perlplan9 - Plan 9-specific documentation for Perl

NAME  DESCRIPTION  Invoking Perl  What’s in Plan 9 Perl  What’s not in Plan 9 Perl  Perl5 Functions not currently supported in Plan 9 Perl  Signals in Plan 9 Perl  COMPILING AND INSTALLING PERL ON PLAN 9  Installing Perl Documentation on Plan 9  BUGS  Revision date  AUTHOR 


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 protected] and we’ll try to answer them.

Invoking Perl

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.

The functions not currently implemented include:

chown, chroot, dbmclose, dbmopen, getsockopt,
setsockopt, recvmsg, sendmsg, getnetbyname,
getnetbyaddr, getnetent, getprotoent, getservent,
sethostent, setnetent, setprotoent, setservent,
endservent, endnetent, endprotoent, umask

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:



WELCOME to Plan 9 Perl, brave soul!

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 appropriately) run:

mk install

If you wish to install perl versions for all architectures (68020, mips, sparc and 386) run:

mk installall

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) run:

mk man

To begin your reading, start with:

man perl

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

Revision date

This document was revised 09−October−1996 for Perl 5.003_7.


Direct questions, comments, and the unlikely bug report (ahem) direct comments toward:

Luther Huffman, [email protected], Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc.

Updated 2024-01-29 - |