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
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
miniperl is built using ./win32/Makefile; this is part of normal
build process invoked as dependency from wince/Makefile.ce
o After miniperl is built, configpm is invoked to create right
Config.pm in right place and its corresponding Cross.pm.
Unlike Win32 build, miniperl will not have Config.pm of host within
reach; it rather will use Config.pm from within cross-compilation
File Cross.pm is dead simple: for given cross-architecture places
in @INC a path where perl modules are, and right Config.pm in that
That said, "miniperl -Ilib -MConfig -we 1" should report an error,
because it can not find Config.pm. If it does not give an error --
wrong Config.pm is substituted, and resulting binaries will be a
"miniperl -MCross -MConfig -we 1" should run okay, and it will
provide right Config.pm for further compilations.
o During extensions build phase, a script ./win32/buldext.pl 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
This section describes the steps to be performed to build PerlCE. You
may find additional information about building perl for WinCE at
<http://perlce.sourceforge.net> and some pre-built binaries.
Tools & SDK
For compiling, you need following:
o Microsoft Embedded Visual Tools
o Microsoft Visual C++
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 way.
To prepare distribution you need to do following:
o go to ./win32 subdirectory
o edit file ./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat
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 fit perfectly to this purpose) and your compile.bat
has proper "MACHINE" parameter set, to, say,
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
Target "dist" prepares distribution file set. Target "zipdist" performs
same as "dist" but additionally compresses distribution files into zip
NOTE: during a build there could be created a number (or one) of
Config.pm for cross-compilation ("foreign" Config.pm) and those are
hidden inside ../xlib/$(CROSS_NAME) with other auxiliary files, but,
and this is important to note, there should be no Config.pm for host
miniperl. If you'll get an error that perl could not find Config.pm
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
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
limited number of cols.
When exitcode is non-zero, a message box appears, otherwise the console
closes, so you might have to catch an exit with 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,
- Rows/cols for console.
- Home directory.
- Size for console font.
You can set these with cereg.exe, a (remote) registry editor or via the
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.
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 added.
Two directories ./win32 and ./wince were merged, so perlce build
process comes in ./win32 directory.
Rainer Keuchel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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!
made further support of WinCE port.
perl v5.18.2 2014-01-06 PERLCE(1)
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