perlfaq2 - Obtaining and Learning about Perl
This section of the FAQ answers questions about where to find source and
documentation for Perl, support, and related matters.
What machines support Perl? Where do I get it?¶
The standard release of Perl (the one maintained by the Perl development team)
is distributed only in source code form. You can find the latest releases at
Perl builds and runs on a bewildering number of platforms. Virtually all known
and current Unix derivatives are supported (perl's native platform), as are
other systems like VMS, DOS, OS/2, Windows, QNX, BeOS, OS X, MPE/iX and the
Binary distributions for some proprietary platforms can be found
> directory. Because these are not part of
the standard distribution, they may and in fact do differ from the base perl
port in a variety of ways. You'll have to check their respective release notes
to see just what the differences are. These differences can be either positive
(e.g. extensions for the features of the particular platform that are not
supported in the source release of perl) or negative (e.g. might be based upon
a less current source release of perl).
How can I get a binary version of Perl?¶
See CPAN Ports <http://www.cpan.org/ports/
I don't have a C compiler. How can I build my own Perl interpreter?¶
For Windows, use a binary version of Perl, Strawberry Perl
> and ActivePerl
> come with a bundled C compiler.
Otherwise if you really do want to build Perl, you need to get a binary version
of "gcc" for your system first. Use a search engine to find out how
to do this for your operating system.
I copied the Perl binary from one machine to another, but scripts don't work.¶
That's probably because you forgot libraries, or library paths differ. You
really should build the whole distribution on the machine it will eventually
live on, and then type "make install". Most other approaches are
doomed to failure.
One simple way to check that things are in the right place is to print out the
hard-coded @INC that perl looks through for libraries:
% perl -le 'print for @INC'
If this command lists any paths that don't exist on your system, then you may
need to move the appropriate libraries to these locations, or create symbolic
links, aliases, or shortcuts appropriately. @INC is also printed as part of
the output of
% perl -V
You might also want to check out "How do I keep my own module/library
directory?" in perlfaq8.
I grabbed the sources and tried to compile but gdbm/dynamic loading/malloc/linking/... failed. How do I make it work?¶
Read the INSTALL
file, which is part of the source distribution. It
describes in detail how to cope with most idiosyncrasies that the
"Configure" script can't work around for any given system or
What modules and extensions are available for Perl? What is CPAN?¶
CPAN stands for Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, a multi-gigabyte archive
replicated on hundreds of machines all over the world. CPAN contains tens of
thousands of modules and extensions, source code and documentation, designed
from commercial database interfaces to keyboard/screen
control and running large web sites.
You can search CPAN on <http://metacpan.org
The master web site for CPAN is <http://www.cpan.org/
> lists all mirrors.
See the CPAN FAQ at <http://www.cpan.org/misc/cpan-faq.html
> for answers
to the most frequently asked questions about CPAN.
The Task::Kensho module has a list of recommended modules which you should
review as a good starting point.
Where can I get information on Perl?¶
The complete Perl documentation is available with the Perl distribution. If you
have Perl installed locally, you probably have the documentation installed as
well: type "perldoc perl" in a terminal or view online
(Some operating system distributions may ship the documentation in a different
package; for instance, on Debian, you need to install the "perl-doc"
Many good books have been written about Perl--see the section later in perlfaq2
for more details.
What is perl.com? Perl Mongers? pm.org? perl.org? cpan.org?¶
> used to be part of the O'Reilly Network, a
subsidiary of O'Reilly Media. Although it retains most of the original content
from its O'Reilly Network, it is now hosted by The Perl Foundation
The Perl Foundation is an advocacy organization for the Perl language which
maintains the web site <http://www.perl.org/
> as a general advocacy site
for the Perl language. It uses the domain to provide general support services
to the Perl community, including the hosting of mailing lists, web sites, and
other services. There are also many other sub-domains for special topics like
learning Perl and jobs in Perl, such as:
Perl Mongers <http://www.pm.org/
> uses the pm.org domain for services
related to local Perl user groups, including the hosting of mailing lists and
web sites. See the Perl Mongers web site <http://www.pm.org/
> for more
information about joining, starting, or requesting services for a Perl user
CPAN, or the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network <http://www.cpan.org/
a replicated, worldwide repository of Perl software. See What is CPAN?.
Where can I post questions?¶
There are many Perl mailing lists for various topics, specifically the beginners
> may be of use.
Other places to ask questions are on the PerlMonks site
> or stackoverflow
There are many good books on Perl
Which magazines have Perl content?¶
There's also $foo Magazin
, a German magazine dedicated to
Perl, at ( <http://www.foo-magazin.de
> ). The Perl-Zeitung
another German-speaking magazine for Perl beginners (see
Several unix/linux releated magazines frequently includes articles on Perl.
Which Perl blogs should I read?¶
Perl News <http://perlnews.org/
> covers some of the major events in the
Perl world, Perl Weekly <http://perlweekly.com/
> is a weekly e-mail (and
RSS feed) of hand-picked Perl articles.
> hosts many Perl blogs, there are also several
blog aggregators: Perlsphere <http://perlsphere.net/
> and IronMan
> are two of them.
What mailing lists are there for Perl?¶
A comprehensive list of Perl-related mailing lists can be found at
Where can I buy a commercial version of Perl?¶
Perl already is
commercial software: it has a license that you can grab
and carefully read to your manager. It is distributed in releases and comes in
well-defined packages. There is a very large and supportive user community and
an extensive literature.
If you still need commercial support ActiveState
> offers this.
Where do I send bug reports?¶
(contributed by brian d foy)
First, ensure that you've found an actual bug. Second, ensure you've found an
If you've found a bug with the perl interpreter or one of the modules in the
standard library (those that come with Perl), you can use the perlbug utility
that comes with Perl (>= 5.004). It collects information about your
installation to include with your message, then sends the message to the right
To determine if a module came with your version of Perl, you can install and use
the Module::CoreList module. It has the information about the modules (with
their versions) included with each release of Perl.
Every CPAN module has a bug tracker set up in RT, <http://rt.cpan.org
You can submit bugs to RT either through its web interface or by email. To
email a bug report, send it to bug-<distribution-name>@rt.cpan.org . For
example, if you wanted to report a bug in Business::ISBN, you could send a
message to bug-Business-ISBN@rt.cpan.org .
Some modules might have special reporting requirements, such as a Github or
Google Code tracking system, so you should check the module documentation too.
AUTHOR AND COPYRIGHT¶
Copyright (c) 1997-2010 Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington, and other authors
as noted. All rights reserved.
This documentation is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the
same terms as Perl itself.
Irrespective of its distribution, all code examples here are in the public
domain. You are permitted and encouraged to use this code and any derivatives
thereof in your own programs for fun or for profit as you see fit. A simple
comment in the code giving credit to the FAQ would be courteous but is not