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The current phase of the perl interpreter.

Possible values are:


The PerlInterpreter* is being constructed via perl_construct. This value is mostly there for completeness and for use via the underlying C variable PL_phase. It's not really possible for Perl code to be executed unless construction of the interpreter is finished.


This is the global compile-time. That includes, basically, every BEGIN block executed directly or indirectly from during the compile-time of the top-level program.

This phase is not called "BEGIN" to avoid confusion with BEGIN-blocks, as those are executed during compile-time of any compilation unit, not just the top-level program. A new, localised compile-time entered at run-time, for example by constructs as eval "use SomeModule" are not global interpreter phases, and therefore aren't reflected by ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}.


Execution of any CHECK blocks.


Similar to "CHECK", but for INIT-blocks, not CHECK blocks.


The main run-time, i.e. the execution of PL_main_root.


Execution of any END blocks.


Global destruction.

Also note that there's no value for UNITCHECK-blocks. That's because those are run for each compilation unit individually, and therefore is not a global interpreter phase.

Not every program has to go through each of the possible phases, but transition from one phase to another can only happen in the order described in the above list.

An example of all of the phases Perl code can see:

BEGIN { print "compile-time: ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}\n" }

INIT  { print "init-time: ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}\n" }

CHECK { print "check-time: ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}\n" }

    package Print::Phase;

    sub new {
        my ($class, $time) = @_;
        return bless \$time, $class;

    sub DESTROY {
        my $self = shift;
        print "$$self: ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}\n";

print "run-time: ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}\n";

my $runtime = Print::Phase->new(
    "lexical variables are garbage collected before END"

END   { print "end-time: ${^GLOBAL_PHASE}\n" }

our $destruct = Print::Phase->new(
    "package variables are garbage collected after END"

This will print out

compile-time: START
check-time: CHECK
init-time: INIT
run-time: RUN
lexical variables are garbage collected before END: RUN
end-time: END
package variables are garbage collected after END: DESTRUCT

This variable was added in Perl 5.14.0.