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B::Bytecode - Perl compiler's bytecode backend


perl -MO=Bytecode[,OPTIONS]


This compiler backend takes Perl source and generates a platform-independent bytecode encapsulating code to load the internal structures perl uses to run your program. When the generated bytecode is loaded in, your program is ready to run, reducing the time which perl would have taken to load and parse your program into its internal semi-compiled form. That means that compiling with this backend will not help improve the runtime execution speed of your program but may improve the start-up time. Depending on the environment in which your program runs this may or may not be a help.

The resulting bytecode can be run with a special byteperl executable or (for non-main programs) be loaded via the byteload_fh function in the B module.


If there are any non-option arguments, they are taken to be names of objects to be saved (probably doesn't work properly yet). Without extra arguments, it saves the main program.


Output to filename instead of STDOUT.


Force end of options.


Force optimisations on or off one at a time. Each can be preceded by no- to turn the option off (e.g. -fno-compress-nullops).


Only fills in the necessary fields of ops which have been optimised away by perl's internal compiler.


Leaves out code to fill in the op_seq field of all ops which is only used by perl's internal compiler.


If op->op_next ever points to a NULLOP, replaces the op_next field with the first non-NULLOP in the path of execution.


Leaves out code to fill in the pointers which link the internal syntax tree together. They're not needed at run-time but leaving them out will make it impossible to recompile or disassemble the resulting program. It will also stop goto label statements from working.


Optimisation level (n = 0, 1, 2, ...). -O means -O1. -O1 sets -fcompress-nullops -fomit-sequence numbers. -O6 adds -fstrip-syntax-tree.


Debug options (concatenated or separate flags like perl -D).


Prints each OP as it's processed.


Print debugging information about bytecompiler progress.


Tells the (bytecode) assembler to include source assembler lines in its output as bytecode comments.


Prints each CV taken from the final symbol tree walk.


Output (bytecode) assembler source rather than piping it through the assembler and outputting bytecode.


Compile as a module rather than a standalone program. Currently this just means that the bytecodes for initialising main_start, main_root and curpad are omitted.


perl -MO=Bytecode,-O6,-o,foo.plc

perl -MO=Bytecode,-S > foo.S
assemble foo.S > foo.plc
byteperl foo.plc

perl -MO=Bytecode,-m,-oFoo.pmc


Plenty. Current status: experimental.


Malcolm Beattie,