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perlamiga - Perl under AmigaOS 4.1


This is a port of Perl 5.22.1, it is a fresh port and not in any way compatible with my previous ports of Perl 5.8 and 5.16.3. This means you will need to reinstall / rebuild any third party modules you have installed.

newlib.library version 53.28 or greater is required.


Once perl is installed you can read this document in the following way

sh -c "perldoc perlamiga"

or you may read as is: either as README.amiga, or pod/perlamiga.pod.


Prerequisites for running Perl 5.22.1 under AmigaOS 4.1

AmigaOS 4.1 update 6 with all updates applied as of 9th October 2013

The most important of which is:

newlib.library version 53.28 or greater

Perl installs into the SDK directory structure and expects many of the build tools present in the SDK to be available. So for the best results install the SDK first.


If you do not have the SDK installed you must at least have abc-shell installed or some other suitable sh port. This is required to run external commands and should be available as 'sh' in your path.

Starting Perl programs under AmigaOS 4.1

Perl may be run from the AmigaOS shell but for best results should be run under abc-shell. (abc-shell handles file globbing, pattern expansion, and sets up environment variables in the UN*Xy way that Perl expects.)

For example:

New Shell process 10
10.AmigaOS4:> sh
/AmigaOS4>perl path:to/myprog arg1 arrg2 arg3

Abc-shell can also launch programs via the #! syntax at the start of the program file, it's best use the form #!SDK:Local/C/perl so that the AmigaOS shell may also find perl in the same way. AmigaOS requires the script bit to be set for this to work

10.AmigaOS4:> sh
/AmigaOS4>myprog arg1 arrg2 arg3

Limitations of Perl under AmigaOS 4.1

Nested Piped programs can crash when run from older abc-shells

abc-shell version 53.2 has a bug that can cause crashes in the subprocesses used to run piped programs, if a later version is available you should install it instead.

Incorrect or unexpected command line unescaping

newlib.library 53.30 and earlier incorrectly unescape slashed escape sequences e.g. \" \n \t etc requiring unusual extra escaping.

Starting subprocesses via open has limitations
open FH, "command |"

Subprocesses started with open use a minimal popen() routine and therefore they do not return pids usable with waitpid etc.

If you find any other limitations or bugs then let me know.

Please report bugs in this version of perl to in the first instance.


This guide assumes you have obtained a prebuilt archive from

Unpack the main archive to a temporary location (RAM: is fine).

Execute the provided install script from shell or via its icon.

You must not attempt to install by hand.

Once installed you may delete the temporary archive.

This approach will preserve links in the installation without creating duplicate binaries.

If you have the earlier ports perl 5.16 or 5.8 installed you may like to rename your perl executable to perl516 or perl58 or something similar before the installation of 5.22.1, this will allow you to use both versions at the same time.

Amiga Specific Modules


The Amiga::ARexx module allows you to easily create a perl based ARexx host or to send ARexx commands to other programs.

Try perldoc Amiga::ARexx for more info.


The Amiga::Exec module introduces support for Wait().

Try perldoc Amiga::Exec for more info.


To build perl under AmigaOS from the patched sources you will need to have a recent version of the SDK. Version 53.29 is recommended, earlier versions will probably work too.

With the help of Jarkko Hietaniemi the Configure system has been tweaked to run under abc-shell so the recommend build process is as follows.

stack 2000000
sh Configure -de

This will build the default setup that installs under SDK:local/newlib/lib/


August 2015
Port to Perl 5.22
Add handling of NIL: to afstat()
Fix inheritance of environment variables by subprocesses.
Fix exec, and exit in "forked" subprocesses.
Fix issue with newlib's unlink, which could cause infinite loops.
Add flock() emulation using IDOS->LockRecord thanks to Tony Cook for the suggestion.
Fix issue where kill was using the wrong kind of process ID
27th November 2013
Pod now defaults to text.
File::Spec should now recognise an Amiga style absolute path as well as an Unix style one. Relative paths must always be Unix style.
20th November 2013
Configured to use SDK:Local/C/perl to start standard scripts
Added Amiga::Exec module with support for Wait() and AmigaOS signal numbers.
10th October 13

First release of port to 5.16.3.


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