ActivePerl faq1 - Availability and Installation
Getting, installing, and using Perl.
Perl is a scripting language widely used for system administration and programming on the World Wide Web. It originated in the UNIX community and has a strong UNIX slant, but usage on Windows is growing rapidly. ActivePerl is a port of core Perl to Windows.
perl (small 'p') is the program used to interpret the Perl language.
Extensive online documentation is included with Perl itself. You can read the
documentation with the
To get more information about Perl, check out these URLs:
There are several good books about Perl. The premier book on ActivePerl is Learning Perl On Win32 Systems By Schwartz, Olson, and Christiansen (O'Reilly & Associates, 1997). This is the Gecko book, and has a picture of a gecko (little chubby lizard with big toes and a smile) on the front cover.
For general perl, two books to consider are Programming Perl, 2nd Edition, by Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen and Randal L. Schwartz (O'Reilly & Associates, 1996) and Learning Perl, by Randal L. Schwartz (O'Reilly & Associates, 1993). These are referred to by Perl enthusiasts as the Camel book and the Llama book, respectively.
If you are new to Perl and there are any terms mentioned in this FAQ that you don't get, try one of the above resources. See the perlbook document that comes with Perl for more information.
ActivePerl is available from the ActiveState home page.
To download ActivePerl from ActiveState, look in this directory:
ActivePerl is a complete, self-installing distribution of Perl based on the standard Perl sources. It is distributed online at the ActiveState site.
"Perl for Win32" generally refers to ActivePerl for Windows.
The short answer is yes!! If you have environment variables such as PERLLIB, PERL5LIB or PERL5OPT set, incompatible versions of modules may be used during the installation process and this may cause the installation to fail. If you have any of these environment variables set, you should temporarily unset the variables, reboot the system and then attempt the installation of ActivePerl. These environment variables are checked by all installed versions of Perl, if you have multiple versions of Perl installed it is not a good idea to set these environment variables globally.
The Perl source code includes complete instructions on building Perl. You can obtain the latest Perl source from:
Once you extract the source, read the README file for instructions on compiling Perl.
This FAQ was originally assembled and maintained by Evangelo Prodromou. It has been revised and updated by Brian Jepson of O'Reilly & Associates, David Grove, David Dmytryshyn, David Sparks and Michael Smith of ActiveState.
This FAQ is in the public domain. If you use it, however, please ensure that you give credit to the original authors.