man pages section 1: User Commands

Exit Print View

Updated: July 2014

perlce (1)


perlce - Perl for WinCE


Please see following description for synopsis


Perl Programmers Reference Guide                        PERLCE(1)

     perlce - Perl for WinCE

Building Perl for WinCE
     This file gives the instructions for building Perl5.8 and
     above for WinCE.  Please read and understand the terms under
     which this software is distributed.

  General explanations on cross-compiling WinCE
     o   "miniperl" is built. This is a single executable
         (without DLL), intended to run on Win32, and it will
         facilitate remaining build process; all binaries built
         after it are foreign and should not run locally.

         "miniperl" is built using "./win32/Makefile"; this is
         part of normal build process invoked as dependency from

     o   After "miniperl" is built, "configpm" is invoked to
         create right "" in right place and its

         Unlike Win32 build, miniperl will not have ""
         of host within reach; it rather will use ""
         from within cross-compilation directories.

         File "" is dead simple: for given cross-
         architecture places in @INC a path where perl modules
         are, and right "" in that place.

         That said, "miniperl -Ilib -MConfig -we 1" should report
         an error, because it can not find "". If it
         does not give an error -- wrong "" is
         substituted, and resulting binaries will be a mess.

         "miniperl -MCross -MConfig -we 1" should run okay, and
         it will provide right "" for further

     o   During extensions build phase, a script
         "./win32/" is invoked, which in turn steps in
         "./ext" subdirectories and performs a build of each
         extension in turn.

         All invokes of "Makefile.PL" are provided with "-MCross"
         so to enable cross- compile.

     This section describes the steps to be performed to build
     PerlCE.  You may find additional information about building
     perl for WinCE at <> and some

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    1

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                        PERLCE(1)

     pre-built binaries.

     Tools & SDK

     For compiling, you need following:

     o   Microsoft Embedded Visual Tools

     o   Microsoft Visual C++

     o   Rainer Keuchel's celib-sources

     o   Rainer Keuchel's console-sources

     Needed source files can be downloaded at


     Normally you only need to edit
     "./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat" to reflect your system and
     run it.

     File "./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat" is actually a wrapper
     to call "nmake -f makefile.ce" with appropriate parameters
     and it accepts extra parameters and forwards them to "nmake"
     command as additional arguments. You should pass target this

     To prepare distribution you need to do following:

     o   go to "./win32" subdirectory

     o   edit file "./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat"

     o   run

     o   run
           compile.bat dist

     "Makefile.ce" has "CROSS_NAME" macro, and it is used further
     to refer to your cross-compilation scheme. You could assign
     a name to it, but this is not necessary, because by default
     it is assigned after your machine configuration name, such
     as "wince-sh3-hpc-wce211", and this is enough to distinguish
     different builds at the same time. This option could be
     handy for several different builds on same platform to
     perform, say, threaded build. In a following example we
     assume that all required environment variables are set
     properly for C cross-compiler (a special *.bat file could

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    2

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                        PERLCE(1)

     fit perfectly to this purpose) and your "compile.bat" has
     proper "MACHINE" parameter set, to, say,

       compile.bat dist
       compile.bat CROSS_NAME=mips-wce300-thr "USE_ITHREADS=define" "USE_IMP_SYS=define" "USE_MULTI=define"
       compile.bat CROSS_NAME=mips-wce300-thr "USE_ITHREADS=define" "USE_IMP_SYS=define" "USE_MULTI=define" dist

     If all goes okay and no errors during a build, you'll get
     two independent distributions: "wince-mips-pocket-wce300"
     and "mips-wce300-thr".

     Target "dist" prepares distribution file set. Target
     "zipdist" performs same as "dist" but additionally
     compresses distribution files into zip archive.

     NOTE: during a build there could be created a number (or
     one) of "" for cross-compilation ("foreign"
     "") and those are hidden inside
     "../xlib/$(CROSS_NAME)" with other auxilary files, but, and
     this is important to note, there should be no ""
     for host miniperl.  If you'll get an error that perl could
     not find somewhere in building process this means
     something went wrong. Most probably you forgot to specify a
     cross-compilation when invoking miniperl.exe to Makefile.PL
     When building an extension for cross-compilation your
     command line should look like

       ..\miniperl.exe -I..\lib -MCross=mips-wce300-thr Makefile.PL

     or just

       ..\miniperl.exe -I..\lib -MCross Makefile.PL

     to refer a cross-compilation that was created last time.

     All questions related to building for WinCE devices could be
     asked in mailing list.

Using Perl on WinCE
     PerlCE is currently linked with a simple console window, so
     it also works on non-hpc devices.

     The simple stdio implementation creates the files
     "stdin.txt", "stdout.txt" and "stderr.txt", so you might
     examine them if your console has only a liminted number of

     When exitcode is non-zero, a message box appears, otherwise
     the console closes, so you might have to catch an exit with

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    3

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                        PERLCE(1)

     status 0 in your program to see any output.

     stdout/stderr now go into the files "/perl-stdout.txt" and

     PerlIDE is handy to deal with perlce.

     No fork(), pipe(), popen() etc.

     All environment vars must be stored in HKLM\Environment as
     strings. They are read at process startup.

         Usual perl lib path (semi-list).

         Semi-list for executables.

     TMP - Tempdir.

         - Root for accessing some special files, i.e.
         "/dev/null", "/etc/services".

         - Rows/cols for console.

         - Home directory.

         - Size for console font.

     You can set these with cereg.exe, a (remote) registry editor
     or via the PerlIDE.

     To start perl by clicking on a perl source file, you have to
     make the according entries in HKCR (see
     "ce-helpers/wince-reg.bat").  cereg.exe (which must be
     executed on a desktop pc with ActiveSync) is reported not to
     work on some devices.  You have to create the registry
     entries by hand using a registry editor.

     The following Win32-Methods are built-in:

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    4

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                        PERLCE(1)

             newXS("Win32::GetCwd", w32_GetCwd, file);
             newXS("Win32::SetCwd", w32_SetCwd, file);
             newXS("Win32::GetTickCount", w32_GetTickCount, file);
             newXS("Win32::GetOSVersion", w32_GetOSVersion, file);
             newXS("Win32::IsWinNT", w32_IsWinNT, file);
             newXS("Win32::IsWin95", w32_IsWin95, file);
             newXS("Win32::IsWinCE", w32_IsWinCE, file);
             newXS("Win32::CopyFile", w32_CopyFile, file);
             newXS("Win32::Sleep", w32_Sleep, file);
             newXS("Win32::MessageBox", w32_MessageBox, file);
             newXS("Win32::GetPowerStatus", w32_GetPowerStatus, file);
             newXS("Win32::GetOemInfo", w32_GetOemInfo, file);
             newXS("Win32::ShellEx", w32_ShellEx, file);

     Opening files for read-write is currently not supported if
     they use stdio (normal perl file handles).

     If you find bugs or if it does not work at all on your
     device, send mail to the address below. Please report the
     details of your device (processor, ceversion, devicetype
     (hpc/palm/pocket)) and the date of the downloaded files.

     Currently installation instructions are at

     After installation & testing processes will stabilize,
     information will be more precise.

     The port for Win32 was used as a reference.

History of WinCE port
         Initial port of perl to WinCE. It was performed in
         separate directory named "wince". This port was based on
         contents of "./win32" directory.  "miniperl" was not
         built, user must have HOST perl and properly edit
         "makefile.ce" to reflect this.

         wince port was kept in the same "./wince" directory, and
         "wince/Makefile.ce" was used to invoke native compiler
         to create HOST miniperl, which then facilitates cross-
         compiling process.  Extension building support was

         Two directories "./win32" and "./wince" were merged, so
         perlce build process comes in "./win32" directory.

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    5

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                        PERLCE(1)

     Rainer Keuchel <>
         provided initial port of Perl, which appears to be most
         essential work, as it was a breakthrough on having Perl
         ported at all.  Many thanks and obligations to Rainer!

     Vadim Konovalov
         made further support of WinCE port.

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | runtime/perl-512 |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    6