You are viewing the version of this documentation from Perl 5.005_02. View the latest version



h2xs - convert .h C header files to Perl extensions


h2xs [-AOPXcdf] [-v version] [-n module_name] [-p prefix] [-s sub] [headerfile ... [extra_libraries]]

h2xs -h


h2xs builds a Perl extension from C header files. The extension will include functions which can be used to retrieve the value of any #define statement which was in the C header files.

The module_name will be used for the name of the extension. If module_name is not supplied then the name of the first header file will be used, with the first character capitalized.

If the extension might need extra libraries, they should be included here. The extension Makefile.PL will take care of checking whether the libraries actually exist and how they should be loaded. The extra libraries should be specified in the form -lm -lposix, etc, just as on the cc command line. By default, the Makefile.PL will search through the library path determined by Configure. That path can be augmented by including arguments of the form -L/another/library/path in the extra-libraries argument.



Omit all autoload facilities. This is the same as -c but also removes the require AutoLoader statement from the .pm file.


Additional flags to specify to C preprocessor when scanning header for function declarations. Should not be used without -x.


Allows a pre-existing extension directory to be overwritten.


Omit the autogenerated stub POD section.


Omit the XS portion. Used to generate templates for a module which is not XS-based.


Omit constant() from the .xs file and corresponding specialised AUTOLOAD from the .pm file.


Turn on debugging messages.


Allows an extension to be created for a header even if that header is not found in /usr/include.


Print the usage, help and version for this h2xs and exit.

-n module_name

Specifies a name to be used for the extension, e.g., -n RPC::DCE

-p prefix

Specify a prefix which should be removed from the Perl function names, e.g., -p sec_rgy_ This sets up the XS PREFIX keyword and removes the prefix from functions that are autoloaded via the constant() mechansim.

-s sub1,sub2

Create a perl subroutine for the specified macros rather than autoload with the constant() subroutine. These macros are assumed to have a return type of char *, e.g., -s sec_rgy_wildcard_name,sec_rgy_wildcard_sid.

-v version

Specify a version number for this extension. This version number is added to the templates. The default is 0.01.


Automatically generate XSUBs basing on function declarations in the header file. The package C::Scan should be installed. If this option is specified, the name of the header file may look like NAME1,NAME2. In this case NAME1 is used instead of the specified string, but XSUBs are emitted only for the declarations included from file NAME2.

Note that some types of arguments/return-values for functions may result in XSUB-declarations/typemap-entries which need hand-editing. Such may be objects which cannot be converted from/to a pointer (like long long), pointers to functions, or arrays.


	# Default behavior, extension is Rusers
	h2xs rpcsvc/rusers

	# Same, but extension is RUSERS
	h2xs -n RUSERS rpcsvc/rusers

	# Extension is rpcsvc::rusers. Still finds <rpcsvc/rusers.h>
	h2xs rpcsvc::rusers

	# Extension is ONC::RPC.  Still finds <rpcsvc/rusers.h>
	h2xs -n ONC::RPC rpcsvc/rusers

	# Without constant() or AUTOLOAD
	h2xs -c rpcsvc/rusers

	# Creates templates for an extension named RPC
	h2xs -cfn RPC

	# Extension is ONC::RPC.
	h2xs -cfn ONC::RPC

	# Makefile.PL will look for library -lrpc in 
	# additional directory /opt/net/lib
	h2xs rpcsvc/rusers -L/opt/net/lib -lrpc

        # Extension is DCE::rgynbase
        # prefix "sec_rgy_" is dropped from perl function names
        h2xs -n DCE::rgynbase -p sec_rgy_ dce/rgynbase

        # Extension is DCE::rgynbase
        # prefix "sec_rgy_" is dropped from perl function names
        # subroutines are created for sec_rgy_wildcard_name and sec_rgy_wildcard_sid
        h2xs -n DCE::rgynbase -p sec_rgy_ \
        -s sec_rgy_wildcard_name,sec_rgy_wildcard_sid dce/rgynbase

	# Make XS without defines in perl.h, but with function declarations
	# visible from perl.h. Name of the extension is perl1.
	# When scanning perl.h, define -DEXT=extern -DdEXT= -DINIT(x)=
	# Extra backslashes below because the string is passed to shell.
	# Note that a directory with perl header files would 
	#  be added automatically to include path.
	h2xs -xAn perl1 -F "-DEXT=extern -DdEXT= -DINIT\(x\)=" perl.h

	# Same with function declaration in proto.h as visible from perl.h.
	h2xs -xAn perl2 perl.h,proto.h


No environment variables are used.


Larry Wall and others


perl, perlxstut, ExtUtils::MakeMaker, and AutoLoader.


The usual warnings if it cannot read or write the files involved.