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perlamiga - Perl under Amiga OS


Perl 5.8.0 cannot be built in AmigaOS. You can use either the maintenance release Perl 5.6.1 or the development release Perl 5.7.2 in AmigaOS. See "PERL 5.8.0 BROKEN IN AMIGAOS" if you want to help fixing this problem.


One can read this document in the following formats:

man perlamiga

to list some (not all may be available simultaneously), or it may be read as is: either as README.amiga, or pod/perlamiga.pod.

A recent version of perl for the Amiga can be found at the Geek Gadgets section of the Aminet:


Prerequisites for Compiling Perl on AmigaOS

Unix emulation for AmigaOS: ixemul.library

You need the Unix emulation for AmigaOS, whose most important part is ixemul.library. For a minimum setup, get the latest versions of the following packages from the Aminet archives ( ):


Note also that this is a minimum setup; you might want to add other packages of ADE (the Amiga Developers Environment).

Version of Amiga OS

You need at the very least AmigaOS version 2.0. Recommended is version 3.1.

Starting Perl programs under AmigaOS

Start your Perl program foo with arguments arg1 arg2 arg3 the same way as on any other platform, by

perl foo arg1 arg2 arg3

If you want to specify perl options -my_opts to the perl itself (as opposed to your program), use

perl -my_opts foo arg1 arg2 arg3

Alternately, you can try to get a replacement for the system's Execute command that honors the #!/usr/bin/perl syntax in scripts and set the s-Bit of your scripts. Then you can invoke your scripts like under UNIX with

foo arg1 arg2 arg3

(Note that having *nixish full path to perl /usr/bin/perl is not necessary, perl would be enough, but having full path would make it easier to use your script under *nix.)

Shortcomings of Perl under AmigaOS

Perl under AmigaOS lacks some features of perl under UNIX because of deficiencies in the UNIX-emulation, most notably:


Change to the installation directory (most probably ADE:), and extract the binary distribution:

lha -mraxe x perl-$VERSION-bin.lha


tar xvzpf perl-$VERSION-bin.tgz

(Of course you need lha or tar and gunzip for this.)

For installation of the Unix emulation, read the appropriate docs.

Accessing documentation

Manpages for Perl on AmigaOS

If you have man installed on your system, and you installed perl manpages, use something like this:

man perlfunc
man less
man ExtUtils.MakeMaker

to access documentation for different components of Perl. Start with

man perl

Note: You have to modify your man.conf file to search for manpages in the /ade/lib/perl5/man/man3 directory, or the man pages for the perl library will not be found.

Note that dot (.) is used as a package separator for documentation for packages, and as usual, sometimes you need to give the section - 3 above - to avoid shadowing by the less(1) manpage.

Perl HTML Documentation on AmigaOS

If you have some WWW browser available, you can build HTML docs. Cd to directory with .pod files, and do like this

cd /ade/lib/perl5/pod

After this you can direct your browser the file perl.html in this directory, and go ahead with reading docs.

Alternatively you may be able to get these docs prebuilt from CPAN.

Perl GNU Info Files on AmigaOS

Users of Emacs would appreciate it very much, especially with CPerl mode loaded. You need to get latest pod2info from CPAN, or, alternately, prebuilt info pages.

Perl LaTeX Documentation on AmigaOS

Can be constructed using pod2latex.


Here we discuss how to build Perl under AmigaOS.

Build Prerequisites for Perl on AmigaOS

You need to have the latest ixemul (Unix emulation for Amiga) from Aminet.

Getting the Perl Source for AmigaOS

You can either get the latest perl-for-amiga source from Ninemoons and extract it with:

tar xvzpf perl-$VERSION-src.tgz

or get the official source from CPAN:

Extract it like this

tar xvzpf perl-$VERSION.tar.gz

You will see a message about errors while extracting Configure. This is normal and expected. (There is a conflict with a similarly-named file configure, but it causes no harm.)

Making Perl on AmigaOS

Remember to use a hefty wad of stack (I use 2000000)

sh configure.gnu --prefix=/gg

Now type

make depend



Testing Perl on AmigaOS

Now run

make test

Some tests will be skipped because they need the fork() function:

io/pipe.t, op/fork.t, lib/filehand.t, lib/open2.t, lib/open3.t, lib/io_pipe.t, lib/io_sock.t

Installing the built Perl on AmigaOS


make install


As told above, Perl 5.6.1 was still good in AmigaOS, as was 5.7.2. After Perl 5.7.2 (change #11423, see the Changes file, and the file pod/perlhack.pod for how to get the individual changes) Perl dropped its internal support for vfork(), and that was very probably the step that broke AmigaOS (since the ixemul library has only vfork). The build finally fails when the ext/DynaLoader is being built, and PERL ends up as "0" in the produced Makefile, trying to run "0" does not quite work. Also, executing miniperl in backticks seems to generate nothing: very probably related to the (v)fork problems. Fixing the breakage requires someone quite familiar with the ixemul library, and how one is supposed to run external commands in AmigaOS without fork().


Norbert Pueschel, Jan-Erik Karlsson,