Perl 5.6.1 HP freeware for MPE/iX

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Last updated July 30, 2001

Perl is a programming language optimized for string handling and combines the best features of C, sed, awk, and sh. Perl also does well in system management, networking, and web applications. Perl is extremely popular, and its passionate adherents have assembled a vast collection of free software at the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network.

This distribution is unsupported freeware that has been ported and packaged by HP for use on MPE/iX. This software has been minimally tested. HP does not guarantee updates or problem fixes for this freeware.

This software comes with MPE installation scripts, MPE installation instructions, binaries, additional files needed to run the software, and MPE-specific documentation.


The following prerequisites apply to this distribution of Perl:
  • MPE/iX 6.0 or greater. This software has not been tested on versions earlier than 6.0.
  • Approximately 325000 sectors of available disk space.
  • Perl has been linked to use the shared libraries /lib/*.sl and /usr/lib/*.sl; if these libraries are missing or have restrictive permissions then Perl will not run. These libraries are a standard part of MPE FOS starting with 6.0. If for some reason you are missing these libraries, you can recreate them by logging on as MANAGER.SYS and then running the shell script /PERL/PUB/mpebin/LIBS.hp3000.

Downloading the software

  1. Download the software from the resulting list of links.
  2. Upload the software to your HP e3000 as a POSIX bytestream file named /tmp/perl.tar.Z.

Installing the software

  3. cd /tmp
  4. tar xvfopz /tmp/perl.tar.Z INSTALL
  5. Optionally edit the /tmp/INSTALL script to choose a non-random account password, non-system volume set, etc.
  6. /tmp/INSTALL (i.e. run the INSTALL script)
  7. The software will be installed into the PERL account.

Distribution highlights

All files reside in the PERL account. This distribution consists solely of the base Perl distribution, and does not include any bundled add-on modules such as mod_perl, etc.

Perl uses its own multi-versioning scheme to facilitate updates without destroying previous versions. Key files in the top-level directory have version number suffixes, and the lib subdirectory has version number branches. These version number items are not purged by updates, so it is up to you to manually remove them once you are satisfied that an update is operating properly.

The main files and directories of this distribution are as follows:
The Perl interpreter NMPRG for the most recently installed update.
Directory tree containing all of Perl's built-in functions and modules along with whatever add-on modules you have installed.
Directory containing man page documentation, suitable for adding to the MANPATH environment variable.
Directory containing various support files for compiling and packaging this distribution on MPE.
Symbolic link pointing to the active Perl interpreter NMPRG. Your own Perl scripts should use this name for the interpreter, i.e. the first line of your scripts should be "#!/PERL/PUB/perl".
Directory containing the Perl source code. All changes required for MPE have been submitted back to the Perl developers and incorporated into the official Perl source code that is available from Any MPE changes not yet available from are included in a diff file in this same directory.

Compiling the software

This distribution contains pre-compiled binaries that are ready to run, so compiling is not required. However, if you would like to compile it yourself, just follow these steps:
  1. Obtain and install the latest version of the GNU gcc bundle from gnuframe.shtm
  4. cd src/perl-*
  5. ./Configure -de
  6. make
  7. mpeix/relink
  8. make test
  9. make install

Integration with MPE/iX

A few MPE-specific modules are starting to become available for Perl. The following is a partial list; none of these are bundled with this distribution, so if you want to play with them you'll have to download and build them yourself:
Ken Hirsch's interface for MPE/iX JCWs, CI variables, and the HPCICOMMAND intrinsic. Please see Invent3k Ken Hirsch for more info.
Dave Oksner's (formerly Ted Ashton's) interface for MPE/iX TurboIMAGE databases. Please see for more info.
Files: MPE-IMAGE-0.98a.tar.gz MPE-IMAGE-0.98a.txt

For further information

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