System Administration Guide: Network Services
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Perl 5

This Solaris release includes Practical Extraction and Report Language (Perl) 5.8.4, a powerful general-purpose programming language that is generally available as free software. Perl has emerged as the standard development tool for complex system administration task because of its excellent process, file, and text manipulation features.

Perl 5 includes a dynamically loadable module framework, which allows the addition of new capabilities for specific tasks. Many modules are freely available from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) at If you wish to build and install add-on modules from CPAN using gcc, you can do so using the /usr/perl5/5.8.4/bin/perlgcc script. See the perlgcc(1) man page for details.

Accessing Perl Documentation

Several sources of information about Perl are included in this Solaris release. The same information is available by using these two mechanisms.

You can access the man pages by adding /usr/perl5/man to your MANPATH environment variable. This example displays the Perl overview.

% setenv MANPATH ${MANPATH}:/usr/perl5/man
% man perl

You can access additional documentation by using the perldoc utility. This example displays the same overview information.

% /usr/perl5/bin/perldoc perl

The perl overview page lists of all the documentation that is included with the release.

Perl Compatibility Issues

In general, the 5.8.4 version of Perl is compatible with the previous version. Scripts do not have to be rebuilt or recompiled to function. However, any XSUB-based (.xs) modules require recompilation and reinstallation.

In the Solaris 10 release, you can access the older version of Perl as /usr/perl5/5.6.1/bin/perl. The older version might not be supported in future releases and this version should only be used until the new modules are rebuilt.

Changes to the Solaris Version of Perl

The Solaris version of Perl was compiled to include system malloc, 64-bit integer and large file support. In addition, appropriate patches have been applied. For a full list of all configuration information, review the results from this command.

% /usr/perl5/bin/perlbug -dv
Site configuration information for perl v5.8.4:

You can generate a shorter list by using perl -V.

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