perl - Practical Extraction and Report Language
perl [-sTuU] [-hv] [-V[:configvar]] [-cw] [-d[:debugger]]
[-D[number/list]] [-pna] [-Fpattern] [-l[octal]] [-0[octal]]
[-Idir] [-m[-]module] [-M[-]'module...'] [-P] [-S] [-x[dir]]
[-i[extension]] [-e 'command'] [--] [programfile] [argu-
For ease of access, the Perl manual has been split up into
perl Perl overview (this section)
perlfaq Perl frequently asked questions
perltoc Perl documentation table of contents
perlbook Perl book information
perlsyn Perl syntax
perldata Perl data structures
perlop Perl operators and precedence
perlsub Perl subroutines
perlfunc Perl builtin functions
perlreftut Perl references short introduction
perldsc Perl data structures intro
perlrequick Perl regular expressions quick start
perlpod Perl plain old documentation
perlstyle Perl style guide
perltrap Perl traps for the unwary
perlrun Perl execution and options
perldiag Perl diagnostic messages
perllexwarn Perl warnings and their control
perldebtut Perl debugging tutorial
perldebug Perl debugging
perlvar Perl predefined variables
perllol Perl data structures: arrays of arrays
perlopentut Perl open() tutorial
perlretut Perl regular expressions tutorial
perlre Perl regular expressions, the rest of the story
perlref Perl references, the rest of the story
perlform Perl formats
perlboot Perl OO tutorial for beginners
perltoot Perl OO tutorial, part 1
perltootc Perl OO tutorial, part 2
perlobj Perl objects
perlbot Perl OO tricks and examples
perltie Perl objects hidden behind simple variables
perlipc Perl interprocess communication
perlfork Perl fork() information
perlnumber Perl number semantics
perlthrtut Perl threads tutorial
perlport Perl portability guide
perllocale Perl locale support
perlunicode Perl unicode support
perlsec Perl security
perlmod Perl modules: how they work
perlmodlib Perl modules: how to write and use
perlmodinstall Perl modules: how to install from CPAN
perlnewmod Perl modules: preparing a new module for distribution
perlfaq1 General Questions About Perl
perlfaq2 Obtaining and Learning about Perl
perlfaq3 Programming Tools
perlfaq4 Data Manipulation
perlfaq5 Files and Formats
perlfaq7 Perl Language Issues
perlfaq8 System Interaction
perlcompile Perl compiler suite intro
perlembed Perl ways to embed perl in your C or C++ application
perldebguts Perl debugging guts and tips
perlxstut Perl XS tutorial
perlxs Perl XS application programming interface
perlclib Internal replacements for standard C library functions
perlguts Perl internal functions for those doing extensions
perlcall Perl calling conventions from C
perlutil utilities packaged with the Perl distribution
perlfilter Perl source filters
perldbmfilter Perl DBM filters
perlapi Perl API listing (autogenerated)
perlintern Perl internal functions (autogenerated)
perlapio Perl internal IO abstraction interface
perltodo Perl things to do
perlhack Perl hackers guide
perlhist Perl history records
perldelta Perl changes since previous version
perl5005delta Perl changes in version 5.005
perl5004delta Perl changes in version 5.004
perlsolaris Perl notes for Solaris
(If you're intending to read these straight through for the
first time, the suggested order will tend to reduce the
number of forward references.)
The manpages listed above are installed in the
Extensive additional documentation for Perl modules is
available. This additional documentation is also in the
/usr/local/lib/perl5/man directory. Some of this additional
documentation is distributed as standard with Perl, but
you'll also find documentation for any customer-installed
third-party modules there.
Notice that running catman(1M) on the Perl manual pages is
not supported. For other Solaris-specific details, see the
NOTES section below.
You can also use the supplied /usr/perl5/bin/perldoc script
to view Perl information.
If something strange has gone wrong with your program and
you're not sure where you should look for help, try the -w
switch first. It will often point out exactly where the
Perl is a language optimized for scanning arbitrary text
files, extracting information from those text files, and
printing reports based on that information. It's also a good
language for many system management tasks. The language is
intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient, complete)
rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal).
Perl combines (in the author's opinion, anyway) some of the
best features of C, sed, awk, and sh, so people familiar
with those languages should have little difficulty with it.
(Language historians will also note some vestiges of csh,
Pascal, and even BASIC-PLUS.) Expression syntax corresponds
quite closely to C expression syntax. Unlike most Unix util-
ities, Perl does not arbitrarily limit the size of your
data--if you've got the memory, Perl can slurp in your whole
file as a single string. Recursion is of unlimited depth.
And the tables used by hashes (sometimes called "associative
arrays") grow as necessary to prevent degraded performance.
Perl can use sophisticated pattern matching techniques to
scan large amounts of data quickly. Although optimized for
scanning text, Perl can also deal with binary data, and can
make dbm files look like hashes. Setuid Perl scripts are
safer than C programs through a dataflow tracing mechanism
that prevents many stupid security holes.
If you have a problem that would ordinarily use sed or awk
or sh, but it exceeds their capabilities or must run a lit-
tle faster, and you don't want to write the silly thing in
C, then Perl may be for you. There are also translators to
turn your sed and awk scripts into Perl scripts.
But wait, there's more...
Begun in 1993 (see the perlhist man page), Perl version 5 is
nearly a complete rewrite that provides the following addi-
o Modularity and reusability using innumerable modules
Described in the perlmod man page, the perlmodlib
man page, and the perlmodinstall man page.
o Embeddable and Extensible
Described in the perlembed man page, the perlx-
stut man page, the perlxs man page, the perlcall
man page, the perlguts man page, and the xsubpp
o Roll-your-own magic variables
(Including multiple simultaneous DBM implementa-
tions) Described in the perltie man page and the
AnyDBM_File man page.
o Subroutines can now be overridden,
autoloaded, and prototyped. Described in the
perlsub man page.
o Arbitrarily nested data structures
and anonymous functions. Described in the
perlreftut man page, the perlref man page, the
perldsc man page, and the perllol man page.
o Object-oriented programming
Described in the perlobj man page, the perltoot
man page, and the perlbot man page.
o Compilability into C code or Perl bytecode
Described in the B man page and the B::Bytecode
o Support for light-weight processes (threads)
Described in the perlthrtut man page and the
Thread man page. Notice that the Perl shipped as
part of Solaris does NOT have threads support
enabled. If you require threads support, you
should build and install your own Perl version
(see the NOTES section below).
o Support for internationalization, localization,
and Unicode. Described in the perllocale man page
and the utf8 man page.
o Lexical scoping
Described in the perlsub man page.
o Regular expression enhancements
Described in the perlre man page, with additional
examples in the perlop man page.
o Enhanced debugger and interactive Perl environment,
with integrated editor support. Described in the
perldebug man page.
o POSIX 1003.1 compliant
Described in the POSIX man page.
Okay, that's definitely enough hype.
Perl is available for most operating systems, including vir-
tually all Unix-like platforms. See the Supported Platforms
entry in the perlport man page for a listing.
The Perl shipped with Solaris is installed under /usr/perl5
rather than the default /usr/local location. This is so that
it can coexist with a customer-installed Perl in the default
Any additional modules that you choose to install will be
placed in the /usr/perl5/site_perl/5.6.1 directory. The
/usr/perl5/vendor_perl directory is reserved for SMI-
Notice that the Perl utility scripts such as perldoc and
perlbug are in the /usr/perl5/bin directory, so if you wish
to use them you need to include /usr/perl5/bin in your PATH
See also the perlrun man page.
Larry Wall , with the help of oodles of other folks.
Locations of Perl libraries
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWpl5u SUNWpl5m |
| | SUNWpl5p |
| | SUNWopl5u SUNWopl5m |
| | SUNWopl5p |
| Interface Stability | |
| o Script interface | Evolving |
| o XSUB interface | Evolving |
| o Binary interface | Unstable |
| o Directory layout | Evolving |
a2p awk to perl translator
s2p sed to perl translator
The Perl Home Page
The Comprehensive Perl Archive
The "use warnings" pragma (and the -w switch) produces some
See the perldiag man page for explanations of all Perl's
diagnostics. The "use diagnostics" pragma automatically
turns Perl's normally terse warnings and errors into these
Compilation errors will tell you the line number of the
error, with an indication of the next token or token type
that was to be examined. (In a script passed to Perl via -e
switches, each -e is counted as one line.)
Setuid scripts have additional constraints that can produce
error messages such as "Insecure dependency". See the perl-
sec man page.
Did we mention that you should definitely consider using the
Solaris 9 contains two versions of Perl, 5.005_03 (as
shipped in Solaris 8) and 5.6.1. /bin/perl is a link to the
5.6.1 interpreter, and /usr/perl5/bin is a link to the
/usr/perl5/5.6.1/bin directory. It is likely that version
5.005_03 will be removed in a future release of Solaris.
Perl 5.6.1 has been built to be largefile-aware and to use
64-bit integers, although the interpreter itself is a 32-bit
application (LP32). To view detailed configuration informa-
tion, use perl -V and perlbug -dv.
Notice that 5.6.1 is binary incompatible with the 5.005_03
version, primarily due to the addition of largefile/64-bit
integer support. Existing customer-installed XSUB-based
modules will require recompilation, and non-XSUB modules
will require reinstallation.
If you have any applications that require 5.005_03, you
should make sure they explicitly use
/usr/perl5/5.005_03/bin/perl. It is also possible to make
5.005_03 the default Perl version, although this is not
recommended. The steps for this would be (as root):
# rm /usr/bin/perl
# ln -s ../perl5/5.00503/bin/perl /usr/bin/perl
# rm /usr/perl5/bin
# ln -s ./5.00503/bin /usr/perl5/bin
# rm /usr/perl5/man
# ln -s ./5.00503/man /usr/perl5/man
# rm /usr/perl5/pod
# ln -s ./5.00503/pod /usr/perl5/pod
If you wish to build and install your own version of Perl,
you should NOT remove the 5.6.1 version of perl under
/usr/perl5, as it is required by several system utilities.
If you do not want to use the 5.005_03 version, you may
remove that if you wish. The Perl package names are as fol-
SUNWpl5u Perl 5.6.1
SUNWpl5p Perl 5.6.1 (POD Documentation)
SUNWpl5m Perl 5.6.1 (Manual pages)
SUNWopl5u Perl 5.005_03
SUNWopl5p Perl 5.005_03 (POD Documentation)
SUNWopl5m Perl 5.005_03 (Manual pages)
The Perl motto is "There's more than one way to do it."
Divining how many more is left as an exercise to the reader.
The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness,
Impatience, and Hubris. See the Camel Book for why.
The -w switch is not mandatory.
Perl is at the mercy of your machine's definitions of vari-
ous operations such as type casting, atof(), and floating-
point output with sprintf().
If your stdio requires a seek or eof between reads and
writes on a particular stream, so does Perl. (This doesn't
apply to sysread() and syswrite().)
While none of the built-in data types have any arbitrary
size limits (apart from memory size), there are still a few
arbitrary limits: a given variable name may not be longer
than 251 characters. Line numbers displayed by diagnostics
are internally stored as short integers, so they are limited
to a maximum of 65535 (higher numbers usually being affected
You may mail your bug reports (be sure to include full con-
figuration information as output by the myconfig program in
the Perl source tree, or by perl -V) to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Perl actually stands for Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish
Lister, but don't tell anyone I said that.
Man(1) output converted with