For ease of access, the Perl manual has been split up into several sections:
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 perlfaq6 Regexes perlfaq7 Perl Language Issues perlfaq8 System Interaction perlfaq9 Networking 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 /usr/perl5/man/ directory.
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 trouble is.
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 utilities, 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 little 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...
Described in the perlmod man page, the perlmodlib man page, and the perlmodinstall man page.
Described in the perlembed man page, the perlxstut man page, the perlxs man page, the perlcall man page, the perlguts man page, and the xsubpp man page.
(Including multiple simultaneous DBM implementations) Described in the perltie man page and the AnyDBM_File man page.
autoloaded, and prototyped. Described in the perlsub man page.
and anonymous functions. Described in the perlreftut man page, the perlref man page, the perldsc man page, and the perllol man page.
Described in the perlobj man page, the perltoot man page, and the perlbot man page.
Described in the B man page and the B::Bytecode man page.
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).
and Unicode. Described in the perllocale man page and the utf8 man page.
Described in the perlsub man page.
Described in the perlre man page, with additional examples in the perlop man page.
with integrated editor support. Described in the perldebug man page.
Described in the POSIX man page.
Okay, that's definitely enough hype.
Perl is available for most operating systems, including virtually 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 /usr/local location.
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-provided modules.
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 environment variable.
See also the perlrun man page.
Larry Wall , with the help of oodles of other folks.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
|ATTRIBUTE TYPE||ATTRIBUTE VALUE|
|o Script interface||Evolving|
|o XSUB interface||Evolving|
|o Binary interface||Unstable|
|o Directory layout||Evolving|
awk to perl translator
sed to perl translator
The Perl Home Page
The Comprehensive Perl Archive
The "use warnings" pragma (and the -w switch) produces some lovely diagnostics.
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 longer forms.
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 perlsec man page.
Did we mention that you should definitely consider using the -w switch?
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 information, 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 follows:
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 various 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 by wraparound).
You may mail your bug reports (be sure to include full configuration information as output by the myconfig program in the Perl source tree, or by perl -V) to <email@example.com>.
Perl actually stands for Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister, but don't tell anyone I said that.