not supported.

For systems that do not distinguish the files ``Configure'' and ``configure'', Perl includes a copy of configure named configure.gnu.


By default, Configure will offer to build every extension which appears to be supported. For example, Configure will offer to build GDBM_File only if it is able to find the gdbm library. (See examples below.) DynaLoader, Fcntl, and IO are always built by default. Configure does not contain code to test for POSIX compliance, so POSIX is always built by default as well. If you wish to skip POSIX, you can set the Configure variable useposix=false either in a hint file or from the Configure command line. Similarly, the Opcode extension is always built by default, but you can skip it by setting the Configure variable useopcode=false either in a hint file for from the command line.

Even if you do not have dynamic loading, you must still build the DynaLoader extension; you should just build the stub dl_none.xs version. (Configure will suggest this as the default.)

In summary, here are the Configure command-line variables you can set to turn off each extension:

    DB_File		i_db
    DynaLoader		(Must always be included as a static extension)
    Fcntl		(Always included by default)
    GDBM_File		i_gdbm
    IO			(Always included by default)
    NDBM_File		i_ndbm
    ODBM_File		i_dbm
    POSIX		useposix
    SDBM_File		(Always included by default)
    Opcode		useopcode
    Socket		d_socket

Thus to skip the NDBM_File extension, you can use

	sh Configure -Ui_ndbm

Again, this is taken care of automatically if you don't have the ndbm library.

Of course, you may always run Configure interactively and select only the extensions you want.

Finally, if you have dynamic loading (most modern Unix systems do) remember that these extensions do not increase the size of your perl executable, nor do they impact start-up time, so you probably might as well build all the ones that will work on your system.

Including locally-installed libraries

Perl5 comes with interfaces to number of database extensions, including dbm, ndbm, gdbm, and Berkeley db. For each extension, if Configure can find the appropriate header files and libraries, it will automatically include that extension. The gdbm and db libraries are not included with perl. See the library documentation for how to obtain the libraries.

Note: If your database header (.h) files are not in a directory normally searched by your C compiler, then you will need to include the appropriate -I/your/directory option when prompted by Configure. If your database library (.a) files are not in a directory normally searched by your C compiler and linker, then you will need to include the appropriate -L/your/directory option when prompted by Configure. See the examples below.


gdbm in /usr/local
Suppose you have gdbm and want Configure to find it and build the GDBM_File extension. This examples assumes you have gdbm.h installed in /usr/local/include/gdbm.h and libgdbm.a installed in /usr/local/lib/libgdbm.a. Configure should figure all the necessary steps out automatically.

Specifically, when Configure prompts you for flags for your C compiler, you should include -I/usr/local/include.

When Configure prompts you for linker flags, you should include -L/usr/local/lib.

If you are using dynamic loading, then when Configure prompts you for linker flags for dynamic loading, you should again include -L/usr/local/lib.

Again, this should all happen automatically. If you want to accept the defaults for all the questions and have Configure print out only terse messages, then you can just run

	sh Configure -des

and Configure should include the GDBM_File extension automatically.

This should actually work if you have gdbm installed in any of (/usr/local, /opt/local, /usr/gnu, /opt/gnu, /usr/GNU, or /opt/GNU).

gdbm in /usr/you
Suppose you have gdbm installed in some place other than /usr/local/, but you still want Configure to find it. To be specific, assume you have /usr/you/include/gdbm.h and /usr/you/lib/libgdbm.a. You still have to add -I/usr/you/include to cc flags, but you have to take an extra step to help Configure find libgdbm.a. Specifically, when Configure prompts you for library directories, you have to add /usr/you/lib to the list.

It is possible to specify this from the command line too (all on one line):

	sh Configure -des \
		-Dlocincpth="/usr/you/include" \

locincpth is a space-separated list of include directories to search. Configure will automatically add the appropriate -I directives.

loclibpth is a space-separated list of library directories to search. Configure will automatically add the appropriate -L directives. If you have some libraries under /usr/local/ and others under /usr/you, then you have to include both, namely

	sh Configure -des \
		-Dlocincpth="/usr/you/include /usr/local/include" \
		-Dloclibpth="/usr/you/lib /usr/local/lib"

Installation Directories

The installation directories can all be changed by answering the appropriate questions in Configure. For convenience, all the installation questions are near the beginning of Configure.

By default, Configure uses the following directories for library files (archname is a string like sun4-sunos, determined by Configure)


and the following directories for manual pages:


(Actually, Configure recognizes the SVR3-style /usr/local/man/l_man/man1 directories, if present, and uses those instead.) The module man pages are stuck in that strange spot so that they don't collide with other man pages stored in /usr/local/man/man3, and so that Perl's man pages don't hide system man pages. On some systems, man less would end up calling up Perl's module man page, rather than the less program.

If you specify a prefix that contains the string ``perl'', then the directory structure is simplified. For example, if you Configure with -Dprefix=/opt/perl, then the defaults are



The perl executable will search the libraries in the order given above.

The directories site_perl and site_perl/archname are empty, but are intended to be used for installing local or site-wide extensions. Perl will automatically look in these directories. Previously, most sites just put their local extensions in with the standard distribution.

In order to support using things like #!/usr/local/bin/perl5.004 after a later version is released, architecture-dependent libraries are stored in a version-specific directory, such as /usr/local/lib/perl5/archname/5.004/. In Perl 5.000 and 5.001, these files were just stored in /usr/local/lib/perl5/archname/. If you will not be using 5.001 binaries, you can delete the standard extensions from the /usr/local/lib/perl5/archname/ directory. Locally-added extensions can be moved to the site_perl and site_perl/archname directories.

Again, these are just the defaults, and can be changed as you run Configure.

Changing the installation directory

Configure distinguishes between the directory in which perl (and its associated files) should be installed and the directory in which it will eventually reside. For most sites, these two are the same; for sites that use AFS, this distinction is handled automatically. However, sites that use software such as depot to manage software packages may also wish to install perl into a different directory and use that management software to move perl to its final destination. This section describes how to do this. Someday, Configure may support an option -Dinstallprefix=/foo to simplify this.

Suppose you want to install perl under the /tmp/perl5 directory. You can edit and change all the install* variables to point to /tmp/perl5 instead of /usr/local/wherever. You could also set them all from the Configure command line. Or, you can automate this process by placing the following lines in a file config.over before you run Configure (replace /tmp/perl5 by a directory of your choice):

    test -d $installprefix || mkdir $installprefix
    test -d $installprefix/bin || mkdir $installprefix/bin
    installarchlib=`echo $installarchlib | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installbin=`echo $installbin | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installman1dir=`echo $installman1dir | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installman3dir=`echo $installman3dir | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installprivlib=`echo $installprivlib | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installscript=`echo $installscript | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installsitelib=`echo $installsitelib | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`
    installsitearch=`echo $installsitearch | sed "s!$prefix!$installprefix!"`

Then, you can Configure and install in the usual way:

    sh Configure -des
    make test
    make install

Creating an installable tar archive

If you need to install perl on many identical systems, it is convenient to compile it once and create an archive that can be installed on multiple systems. Here's one way to do that:

    # Set up config.over to install perl into a different directory,
    # e.g. /tmp/perl5 (see previous part).
    sh Configure -des
    make test
    make install
    cd /tmp/perl5
    tar cvf ../perl5-archive.tar .
    # Then, on each machine where you want to install perl,
    cd /usr/local  # Or wherever you specified as $prefix
    tar xvf perl5-archive.tar

Configure-time Options

There are several different ways to Configure and build perl for your system. For most users, the defaults are sensible and will work. Some users, however, may wish to further customize perl. Here are some of the main things you can change.

Binary Compatibility With Earlier Versions of Perl 5

If you have dynamically loaded extensions that you built under perl 5.003 and that you wish to continue to use with perl 5.004, then you need to ensure that 5.004 remains binary compatible with 5.003.

Starting with Perl 5.003, all functions in the Perl C source code have been protected by default by the prefix Perl_ (or perl_) so that you may link with third-party libraries without fear of namespace collisions. This change broke compatibility with version 5.002, so installing 5.003 or 5.004 over 5.002 or earlier will force you to re-build and install all of your dynamically loadable extensions. (The standard extensions supplied with Perl are handled automatically). You can turn off this namespace protection by adding -DNO_EMBED to your ccflags variable in

Perl 5.003's namespace protection was incomplete, but this has been fixed in 5.004. However, some sites may need to maintain complete binary compatibility with Perl 5.003. If you are building Perl for such a site, then when Configure asks if you want binary compatibility, answer ``y''.

On the other hand, if you are embedding perl into another application and want the maximum namespace protection, then you probably ought to answer ``n'' when Configure asks if you want binary compatibility.

The default answer of ``y'' to maintain binary compatibility is probably appropriate for almost everyone.

Selecting File IO mechanisms

Previous versions of perl used the standard IO mechanisms as defined in <stdio.h>. Versions 5.003_02 and later of perl allow alternate IO mechanisms via a ``PerlIO'' abstraction, but the stdio mechanism is still the default and is the only supported mechanism.

This PerlIO abstraction can be enabled either on the Configure command line with

	sh Configure -Duseperlio

or interactively at the appropriate Configure prompt.

If you choose to use the PerlIO abstraction layer, there are two (experimental) possibilities for the underlying IO calls. These have been tested to some extent on some platforms, but are not guaranteed to work everywhere.

  1. AT&T's ``sfio''. This has superior performance to <stdio.h> in many cases, and is extensible by the use of ``discipline'' modules. Sfio currently only builds on a subset of the UNIX platforms perl supports. Because the data structures are completely different from stdio, perl extension modules or external libraries may not work. This configuration exists to allow these issues to be worked on.

    This option requires the 'sfio' package to have been built and installed. A (fairly old) version of sfio is in CPAN, and work is in progress to make it more easily buildable by adding Configure support.

    You select this option by

    	sh Configure -Duseperlio -Dusesfio

    If you have already selected -Duseperlio, and if Configure detects that you have sfio, then sfio will be the default suggested by Configure.

    Note: On some systems, sfio's iffe configuration script fails to detect that you have an atexit function (or equivalent). Apparently, this is a problem at least for some versions of Linux and SunOS 4.

    You can test if you have this problem by trying the following shell script. (You may have to add some extra cflags and libraries. A portable version of this may eventually make its way into Configure.)

        cat > try.c <<'EOCP'
        #include <stdio.h>
        main() { printf("42\n"); }
        cc -o try try.c -lsfio
        if test X$val = X42; then
    	echo "Your sfio looks ok"
    	echo "Your sfio has the exit problem."

    If you have this problem, the fix is to go back to your sfio sources and correct iffe's guess about atexit (or whatever is appropriate for your platform.)

    There also might be a more recent release of Sfio that fixes your problem.

  2. Normal stdio IO, but with all IO going through calls to the PerlIO abstraction layer. This configuration can be used to check that perl and extension modules have been correctly converted to use the PerlIO abstraction.

    This configuration should work on all platforms (but might not).

    You select this option via:

    	sh Configure -Duseperlio -Uusesfio

    If you have already selected -Duseperlio, and if Configure does not detect sfio, then this will be the default suggested by Configure.

Building a shared Perl library

Currently, for most systems, the main perl executable is built by linking the ``perl library'' libperl.a with perlmain.o, your static extensions (usually just DynaLoader.a) and various extra libraries, such as -lm.

On some systems that support dynamic loading, it may be possible to replace libperl.a with a shared If you anticipate building several different perl binaries (e.g. by embedding libperl into different programs, or by using the optional compiler extension), then you might wish to build a shared so that all your binaries can share the same library.

The disadvantages are that there may be a significant performance penalty associated with the shared, and that the overall mechanism is still rather fragile with respect to different versions and upgrades.

In terms of performance, on my test system (Solaris 2.5_x86) the perl test suite took roughly 15% longer to run with the shared Your system and typical applications may well give quite different results.

The default name for the shared library is typically something like (for Perl 5.003_02) or or simply Configure tries to guess a sensible naming convention based on your C library name. Since the library gets installed in a version-specific architecture-dependent directory, the exact name isn't very important anyway, as long as your linker is happy.

For some systems (mostly SVR4), building a shared libperl is required for dynamic loading to work, and hence is already the default.

You can elect to build a shared libperl by

	sh Configure -Duseshrplib

To actually build perl, you must add the current working directory to your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable before running make. You can do this with


for Bourne-style shells, or

   setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH `pwd`

for Csh-style shells. You *MUST* do this before running make. Folks running NeXT OPENSTEP must substitute DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH for LD_LIBRARY_PATH above.

There is also an potential problem with the shared perl library if you want to have more than one ``flavor'' of the same version of perl (e.g. with and without -DDEBUGGING). For example, suppose you build and install a standard Perl 5.004 with a shared library. Then, suppose you try to build Perl 5.004 with -DDEBUGGING enabled, but everything else the same, including all the installation directories. How can you ensure that your newly built perl will link with your newly built rather with the installed The answer is that you might not be able to. The installation directory is encoded in the perl binary with the LD_RUN_PATH environment variable (or equivalent ld command-line option). On Solaris, you can override that with LD_LIBRARY_PATH; on Linux you can't.

The only reliable answer is that you should specify a different directory for the architecture-dependent library for your -DDEBUGGING version of perl. You can do this with by changing all the *archlib* variables in, namely archlib, archlib_exp, and installarchlib, to point to your new architecture-dependent library.

Malloc Issues

Perl relies heavily on malloc to grow data structures as needed, so perl's performance can be noticeably affected by the performance of the malloc function on your system.

The perl source is shipped with a version of malloc that is very fast but somewhat wasteful of space. On the other hand, your system's malloc function is probably a bit slower but also a bit more frugal.

For many uses, speed is probably the most important consideration, so the default behavior (for most systems) is to use the malloc supplied with perl. However, if you will be running very large applications (e.g. Tk or PDL) or if your system already has an excellent malloc, or if you are experiencing difficulties with extensions that use third-party libraries that call malloc, then you might wish to use your system's malloc. (Or, you might wish to explore the experimental malloc flags discussed below.)

To build without perl's malloc, you can use the Configure command

	sh Configure -Uusemymalloc

or you can answer 'n' at the appropriate interactive Configure prompt.

Malloc Performance Flags

If you are using Perl's malloc, you may add one or more of the following items to your cflags variable to change its behavior in potentially useful ways. You can find out more about these flags by reading the malloc.c source. In a future version of perl, these might be enabled by default.

If DEBUGGING_MSTATS is defined, you can extract malloc statistics from the Perl interpreter. The overhead this imposes is not large (perl just twiddles integers at malloc/free/sbrk time). When you run perl with the environment variable PERL_DEBUG_MSTATS set to either 1 or 2, the interpreter will dump statistics to stderr at exit time and (with a value of 2) after compilation. If you install the Devel::Peek module you can get the statistics whenever you like by invoking its mstat function.

If EMERGENCY_SBRK is defined, running out of memory need not be a fatal error: a memory pool can allocated by assigning to the special variable $^M. See perlvar for more details.

If PACK_MALLOC is defined, malloc.c uses a slightly different algorithm for small allocations (up to 64 bytes long). Such small allocations are quite common in typical Perl scripts.

The expected memory savings (with 8-byte alignment in alignbytes) is about 20% for typical Perl usage. The expected slowdown due to the additional malloc overhead is in fractions of a percent. (It is hard to measure because of the effect of the saved memory on speed).

If TWO_POT_OPTIMIZE is defined, malloc.c uses a slightly different algorithm for large allocations that are close to a power of two (starting with 16K). Such allocations are typical for big hashes and special-purpose scripts, especially image processing. If you will be manipulating very large blocks with sizes close to powers of two, it might be wise to define this macro.

The expected saving of memory is 0-100% (100% in applications which require most memory in such 2**n chunks). The expected slowdown is negligible.

Other Compiler Flags

For most users, all of the Configure defaults are fine. However, you can change a number of factors in the way perl is built by adding appropriate -D directives to your ccflags variable in

For example, you can replace the rand and srand functions in the perl source by any other random number generator by a trick such as the following:

	sh Configure -Dccflags='-Drand=random -Dsrand=srandom'

or by adding -Drand=random and -Dsrandom=srandom to your ccflags at the appropriate Configure prompt. (You may also have to adjust Configure's guess for 'randbits' as well.)

What if it doesn't work?

Running Configure Interactively
If Configure runs into trouble, remember that you can always run Configure interactively so that you can check (and correct) its guesses.

All the installation questions have been moved to the top, so you don't have to wait for them. Once you've handled them (and your C compiler and flags) you can type &-d at the next Configure prompt and Configure will use the defaults from then on.

If you find yourself trying obscure command line incantations and config.over tricks, I recommend you run Configure interactively instead. You'll probably save yourself time in the long run.

Hint files
The perl distribution includes a number of system-specific hints files in the hints/ directory. If one of them matches your system, Configure will offer to use that hint file.

Several of the hint files contain additional important information. If you have any problems, it is a good idea to read the relevant hint file for further information. See hints/ for an extensive example.

  • ** WHOA THERE!!! *** Occasionally, Configure makes a wrong guess. For example, on SunOS 4.1.3, Configure incorrectly concludes that tzname[] is in the standard C library. The hint file is set up to correct for this. You will see a message:

        *** WHOA THERE!!! ***
    	The recommended value for $d_tzname on this machine was "undef"!
    	Keep the recommended value? [y]

    You should always keep the recommended value unless, after reading the relevant section of the hint file, you are sure you want to try overriding it.

    If you are re-using an old, the word ``previous'' will be used instead of ``recommended''. Again, you will almost always want to keep the previous value, unless you have changed something on your system.

    For example, suppose you have added libgdbm.a to your system and you decide to reconfigure perl to use GDBM_File. When you run Configure again, you will need to add -lgdbm to the list of libraries. Now, Configure will find your gdbm library and will issue a message:

        *** WHOA THERE!!! ***
    	The previous value for $i_gdbm on this machine was "undef"!
    	Keep the previous value? [y]

    In this case, you do not want to keep the previous value, so you should answer 'n'. (You'll also have to manually add GDBM_File to the list of dynamic extensions to build.)

    Changing Compilers
    If you change compilers or make other significant changes, you should probably not re-use your old Simply remove it or rename it, e.g. mv Then rerun Configure with the options you want to use.

    This is a common source of problems. If you change from cc to gcc, you should almost always remove your old

    Propagating your changes to
    If you make any changes to, you should propagate them to all the .SH files by running sh Configure -S. You will then have to rebuild by running

    	make depend

    You can also supply a shell script config.over to over-ride Configure's guesses. It will get loaded up at the very end, just before is created. You have to be careful with this, however, as Configure does no checking that your changes make sense. See the section on Changing the installation directory for an example.

    Many of the system dependencies are contained in config.h. Configure builds config.h by running the config_h.SH script. The values for the variables are taken from

    If there are any problems, you can edit config.h directly. Beware, though, that the next time you run Configure, your changes will be lost.

    If you have any additional changes to make to the C compiler command line, they can be made in cflags.SH. For instance, to turn off the optimizer on toke.c, find the line in the switch structure for toke.c and put the command optimize='-g' before the ;;. You can also edit cflags directly, but beware that your changes will be lost the next time you run Configure.

    To change the C flags for all the files, edit and change either $ccflags or $optimize, and then re-run sh Configure -S ; make depend.

    No sh
    If you don't have sh, you'll have to copy the sample file config_H to config.h and edit the config.h to reflect your system's peculiarities. You'll probably also have to extensively modify the extension building mechanism.

    Porting information
    Specific information for the OS/2, Plan9, VMS and Win32 ports is in the corresponding subdirectories. Additional information, including a glossary of all those variables, is in the Porting subdirectory.

    Ports for other systems may also be available. You should check out for current information on ports to various other operating systems.

  • make depend

    This will look for all the includes. The output is stored in makefile. The only difference between Makefile and makefile is the dependencies at the bottom of makefile. If you have to make any changes, you should edit makefile, not Makefile since the Unix make command reads makefile first. (On non-Unix systems, the output may be stored in a different file. Check the value of $firstmakefile in your if in doubt.)

    Configure will offer to do this step for you, so it isn't listed explicitly above.


    This will attempt to make perl in the current directory.

    If you can't compile successfully, try some of the following ideas. If none of them help, and careful reading of the error message and the relevant manual pages on your system doesn't help, you can send a message to either the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup or to with an accurate description of your problem. See Reporting Problems below.

    make test

    This will run the regression tests on the perl you just made. If it doesn't say ``All tests successful'' then something went wrong. See the file t/README in the t subdirectory. Note that you can't run the tests in background if this disables opening of /dev/tty.

    If make test bombs out, just cd to the t directory and run ./TEST by hand to see if it makes any difference. If individual tests bomb, you can run them by hand, e.g.,

    	./perl op/groups.t

    Another way to get more detailed information about failed tests and individual subtests is to cd to the t directory and run

    	./perl harness

    (this assumes that most tests succeed, since harness uses complicated constructs).

    You can also read the individual tests to see if there are any helpful comments that apply to your system.

    Note: One possible reason for errors is that some external programs may be broken due to the combination of your environment and the way make test exercises them. For example, this may happen if you have one or more of these environment variables set: LC_ALL LC_CTYPE LC_COLLATE LANG. In some versions of UNIX, the non-English locales are known to cause programs to exhibit mysterious errors.

    If you have any of the above environment variables set, please try

    	setenv LC_ALL C

    (for C shell) or

    	LC_ALL=C;export LC_ALL

    for Bourne or Korn shell) from the command line and then retry make test. If the tests then succeed, you may have a broken program that is confusing the testing. Please run the troublesome test by hand as shown above and see whether you can locate the program. Look for things like: exec, `backquoted command`, system, open or open. All these mean that Perl is trying to run some external program.

    make install

    This will put perl into the public directory you specified to Configure; by default this is /usr/local/bin. It will also try to put the man pages in a reasonable place. It will not nroff the man pages, however. You may need to be root to run make install. If you are not root, you must own the directories in question and you should ignore any messages about chown not working.

    If you want to see exactly what will happen without installing anything, you can run

    	./perl installperl -n
    	./perl installman -n

    make install will install the following:

    	    perl5.nnn	where nnn is the current release number.  This
    			will be a link to perl.
    	    sperl5.nnn	If you requested setuid emulation.
    	a2p          	awk-to-perl translator
    	cppstdin	This is used by perl -P, if your cc -E can't
    			read from stdin.
    	c2ph, pstruct	Scripts for handling C structures in header files.
    	s2p		sed-to-perl translator
    	find2perl	find-to-perl translator
    	h2ph		Extract constants and simple macros from C headers
    	h2xs		Converts C .h header files to Perl extensions.
    	perlbug		Tool to report bugs in Perl.
    	perldoc		Tool to read perl's pod documentation.
    	pl2pm		Convert Perl 4 .pl files to Perl 5 .pm modules
    	pod2html,	Converters from perl's pod documentation format
    	pod2latex, 	to other useful formats.
    	pod2man, and
    	splain		Describe Perl warnings and errors

    	library files	in $privlib and $archlib specified to
    			Configure, usually under /usr/local/lib/perl5/.
    	man pages	in the location specified to Configure, usually
    			something like /usr/local/man/man1.
    	module		in the location specified to Configure, usually
    	man pages	under /usr/local/lib/perl5/man/man3.
    	pod/*.pod	in $privlib/pod/.

    Installperl will also create the library directories $siteperl and $sitearch listed in Usually, these are something like /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/ /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/$archname where $archname is something like sun4-sunos. These directories will be used for installing extensions.

    Perl's *.h header files and the libperl.a library are also installed under $archlib so that any user may later build new extensions, run the optional Perl compiler, or embed the perl interpreter into another program even if the Perl source is no longer available.

    Coexistence with earlier versions of perl5

    You can safely install the current version of perl5 and still run scripts under the old binaries for versions 5.003 and later ONLY. Instead of starting your script with #!/usr/local/bin/perl, just start it with #!/usr/local/bin/perl5.003 (or whatever version you want to run.) If you want to retain a version of Perl 5 prior to 5.003, you'll need to install the current version in a separate directory tree, since some of the architecture-independent library files have changed in incompatible ways.

    The architecture-dependent files are stored in a version-specific directory (such as /usr/local/lib/perl5/sun4-sunos/5.004) so that they are still accessible. Note: Perl 5.000 and 5.001 did not put their architecture-dependent libraries in a version-specific directory. They are simply in /usr/local/lib/perl5/$archname. If you will not be using 5.000 or 5.001, you may safely remove those files.

    The standard library files in /usr/local/lib/perl5 should be usable by all versions of perl5.

    Most extensions will probably not need to be recompiled to use with a newer version of perl. If you do run into problems, and you want to continue to use the old version of perl along with your extension, simply move those extension files to the appropriate version directory, such as /usr/local/lib/perl/archname/5.003. Then Perl 5.003 will find your files in the 5.003 directory, and newer versions of perl will find your newer extension in the site_perl directory.

    Some users may prefer to keep all versions of perl in completely separate directories. One convenient way to do this is by using a separate prefix for each version, such as

    	sh Configure -Dprefix=/opt/perl5.004

    and adding /opt/perl5.004/bin to the shell PATH variable. Such users may also wish to add a symbolic link /usr/local/bin/perl so that scripts can still start with #!/usr/local/bin/perl.

    Coexistence with perl4

    You can safely install perl5 even if you want to keep perl4 around.

    By default, the perl5 libraries go into /usr/local/lib/perl5/, so they don't override the perl4 libraries in /usr/local/lib/perl/.

    In your /usr/local/bin directory, you should have a binary named perl4.036. That will not be touched by the perl5 installation process. Most perl4 scripts should run just fine under perl5. However, if you have any scripts that require perl4, you can replace the #! line at the top of them by #!/usr/local/bin/perl4.036 (or whatever the appropriate pathname is). See pod/perltrap.pod for possible problems running perl4 scripts under perl5.

    cd /usr/include; h2ph *.h sys/*.h

    Some perl scripts need to be able to obtain information from the system header files. This command will convert the most commonly used header files in /usr/include into files that can be easily interpreted by perl. These files will be placed in the architectural library directory you specified to Configure; by default this is /usr/local/lib/perl5/ARCH/VERSION, where ARCH is your architecture (such as sun4-solaris) and VERSION is the version of perl you are building (for example, 5.004).

    Note: Due to differences in the C and perl languages, the conversion of the header files is not perfect. You will probably have to hand-edit some of the converted files to get them to parse correctly. For example, h2ph breaks spectacularly on type casting and certain structures.

    cd pod && make html && mv *.html (www home dir)

    Some sites may wish to make the documentation in the pod/ directory available in HTML format. Type

    	cd pod && make html && mv *.html <www home dir>

    where www home dir is wherever your site keeps HTML files.

    cd pod && make tex && (process the latex files)

    Some sites may also wish to make the documentation in the pod/ directory available in TeX format. Type

    	(cd pod && make tex && <process the latex files>)

    Reporting Problems

    If you have difficulty building perl, and none of the advice in this file helps, and careful reading of the error message and the relevant manual pages on your system doesn't help either, then you should send a message to either the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup or to with an accurate description of your problem.

    Please include the output of the ./myconfig shell script that comes with the distribution. Alternatively, you can use the perlbug program that comes with the perl distribution, but you need to have perl compiled and installed before you can use it.

    You might also find helpful information in the Porting directory of the perl distribution.


    Read the manual entries before running perl. The main documentation is in the pod/ subdirectory and should have been installed during the build process. Type man perl to get started. Alternatively, you can type perldoc perl to use the supplied perldoc script. This is sometimes useful for finding things in the library modules.

    Under UNIX, you can produce a documentation book in postscript form along with its Table of Contents by going to the pod/ subdirectory and running (either):

    	./roffitall -groff		# If you have GNU groff installed
    	./roffitall -psroff		# If you have psroff

    This will leave you with two postscript files ready to be printed. (You may need to fix the roffitall command to use your local troff set-up.)

    Note that you must have performed the installation already before running the above, since the script collects the installed files to generate the documentation.


    Andy Dougherty <>, borrowing very heavily from the original README by Larry Wall.


    $Id: INSTALL,v 1.5 1997/03/08 18:15:49 doughera Released $