Perl language for MPE
          Last updated January 12, 2006 @ 2100 UTC

       This is a podified version of what used to be on the above-mentioned
       web page, podified by Jarkko Hietaniemi 2001-Jan-01.

What's New in Perl for MPE/iX
       January 12, 2006

       o   Updated for perl-5.8.8 and perl-5.9.3 by Ken Hirsch.

           Simplified the build process by using the MPEAUTOCONF functionality
           in Mark Klein's ld.

           If you build this from scratch, make sure you have a version of ld
           which supports it.  In the shell, type

             ld --help
               and look for AUTOCONF or MPEAUTOCONF near the bottom

             or do this:
             ld --help 2>&1 | grep AUTOCONF

           If you see don't see AUTOCONF or MPEAUTOCONF, make sure you get a
           new version.

           You also do not have to use mpeix/relink after building, so the
           recommend sequence is:

             ./Configure -de

                 # or ./Configure -de -Dusedevel
                 # if you're building a development version

             make test
                # if you run this in a job, do "make test_notty"

             make install

           Be prepared for a wait. These take much longer on MPE/iX than on a
           Unix system, because of a slow forking, mostly.  On a lightly-
           loaded HP3000 Series 979 running MPE/iX 7.5:

               Configure: 1 hour
               make:      1 hour 15 minutes
               make test  1 hour 45 minutes

           Various socket problems were fixed in mpeix.c.

           o       libnet (as seen on CPAN)

           o       libwww-perl (LWP) which lets Perl programs behave like web

           o       mod_perl (just the perl portion; the actual DSO will be
                   released soon with Apache/iX 1.3.12 from  This
                   module allows you to write high performance persistent Perl
                   CGI scripts and all sorts of cool things.

                   and much much more hiding under /PERL/PUB/.cpan/

           o       The CPAN module now works for automatic downloading and
                   installing of add-on packages:

                       1. export FTP_PASSIVE=1
                       2. perl -MCPAN -e shell
                       3. Ignore any terminal I/O related complaints!


       May 20, 2000

       o   Updated to version 5.6.0.  Builds straight out of the box on

       o   Perl's getpwnam() function which had regressed to being
           unimplemented on MPE is now implemented once again.

       September 17, 1999

       o   Migrated from to

Welcome to Perl/iX
       This is the official home page for the HP e3000 MPE/iX (
       <> ) port of the Perl scripting language (
       <> ) which gives you all of the power of C, awk,
       sed, and sh in a single language. Check here for the latest news,
       implemented functionality, known bugs, to-do list, etc. Status reports
       about major milestones will also be posted to the HP3000-L mailing list
       <> )
       and its associated gatewayed newsgroup comp.sys.hp.mpe.

       I'm doing this port because I can't live without Perl on the Unix
       machines that I administer, and I want to have the same power available
       to me on MPE.

       Please send your comments, questions, and bug reports directly to me,
       Mark Bixby ( <> ). Or just post them to

       The platform I'm using to do this port is an HP 3000 957RX running
           5.0 or earlier, nor does it run on "classic" MPE/V machines.

       o   If you wish to recompile Perl, you must install both GNUCORE and
           GNUGCC from jazz

       o   Perl/iX will be happier on MPE/iX 5.5 if you install the MPEKX40B
           extended POSIX filename characters patch, but this is optional.

       o   Patch LBCJXT6A is required on MPE/iX 5.5 machines in order to
           prevent Perl/iX from dying with an unresolved external reference to

       o   If you will be compiling Perl/iX yourself, you will also need
           Syslog/iX ( <> ) and the
           /BIND/PUB/include and /BIND/PUB/lib portions of BIND/iX (
           <> ).

How to Obtain Perl/iX
       1.  Download Perl using either FTP.ARPA.SYS or some other client

       2.  Extract the installation script

       3.  Edit the installation script

       4.  Run the installation script

       5.  Convert your *.a system archive libraries to *.sl shared libraries

       Download Perl using FTP.ARPA.SYS from your HP 3000 (the preferred

           :XEQ FTP.ARPA.SYS
           cd /pub/mpe
           get perl-5.6.0-mpe.tar.Z /tmp/perl.tar.Z;disc=2147483647

       .....Or download using some other generic web or ftp client (the
       alternate method)

       Download the following files (make sure that you use "binary mode" or
       whatever client feature that is 8-bit clean):

       o   Perl from



       o   Edit the installation script

           Examine the accounting structure creation commands and modify if
           necessary (adding additional capabilities, choosing a non-system
           volume set, etc).

               :XEQ VI.HPBIN.SYS /tmp/INSTALL

       o   Run the installation script.

           The accounting structure will be created and then all files will be
           extracted from the archive.

               :XEQ SH.HPBIN.SYS /tmp/INSTALL

       o   Convert your *.a system archive libraries to *.sl shared libraries

           You only have to do this ONCE on your MPE/iX 5.5 machine in order
           to convert /lib/lib*.a and /usr/lib/lib*.a libraries to their *.sl
           equivalents.  This step should not be necessary on MPE/iX 6.0 or
           later machines because the 6.0 or later update process does it for


Perl/iX Distribution Contents Highlights
           The file you're reading now.

           Perl/iX Installation script.

           Script to convert *.a system archive libraries to *.sl shared

           Perl NMPRG executable.  A version-numbered backup copy also exists.
           You might wish to "ln -s /PERL/PUB/PERL /usr/local/bin/perl".

           Much add-on source code downloaded with the CPAN module.

           Perl libraries, both core and add-on.

           Perl man page documentation.

           Sample feedback CGI form written in Perl.

           Source code.

       6.  make test (expect approximately 15 out of 11306 subtests to fail,
           mostly due to MPE not supporting hard links, UDP socket problems,
           and handling exit() return codes improperly)

       7.  make install

       8.  Optionally create symbolic links that point to the Perl executable,
           i.e. ln -s /PERL/PUB/PERL /usr/local/bin/perl

       The summary test results from "cd t; ./perl -I../lib harness":

         Failed Test  Status Wstat Total Fail  Failed  List of failed
         io/fs.t                      29    8  27.59%  2-5, 7-9, 11
         io/openpid.t                 10    1  10.00%  7
         lib/io_sock.t                14    1   7.14%  13
         lib/io_udp.t                  7    2  28.57%  3, 5
         lib/posix.t                  27    1   3.70%  12
         op/lex_assign.t             187    1   0.53%  13
         op/stat.t                    58    1   1.72%  3
         15 tests and 94 subtests skipped.
         Failed 7/236 test scripts, 97.03% okay. 15/11306 subtests failed, 99.87% okay.

Getting Started with Perl/iX
       Create your Perl script files with "#!/PERL/PUB/perl" (or an equivalent
       symbolic link) as the first line.  Use the chmod command to make sure
       that your script has execute permission. Run your script!

       Be sure to take a look at the CPAN module list (
       <> ). A wide variety of free Perl software
       is available.  You can automatically download these packages by using
       the CPAN module ( <> ).

MPE/iX Implementation Considerations
       There some minor functionality issues to be aware of when comparing
       Perl for Unix (Perl/UX) to Perl/iX:

       o   MPE gcc/ld doesn't properly support linking NMPRG executables
           against NMXL dynamic libraries, so you must manually run
           mpeix/relink after each re-build of Perl.

       o   Perl/iX File::Copy will use MPE's /bin/cp command to copy files by
           name in order to preserve file attributes like file code.

       o   MPE (and thus Perl/iX) lacks support for setgrent(), endgrent(),
           setpwent(), endpwent().

       o   MPE (and thus Perl/iX) lacks support for hard links.

       o   MPE requires GETPRIVMODE() in order to bind() to ports less than
           1024.  Perl/iX will call GETPRIVMODE() automatically on your behalf
           if you attempt to bind() to these low-numbered ports.  Note that
           the Perl/iX executable and the PERL account do not normally have
           CAP=PM, so if you will be bind()-ing to these privileged ports, you

Perl/iX To-Do List
       o   Make setuid()/setgid() support work.

       o   Make sure that fcntl() against a socket descriptor is redirected to

       o   Add support for Berkeley DB once I've finished porting Berkeley DB.

       o   Write an MPE XS extension library containing miscellaneous
           important MPE functions like GETPRIVMODE(), GETUSERMODE(), and

Perl/iX Change History
       May 6, 1999

       o   Patch LBCJXT6A is required on MPE/iX 5.5 machines in order to
           prevent Perl/iX from dying with an unresolved external reference to

       April 7, 1999

       o   Updated to version 5.005_03.

       o   The official source distribution once again compiles "straight out
           of the box" for MPE.

       o   The current incarnation of the 5.5 POSIX filename extended
           characters patch is now MPEKX40B.

       o   The LIBSHP3K *.a -> *.sl library conversion script is now included
           as /PERL/PUB/LIBSHP3K.

       November 20, 1998

       o   Updated to version 5.005_02.

       o   Fixed a DynaLoader bug that was unable to load symbols from
           relative path name libraries.

       o   Fixed a .xs compilation bug where the include file
           wasn't being installed into the proper directory.

       o   All bugfixes will be submitted back to the official Perl

       o   The current incarnation of the POSIX filename extended characters
           patch is now MPEKXJ3A.

       August 14, 1998

       o   The previous POSIX filename extended characters patch MPEKX44C has
           been superseded by MPEKXB5A.

           sources are now 100% MPE-ready "straight out of the box".

       July 17, 1998

       o   Updated to version 5.005b1 (public beta release).  The public
           freeware sources are now 99.9% MPE-ready.  By installing and
           testing this beta on your own HP3000, you will be helping to insure
           that the final release of 5.005 will be 100% MPE-ready and 100% bug

       o   My MPE binary release is now extracted using my standard INSTALL

       July 15, 1998

       o   Changed startperl to #!/PERL/PUB/perl so that Perl will recognize
           scripts more easily and efficiently.

       July 8, 1998

       o   Updated to version 5.004_70 (internal developer release) which is
           now MPE-ready.  The next public freeware release of Perl should
           compile "straight out of the box" on MPE.  Note that this version
           of Perl/iX was strictly internal to me and never publicly released.
           Note that [21]BIND/iX is now required (well, the include files and
           libbind.a) if you wish to compile Perl/iX.

       November 6, 1997

       o   Updated to version 5.004_04.  No changes in MPE-specific

       October 16, 1997

       o   Added Demos section to the Perl/iX home page so you can see some
           sample Perl applications running on my 3000.

       October 3, 1997

       o   Added System Requirements section to the Perl/iX home page just so
           the prerequisites stand out more. Various other home page tweaks.

       October 2, 1997

       o   Initial public release.

       September 1997

       o   Porting begins.

       Mark Bixby, <>
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