man pages section 1: User Commands

Exit Print View

Updated: July 2014

perlos390 (1)


perlos390 - building and installing Perl for OS/390 and z/OS


This document will help you Configure, build, test and
install Perl on OS/390 (aka z/OS) Unix System Services.


Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

     README.os390 - building and installing Perl for OS/390 and

     This document will help you Configure, build, test and
     install Perl on OS/390 (aka z/OS) Unix System Services.

     This is a fully ported Perl for OS/390 Version 2 Release 3,
     5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.  It may work on other versions or
     releases, but those are the ones we've tested it on.

     You may need to carry out some system configuration tasks
     before running the Configure script for Perl.

     The z/OS Unix Tools and Toys list may prove helpful and
     contains links to ports of much of the software helpful for
     building Perl.

  Unpacking Perl distribution on OS/390
     If using ftp remember to transfer the distribution in binary

     Gunzip/gzip for OS/390 is discussed at:

     to extract an ASCII tar archive on OS/390, try this:

        pax -o to=IBM-1047,from=ISO8859-1 -r < latest.tar


        zcat latest.tar.Z | pax -o to=IBM-1047,from=ISO8859-1 -r

     If you get lots of errors of the form

       tar: FSUM7171 ...: cannot set uid/gid: EDC5139I Operation not permitted.

     you didn't read the above and tried to use tar instead of
     pax, you'll first have to remove the (now corrupt) perl

        rm -rf perl-...

     and then use pax.

  Setup and utilities for Perl on OS/390
     Be sure that your yacc installation is in place including

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

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

     any necessary parser template files. If you have not already
     done so then be sure to:

       cp /samples/yyparse.c /etc

     This may also be a good time to ensure that your
     /etc/protocol file and either your /etc/resolv.conf or
     /etc/hosts files are in place.  The IBM document that
     described such USS system setup issues was SC28-1890-07
     "OS/390 UNIX System Services Planning", in particular
     Chapter 6 on customizing the OE shell.

     GNU make for OS/390, which is recommended for the build of
     perl (as well as building CPAN modules and extensions), is
     available from the "Tools".

     Some people have reported encountering "Out of memory!"
     errors while trying to build Perl using GNU make binaries.
     If you encounter such trouble then try to download the
     source code kit and build GNU make from source to eliminate
     any such trouble.  You might also find GNU make (as well as
     Perl and Apache) in the red-piece/book "Open Source Software
     for OS/390 UNIX", SG24-5944-00 from IBM.

     If instead of the recommended GNU make you would like to use
     the system supplied make program then be sure to install the
     default rules file properly via the shell command:

         cp /samples/ /etc

     and be sure to also set the environment variable
     _C89_CCMODE=1 (exporting _C89_CCMODE=1 is also a good idea
     for users of GNU make).

     You might also want to have GNU groff for OS/390 installed
     before running the "make install" step for Perl.

     There is a syntax error in the /usr/include/sys/socket.h
     header file that IBM supplies with USS V2R7, V2R8, and
     possibly V2R9.  The problem with the header file is that
     near the definition of the SO_REUSEPORT constant there is a
     spurious extra '/' character outside of a comment like so:

      #define SO_REUSEPORT    0x0200    /* allow local address & port
                                           reuse */                    /

     You could edit that header yourself to remove that last '/',
     or you might note that Language Environment (LE) APAR
     PQ39997 describes the problem and PTF's UQ46272 and UQ46271
     are the (R8 at least) fixes and apply them.  If left
     unattended that syntax error will turn up as an inability
     for Perl to build its "Socket" extension.

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

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

     For successful testing you may need to turn on the sticky
     bit for your world readable /tmp directory if you have not
     already done so (see man chmod).

  Configure Perl on OS/390
     Once you've unpacked the distribution, run "sh Configure"
     (see INSTALL for a full discussion of the Configure
     options).  There is a "hints" file for os390 that specifies
     the correct values for most things.  Some things to watch
     out for include:

     o   A message of the form:

          (I see you are using the Korn shell.  Some ksh's blow up on Configure,
          mainly on older exotic systems.  If yours does, try the Bourne shell instead.)

         is nothing to worry about at all.

     o   Some of the parser default template files in /samples
         are needed in /etc.  In particular be sure that you at
         least copy /samples/yyparse.c to /etc before running
         Perl's Configure.  This step ensures successful
         extraction of EBCDIC versions of parser files such as
         perly.c, perly.h, and x2p/a2p.c.  This has to be done
         before running Configure the first time.  If you failed
         to do so then the easiest way to re-Configure Perl is to
         delete your misconfigured build root and re-extract the
         source from the tar ball.  Then you must ensure that
         /etc/yyparse.c is properly in place before attempting to
         re-run Configure.

     o   This port will support dynamic loading, but it is not
         selected by default.  If you would like to experiment
         with dynamic loading then be sure to specify -Dusedl in
         the arguments to the Configure script.  See the comments
         in hints/ for more information on dynamic
         loading.  If you build with dynamic loading then you
         will need to add the $archlibexp/CORE directory to your
         LIBPATH environment variable in order for perl to work.
         See the file for the value of $archlibexp.  If
         in trying to use Perl you see an error message similar

          CEE3501S The module libperl.dll was not found.
                  From entry point __dllstaticinit at compile unit offset +00000194 at

         then your LIBPATH does not have the location of
         libperl.x and either libperl.dll or in it.
         Add that directory to your LIBPATH and proceed.

     o   Do not turn on the compiler optimization flag "-O".
         There is a bug in either the optimizer or perl that

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

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

         causes perl to not work correctly when the optimizer is

     o   Some of the configuration files in /etc used by the
         networking APIs are either missing or have the wrong
         names.  In particular, make sure that there's either an
         /etc/resolv.conf or an /etc/hosts, so that
         gethostbyname() works, and make sure that the file
         /etc/proto has been renamed to /etc/protocol (NOT
         /etc/protocols, as used by other Unix systems).  You may
         have to look for things like HOSTNAME and DOMAINORIGIN
         in the "//'SYS1.TCPPARMS(TCPDATA)'" PDS member in order
         to properly set up your /etc networking files.

  Build, Test, Install Perl on OS/390
     Simply put:

         sh Configure
         make test

     if everything looks ok (see the next section for test/IVP
     diagnosis) then:

         make install

     this last step may or may not require UID=0 privileges
     depending on how you answered the questions that Configure
     asked and whether or not you have write access to the
     directories you specified.

  Build Anomalies with Perl on OS/390
     "Out of memory!" messages during the build of Perl are most
     often fixed by re building the GNU make utility for OS/390
     from a source code kit.

     Another memory limiting item to check is your MAXASSIZE
     parameter in your 'SYS1.PARMLIB(BPXPRMxx)' data set (note
     too that as of V2R8 address space limits can be set on a per
     user ID basis in the USS segment of a RACF profile).  People
     have reported successful builds of Perl with MAXASSIZE
     parameters as small as 503316480 (and it may be possible to
     build Perl with a MAXASSIZE smaller than that).

     Within USS your /etc/profile or $HOME/.profile may limit
     your ulimit settings.  Check that the following command
     returns reasonable values:

         ulimit -a

     To conserve memory you should have your compiler modules
     loaded into the Link Pack Area (LPA/ELPA) rather than in a

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

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

     link list or step lib.

     If the c89 compiler complains of syntax errors during the
     build of the Socket extension then be sure to fix the syntax
     error in the system header /usr/include/sys/socket.h.

  Testing Anomalies with Perl on OS/390
     The "make test" step runs a Perl Verification Procedure,
     usually before installation.  You might encounter STDERR
     messages even during a successful run of "make test".  Here
     is a guide to some of the more commonly seen anomalies:

     o   A message of the form:

          io/openpid...........CEE5210S The signal SIGHUP was received.
          CEE5210S The signal SIGHUP was received.
          CEE5210S The signal SIGHUP was received.

         indicates that the t/io/openpid.t test of Perl has
         passed but done so with extraneous messages on stderr
         from CEE.

     o   A message of the form:

          lib/ftmp-security....File::Temp::_gettemp: Parent directory (/tmp/) is not safe
          (sticky bit not set when world writable?) at lib/ftmp-security.t line 100
          File::Temp::_gettemp: Parent directory (/tmp/) is not safe (sticky bit not
          set when world writable?) at lib/ftmp-security.t line 100

         indicates a problem with the permissions on your /tmp
         directory within the HFS.  To correct that problem issue
         the command:

              chmod a+t /tmp

         from an account with write access to the directory entry
         for /tmp.

     o   Out of Memory!

         Recent perl test suite is quite memory hunrgy. In
         addition to the comments above on memory limitations it
         is also worth checking for _CEE_RUNOPTS in your
         environment. Perl now has (in miniperlmain.c) a C
         #pragma to set CEE run options, but the environment
         variable wins.

         The C code asks for:

          #pragma runopts(HEAP(2M,500K,ANYWHERE,KEEP,8K,4K) STACK(,,ANY,) ALL31(ON))

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

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

         The important parts of that are the second argument (the
         increment) to HEAP, and allowing the stack to be "Above
         the (16M) line". If the heap increment is too small then
         when perl (for example loading unicode/ tries to
         create a "big" (400K+) string it cannot fit in a single
         segment and you get "Out of Memory!" - even if there is
         still plenty of memory available.

         A related issue is use with perl's malloc. Perl's malloc
         uses "sbrk()" to get memory, and "sbrk()" is limited to
         the first allocation so in this case something like:


         is needed to get through the test suite.

  Installation Anomalies with Perl on OS/390
     The installman script will try to run on OS/390.  There will
     be fewer errors if you have a roff utility installed.  You
     can obtain GNU groff from the Redbook SG24-5944-00 ftp site.

  Usage Hints for Perl on OS/390
     When using perl on OS/390 please keep in mind that the
     EBCDIC and ASCII character sets are different.  See
     perlebcdic.pod for more on such character set issues.  Perl
     builtin functions that may behave differently under EBCDIC
     are also mentioned in the perlport.pod document.

     Open Edition (UNIX System Services) from V2R8 onward does
     support #!/path/to/perl script invocation.  There is a PTF
     available from IBM for V2R7 that will allow shell/kernel
     support for #!.  USS releases prior to V2R7 did not support
     the #! means of script invocation.  If you are running V2R6
     or earlier then see:

         head `whence perldoc`

     for an example of how to use the "eval exec" trick to ask
     the shell to have Perl run your scripts on those older
     releases of Unix System Services.

     If you are having trouble with square brackets then consider
     switching your rlogin or telnet client.  Try to avoid older
     3270 emulators and ISHELL for working with Perl on USS.

  Floating Point Anomalies with Perl on OS/390
     There appears to be a bug in the floating point
     implementation on S/390 systems such that calling int() on
     the product of a number and a small magnitude number is not
     the same as calling int() on the quotient of that number and
     a large magnitude number.  For example, in the following
     Perl code:

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

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

         my $x = 100000.0;
         my $y = int($x * 1e-5) * 1e5; # '0'
         my $z = int($x / 1e+5) * 1e5;  # '100000'
         print "\$y is $y and \$z is $z\n"; # $y is 0 and $z is 100000

     Although one would expect the quantities $y and $z to be the
     same and equal to 100000 they will differ and instead will
     be 0 and 100000 respectively.

     The problem can be further examined in a roughly equivalent
     C program:

         #include <stdio.h>
         #include <math.h>
         double r1,r2;
         double x = 100000.0;
         double y = 0.0;
         double z = 0.0;
         x = 100000.0 * 1e-5;
         r1 = modf (x,&y);
         x = 100000.0 / 1e+5;
         r2 = modf (x,&z);
         printf("y is %e and z is %e\n",y*1e5,z*1e5);
         /* y is 0.000000e+00 and z is 1.000000e+05 (with c89) */

  Modules and Extensions for Perl on OS/390
     Pure pure (that is non xs) modules may be installed via the

         perl Makefile.PL
         make test
         make install

     If you built perl with dynamic loading capability then that
     would also be the way to build xs based extensions.
     However, if you built perl with the default static linking
     you can still build xs based extensions for OS/390 but you
     will need to follow the instructions in ExtUtils::MakeMaker
     for building statically linked perl binaries.  In the
     simplest configurations building a static perl + xs
     extension boils down to:

         perl Makefile.PL
         make perl
         make test
         make install
         make -f Makefile.aperl inst_perl MAP_TARGET=perl

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    7

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

     In most cases people have reported better results with GNU
     make rather than the system's /bin/make program, whether for
     plain modules or for xs based extensions.

     If the make process encounters trouble with either
     compilation or linking then try setting the _C89_CCMODE to
     1.  Assuming sh is your login shell then run:

         export _C89_CCMODE=1

     If tcsh is your login shell then use the setenv command.

     David Fiander and Peter Prymmer with thanks to Dennis
     Longnecker and William Raffloer for valuable reports, LPAR
     and PTF feedback.  Thanks to Mike MacIsaac and Egon Terwedow
     for SG24-5944-00.  Thanks to Ignasi Roca for pointing out
     the floating point problems.  Thanks to John Goodyear for
     dynamic loading help.

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | runtime/perl-512 |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
     INSTALL, perlport, perlebcdic, ExtUtils::MakeMaker.

  Mailing list for Perl on OS/390
     If you are interested in the VM/ESA, z/OS (formerly known as
     OS/390) and POSIX-BC (BS2000) ports of Perl then see the
     perl-mvs mailing list.  To subscribe, send an empty message

perl v5.12.5         Last change: 2012-11-03                    8

Perl Programmers Reference Guide                     PERLOS390(1)

     See also:

     There are web archives of the mailing list at:

     This document was originally written by David Fiander for
     the 5.005 release of Perl.

     This document was podified for the 5.005_03 release of Perl
     11 March 1999.

     Updated 28 November 2001 for broken URLs.

     Updated 12 November 2000 for the 5.7.1 release of Perl.

     Updated 15 January 2001 for the 5.7.1 release of Perl.

     Updated 24 January 2001 to mention dynamic loading.

     Updated 12 March 2001 to mention //'SYS1.TCPPARMS(TCPDATA)'.

     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                    9