PERLDOS(1) Perl Programmers Reference Guide PERLDOS(1)
perldos - Perl under DOS, W31, W95.
These are instructions for building Perl under DOS (or w??), using
DJGPP v2.03 or later. Under w95 long filenames are supported.
Before you start, you should glance through the README file found in
the top-level directory where the Perl distribution was extracted.
Make sure you read and understand the terms under which this software
is being distributed.
This port currently supports MakeMaker (the set of modules that is used
to build extensions to perl). Therefore, you should be able to build
and install most extensions found in the CPAN sites.
Detailed instructions on how to build and install perl extension
modules, including XS-type modules, is included. See 'BUILDING AND
Prerequisites for Compiling Perl on DOS
DJGPP is a port of GNU C/C++ compiler and development tools to
32-bit, protected-mode environment on Intel 32-bit CPUs running MS-
DOS and compatible operating systems, by DJ Delorie
<firstname.lastname@example.org> and friends.
For more details (FAQ), check out the home of DJGPP at:
If you have questions about DJGPP, try posting to the DJGPP
newsgroup: comp.os.msdos.djgpp, or use the email gateway
You can find the full DJGPP distribution on any of the mirrors
You need the following files to build perl (or add new modules):
or possibly any newer version.
Thread support is not tested in this version of the djgpp perl.
Shortcomings of Perl under DOS
Perl under DOS lacks some features of perl under UNIX because of
deficiencies in the UNIX-emulation, most notably:
o fork() and pipe()
o some features of the UNIX filesystem regarding link count and file
o in-place operation is a little bit broken with short filenames
Building Perl on DOS
o Unpack the source package perl5.8*.tar.gz with djtarx. If you want
to use long file names under w95 and also to get Perl to pass all
its tests, don't forget to use
before unpacking the archive.
o Create a "symlink" or copy your bash.exe to sh.exe in your
ln -s bash.exe sh.exe
[If you have the recommended version of bash for DJGPP, this is
already done for you.]
And make the "SHELL" environment variable point to this sh.exe:
set SHELL=c:/djgpp/bin/sh.exe (use full path name!)
You can do this in djgpp.env too. Add this line BEFORE any section
o If you have split.exe and gsplit.exe in your path, then rename
split.exe to djsplit.exe, and gsplit.exe to split.exe. Copy or
link gecho.exe to echo.exe if you don't have echo.exe. Copy or
link gawk.exe to awk.exe if you don't have awk.exe.
[If you have the recommended versions of djdev, shell utilities and
gawk, all these are already done for you, and you will not need to
o Chdir to the djgpp subdirectory of perl toplevel and type the
This will do some preprocessing then run the Configure script for
you. The Configure script is interactive, but in most cases you
just need to press ENTER. The "set" command ensures that DJGPP
preserves the letter case of file names when reading directories.
If you already issued this set command when unpacking the archive,
and you are in the same DOS session as when you unpacked the
archive, you don't have to issue the set command again. This
command is necessary *before* you start to (re)configure or
(re)build perl in order to ensure both that perl builds correctly
and that building XS-type modules can succeed. See the DJGPP info
entry for "_preserve_fncase" for more information:
info libc alphabetical _preserve_fncase
If the script says that your package is incomplete, and asks
whether to continue, just answer with Y (this can only happen if
you don't use long filenames or forget to issue "set FNCASE=y"
When Configure asks about the extensions, I suggest IO and Fcntl,
and if you want database handling then SDBM_File or GDBM_File (you
need to install gdbm for this one). If you want to use the POSIX
extension (this is the default), make sure that the stack size of
your cc1.exe is at least 512kbyte (you can check this with:
You can use the Configure script in non-interactive mode too. When
I built my perl.exe, I used something like this:
You can find more info about Configure's command line switches in
the INSTALL file.
When the script ends, and you want to change some values in the
generated config.sh file, then run
sh Configure -S
after you made your modifications.
IMPORTANT: if you use this "-S" switch, be sure to delete the
CONFIG environment variable before running the script:
o Now you can compile Perl. Type:
Testing Perl on DOS
If you're lucky you should see "All tests successful". But there can be
a few failed subtests (less than 5 hopefully) depending on some
external conditions (e.g. some subtests fail under linux/dosemu or
plain dos with short filenames only).
Installation of Perl on DOS
This will copy the newly compiled perl and libraries into your DJGPP
directory structure. Perl.exe and the utilities go into "($DJDIR)/bin",
and the library goes under "($DJDIR)/lib/perl5". The pod documentation
goes under "($DJDIR)/lib/perl5/pod".
BUILDING AND INSTALLING MODULES ON DOS
Building Prerequisites for Perl on DOS
For building and installing non-XS modules, all you need is a working
perl under DJGPP. Non-XS modules do not require re-linking the perl
binary, and so are simpler to build and install.
XS-type modules do require re-linking the perl binary, because part of
an XS module is written in "C", and has to be linked together with the
perl binary to be executed. This is required because perl under DJGPP
is built with the "static link" option, due to the lack of "dynamic
linking" in the DJGPP environment.
Because XS modules require re-linking of the perl binary, you need both
the perl binary distribution and the perl source distribution to build
an XS extension module. In addition, you will have to have built your
perl binary from the source distribution so that all of the components
of the perl binary are available for the required link step.
Unpacking CPAN Modules on DOS
First, download the module package from CPAN (e.g., the "Comma
Separated Value" text package, Text-CSV-0.01.tar.gz). Then expand the
contents of the package into some location on your disk. Most CPAN
modules are built with an internal directory structure, so it is
usually safe to expand it in the root of your DJGPP installation. Some
people prefer to locate source trees under /usr/src (i.e.,
"($DJDIR)/usr/src"), but you may put it wherever seems most logical to
you, *EXCEPT* under the same directory as your perl source code. There
are special rules that apply to modules which live in the perl source
tree that do not apply to most of the modules in CPAN.
Unlike other DJGPP packages, which are normal "zip" files, most CPAN
module packages are "gzipped tarballs". Recent versions of WinZip will
safely unpack and expand them, *UNLESS* they have zero-length files.
It is a known WinZip bug (as of v7.0) that it will not extract zero-
From the command line, you can use the djtar utility provided with
DJGPP to unpack and expand these files. For example:
C:\djgpp>djtarx -v Text-CSV-0.01.tar.gz
This will create the new directory "($DJDIR)/Text-CSV-0.01", filling it
with the source for this module.
Building Non-XS Modules on DOS
To build a non-XS module, you can use the standard module-building
instructions distributed with perl modules.
This is sufficient because non-XS modules install only ".pm" files and
(sometimes) pod and/or man documentation. No re-linking of the perl
binary is needed to build, install or use non-XS modules.
Building XS Modules on DOS
To build an XS module, you must use the standard module-building
instructions distributed with perl modules *PLUS* three extra
instructions specific to the DJGPP "static link" build environment.
make -f Makefile.aperl inst_perl MAP_TARGET=perl.exe
The first extra instruction sets DJGPP's FNCASE environment variable so
that the new perl binary which you must build for an XS-type module
will build correctly. The second extra instruction re-builds the perl
binary in your module directory before you run "make test", so that you
are testing with the new module code you built with "make". The third
extra instruction installs the perl binary from your module directory
into the standard DJGPP binary directory, "($DJDIR)/bin", replacing
your previous perl binary.
Note that the MAP_TARGET value *must* have the ".exe" extension or you
will not create a "perl.exe" to replace the one in "($DJDIR)/bin".
When you are done, the XS-module install process will have added
information to your "perllocal" information telling that the perl
binary has been replaced, and what module was installed. You can view
this information at any time by using the command:
perl -S perldoc perllocal
Laszlo Molnar, email@example.com [Installing/building perl]
Peter J. Farley III firstname.lastname@example.org [Building/installing modules]
perl v5.26.1 2020-10-19 PERLDOS(1)
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