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.
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 http://www.cpan.org/src/.
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 Amiga.
Binary distributions for some proprietary platforms can be found http://www.cpan.org/ports/ 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).
See CPAN Ports
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.
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.
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 architecture.
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 for everything 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/, http://www.cpan.org/SITES.html 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.
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
Many good books have been written about Perl--see the section later in perlfaq2 for more details.
Perl.com 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 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 for more information about joining, starting, or requesting services for a Perl user group.
CPAN, or the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network http://www.cpan.org/, is a replicated, worldwide repository of Perl software. See What is CPAN?.
There are many Perl mailing lists for various topics, specifically the beginners list may be of use.
Other places to ask questions are on the PerlMonks site or stackoverflow.
There are many good books on Perl.
There's also $foo Magazin, a German magazine dedicated to Perl, at ( http://www.foo-magazin.de ). The Perl-Zeitung is another German-speaking magazine for Perl beginners (see http://perl-zeitung.at.tf ).
Several Unix/Linux related magazines frequently include articles on Perl.
Perl News covers some of the major events in the Perl world, Perl Weekly is a weekly e-mail (and RSS feed) of hand-picked Perl articles.
http://blogs.perl.org/ hosts many Perl blogs, there are also several blog aggregators: Perlsphere and IronMan are two of them.
A comprehensive list of Perl-related mailing lists can be found at http://lists.perl.org/
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.
(contributed by brian d foy)
First, ensure that you've found an actual bug. Second, ensure you've found an actual bug.
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 place.
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.
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 required.