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perlplan9 - Plan 9-specific documentation for Perl
These are a few notes describing features peculiar to
Plan 9 Perl. As such, it is not intended to be a replacement
for the rest of the Perl 5 documentation (which is both
copious and excellent). If you have any questions to
which you can't find answers in these man pages, contact
Luther Huffman at email@example.com and we'll try to
Perl is invoked from the command line as described in
perl. Most perl scripts, however, do have a first line
such as ``#!/usr/local/bin/perl''. This is known as a shebang
(shell-bang) statement and tells the OS shell where to find
the perl interpreter. In Plan 9 Perl this statement should be
``#!/bin/perl'' if you wish to be able to directly invoke the
script by its name.
Alternatively, you may invoke perl with the command ``Perl''
instead of ``perl''. This will produce Acme-friendly error
messages of the form ``filename:18''.
Some scripts, usually identified with a *.PL extension, are
self-configuring and are able to correctly create their own
shebang path from config information located in Plan 9
Perl. These you won't need to be worried about.
What's in Plan 9 Perl
Although Plan 9 Perl currently only provides static
loading, it is built with a number of useful extensions.
These include Opcode, FileHandle, Fcntl, and POSIX. Expect
to see others (and DynaLoading!) in the future.
What's not in Plan 9 Perl
As mentioned previously, dynamic loading isn't currently
available nor is MakeMaker. Both are high-priority items.
Perl5 Functions not currently supported in Plan 9 Perl
Some, such as "chown" and "umask" aren't provided
because the concept does not exist within Plan 9. Others,
such as some of the socket-related functions, simply
haven't been written yet. Many in the latter category
may be supported in the future.
There may be several other functions that have undefined
behavior so this list shouldn't be considered complete.
Signals in Plan 9 Perl
For compatibility with perl scripts written for the Unix
environment, Plan 9 Perl uses the POSIX signal emulation
provided in Plan 9's ANSI POSIX Environment (APE). Signal stacking
isn't supported. The signals provided are:
This is a preliminary alpha version of Plan 9 Perl. Still to be
implemented are MakeMaker and DynaLoader. Many perl commands are
missing or currently behave in an inscrutable manner. These gaps will,
with perseverance and a modicum of luck, be remedied in the near
future.To install this software:
1. Create the source directories and libraries for perl by running the
plan9/setup.rc command (i.e., located in the plan9 subdirectory).
Note: the setup routine assumes that you haven't dearchived these
files into /sys/src/cmd/perl. After running setup.rc you may delete
the copy of the source you originally detarred, as source code has now
been installed in /sys/src/cmd/perl. If you plan on installing perl
binaries for all architectures, run ``setup.rc -a''.
2. After making sure that you have adequate privileges to build system
software, from /sys/src/cmd/perl/5.00301 (adjust version
If you wish to install perl versions for all architectures (68020,
mips, sparc and 386) run:
3. Wait. The build process will take a *long* time because perl
bootstraps itself. A 75MHz Pentium, 16MB RAM machine takes roughly 30
minutes to build the distribution from scratch.
Installing Perl Documentation on Plan 9
This perl distribution comes with a tremendous amount of
documentation. To add these to the built-in manuals that come with
Plan 9, from /sys/src/cmd/perl/5.00301 (adjust version appropriately)
To begin your reading, start with:
This is a good introduction and will direct you towards other man
pages that may interest you.
(Note: ``mk man'' may produce some extraneous noise. Fear not.)
``As many as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the
world . . .'' - Carl Sagan
This document was revised 09-October-1996 for Perl 5.003_7.
Direct questions, comments, and the unlikely bug report (ahem) direct