Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 13: brew your own beer ... eh ... perl

Yesterday I showed you how to perform local installs of CPAN modules, today we expand that to Perl itself.

What are the benefits of having a local perl installation?
  • you can install exactly the version you want
  • you can install more than one version
So, you can test your code with different Perl versions (5.8, 5.10, 5.12 or even bleadperl).

Compiling (and installing) Perl is not difficult. On Linux/Unix you:
  • download and unpack the desired version
  • ./Configure -des -Dprefix=~/localperl
  • make test
  • make install
Now you can run ~/localperl/bin/perl -v. To use it instead of your system perl you can add ~/localperl/bin to your PATH or set an alias. For all these steps (including download) there is an handy utility: perlbrew.

Let's see it in action ...

This is my system perl:
uwe@quad:~$ perl -v
This is perl, v5.10.1 (*) built for x86_64-linux-gnu-thread-multi

Init the perlbrew environment (you have to do this once):
uwe@quad:~$ perlbrew init
Perlbrew environment initiated, required directories are created under


Well-done! Congratulations! Please add the following line to the end
of your ~/.bashrc

    source /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/etc/bashrc

After that, exit this shell, start a new one, and install some fresh

    perlbrew install perl-5.12.1
    perlbrew install perl-5.10.1

For further instructions, simply run:


The default help messages will popup and tell you what to do!

Enjoy perlbrew at $HOME!!

Add this line to ~/.bashrc:
uwe@quad:~$ vi ~/.bashrc

Now, install Perl 5.12.2:
uwe@quad:~$ perlbrew install perl-5.12.2
Attempting to load conf from /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/
Fetching perl-5.12.2 as /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/dists/perl-5.12.2.tar.gz
Installing perl-5.12.2 into /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.12.2
This could take a while. You can run the following command on another shell to track the status:

  tail -f /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/build.log

(cd /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/build; tar xzf /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/dists/perl-5.12.2.tar.gz;cd /home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/build/perl-5.12.2;rm -f;sh Configure -de '-Dprefix=/home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.12.2';make;make test && make install) >> '/home/uwe/perl5/perlbrew/build.log' 2>&1 
Installed perl-5.12.2 as perl-5.12.2 successfully. Run the following command to switch to it.

  perlbrew switch perl-5.12.2

Switch to 5.12.2:
uwe@quad:~$ perlbrew switch perl-5.12.2

Version check :)
uwe@quad:~$ perl -v
This is perl 5, version 12, subversion 2 (v5.12.2) built for x86_64-linux

You don't even have to install App::perlbrew, just execute:
curl -L | bash


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