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2 This file is written in the POD format (see [.POD]PERLPOD.POD;1) which is
3 specially designed to be readable as is.
5 =head1 NAME
7 perlvms - Configuring, building, testing, and installing perl on VMS
9 =head1 SYNOPSIS
11 To configure, build, test, and install perl on VMS:
15 mmk test
16 mmk install
18 =head1 DESCRIPTION
20 =head2 Important safety tip
22 For best results, make sure you read the "Configuring the Perl Build",
23 "Building Perl", and "Installing Perl" sections of this document before
24 you build or install. Also please note other changes in the current
25 release by having a look at L<perldelta/VMS>.
27 =head2 Introduction to Perl on VMS
29 The VMS port of Perl is as functionally complete as any other Perl port
30 (and as complete as the ports on some Unix systems). The Perl binaries
31 provide all the Perl system calls that are either available under VMS or
32 reasonably emulated. There are some incompatibilities in process handling
33 (e.g. the fork/exec model for creating subprocesses doesn't do what you
34 might expect under Unix), mainly because VMS and Unix handle processes and
35 sub-processes very differently.
37 There are still some unimplemented system functions, and of course we
38 could use modules implementing useful VMS system services, so if you'd like
39 to lend a hand we'd love to have you. Join the Perl Porting Team Now!
41 =head2 Other required software for Compiling Perl on VMS
43 In addition to VMS and DCL you will need three things:
45 =over 4
47 =item 1 A C compiler.
49 HP (formerly Compaq, more formerly DEC) C for VMS (VAX, Alpha, or Itanium).
50 Various ancient versions of DEC C had some caveats, so if you're using a
51 version older than 7.x on Alpha or Itanium or 6.x on VAX, you may need to
52 upgrade to get a successful build.
54 There have been no recent reports of builds using Gnu C, but latent
55 (and most likely outdated) support for it is still present in various
56 parts of the sources.
58 There is rudimentary but not quite complete support for HP C++; to try it out,
59 configure with C<-"Dusecxx" -"Duser_c_flags=/WARN=INFORMATIONAL=NOCTOBUTCONREFM">.
61 =item 2 A make tool.
63 You will need the free MMS analog MMK (available from
64 L<http://ftp.endlesssoftware.com.au/mmk/kits/> or
65 L<https://github.com/endlesssoftware/mmk>). HP's MMS has not been known to work for
66 some time as Perl's automatically-generated description files are too complex for it,
67 but MMS support may return in the future. Gnu Make might work, but it's been so long
68 since anyone's tested it that we're not sure.
70 =item 3 ODS-5 and Extended Parse
72 All development and testing of Perl on VMS takes place on ODS-5 volumes with
73 extended parse enabled in the environment via the command C<SET PROCESS/PARSE=EXTENDED>.
74 Latent support for ODS-2 volumes (including on VAX) is still present, but the number
75 of components that require ODS-5 features is steadily growing and ODS-2 support may be
76 completely removed in a future release.
81 =head2 Additional software that is optional for Perl on VMS
83 You may also want to have on hand:
85 =over 4
87 =item 1 gunzip/gzip for VMS
89 A de-compressor for *.gz and *.tgz files available from a number
90 of web/ftp sites such as:
95 =item 2 VMS tar
97 For reading and writing Unix tape archives (*.tar files). Vmstar is also
98 available from a number of sites such as:
103 A port of GNU tar is also available as part of the GNV package:
107 =item 3 unzip for VMS
109 A combination decompressor and archive reader/writer for *.zip files.
110 Unzip is available from a number of web/ftp sites.
116 =item 5 GNU patch and diffutils for VMS
118 Patches to Perl are usually distributed as GNU unified or contextual diffs.
119 Such patches are created by the GNU diff program (part of the diffutils
120 distribution) and applied with GNU patch. VMS ports of these utilities are
121 available here:
128 Please note that unzip and gunzip are not the same thing (they work with
129 different formats). Many of the useful files from CPAN (the Comprehensive
130 Perl Archive Network) are in *.tar.gz or *.tgz format (this includes copies
131 of the source code for perl as well as modules and scripts that you may
132 wish to add later) hence you probably want to have GUNZIP.EXE and
133 VMSTAR.EXE on your VMS machine.
135 If you want to include socket support, you'll need a TCP/IP stack and either
136 DEC C, or socket libraries. See the "Socket Support (optional)" topic
137 for more details.
139 =head1 Unpacking the Perl source code
141 You may need to set up a foreign symbol for the unpacking utility of
142 choice. Once you have done so, use a command like the following to
143 unpack the archive:
145 vmstar -xvf perl-5^.30^.3.tar
147 Then set default to the top-level source directory like so:
149 set default [.perl-5^.30^.3]
151 and proceed with configuration as described in the next section.
154 =head1 Configuring the Perl build
156 To configure perl (a necessary first step), issue the command
160 from the top of an unpacked perl source directory. You will be asked a
161 series of questions, and the answers to them (along with the capabilities
162 of your C compiler and network stack) will determine how perl is custom-
163 built for your machine.
165 If you have any symbols or logical names in your environment that may
166 interfere with the build or regression testing of perl then F<configure.com>
167 will try to warn you about them. If a logical name is causing
168 you trouble but is in an LNM table that you do not have write access to
169 then try defining your own to a harmless equivalence string in a table
170 such that it is resolved before the other (e.g. if TMP is defined in the
171 SYSTEM table then try DEFINE TMP "NL:" or somesuch in your process table)
172 otherwise simply deassign the dangerous logical names. The potentially
173 troublesome logicals and symbols include:
175 COMP "LOGICAL"
176 EXT "LOGICAL"
177 FOO "LOGICAL"
178 LIB "LOGICAL"
179 LIST "LOGICAL"
180 MIME "LOGICAL"
181 POSIX "LOGICAL"
182 SYS "LOGICAL"
183 T "LOGICAL"
184 THREAD "LOGICAL"
185 THREADS "LOGICAL"
186 TIME "LOGICAL"
187 TMP "LOGICAL"
188 UNICODE "LOGICAL"
189 UTIL "LOGICAL"
190 TEST "SYMBOL"
192 As a handy shortcut, the command:
194 @configure "-des"
196 (note the quotation marks and case) will choose reasonable defaults
197 automatically. Some options can be given explicitly on the command line;
198 the following example specifies a non-default location for where Perl
199 will be installed:
201 @configure "-d" "-Dprefix=dka100:[utils.perl5.]"
203 Note that the installation location would be by default where you unpacked
204 the source with a "_ROOT." appended. For example if you unpacked the perl
205 source into:
209 Then the F<PERL_SETUP.COM> that gets written out by F<configure.com> will
210 try to DEFINE your installation PERL_ROOT to be:
214 More help with configure.com is available from:
216 @configure "-h"
218 If you find yourself reconfiguring and rebuilding then be sure to also follow
219 the advice in the "Cleaning up and starting fresh (optional)" and the checklist
220 of items in the "CAVEATS" sections below.
222 =head2 Changing compile-time options (optional) for Perl on VMS
224 Most of the user-definable features of Perl are enabled or disabled in
225 configure.com, which processes the hints file config_h.SH. There is
226 code in there to Do The Right Thing, but that may end up being the
227 wrong thing for you. Make sure you understand what you are doing since
228 inappropriate changes to configure.com or config_h.SH can render perl
229 unbuildable; odds are that there's nothing in there you'll need to
230 change. Note also that non-default options are tested less than default
231 options, so you may end up being more of a pioneer than you intend to be.
233 =head2 Socket Support (optional) for Perl on VMS
235 Perl includes a number of functions for IP sockets, which are available if
236 you choose to compile Perl with socket support. It does this via the socket
237 routines built into the CRTL regarless of which TCP/IP stack your system
240 =head1 Building Perl
242 The configuration script will print out, at the very end, the MMS or MMK
243 command you need to compile perl. Issue it (exactly as printed) to start
244 the build.
246 Once you issue your MMS or MMK command, sit back and wait. Perl should
247 compile and link without a problem. If a problem does occur check the
248 "CAVEATS" section of this document. If that does not help send some
249 mail to the VMSPERL mailing list. Instructions are in the L</"Mailing Lists">
250 section of this document.
252 =head1 Testing Perl
254 Once Perl has built cleanly you need to test it to make sure things work.
255 This step is very important since there are always things that can go wrong
256 somehow and yield a dysfunctional Perl for you.
258 Testing is very easy, though, as there's a full test suite in the perl
259 distribution. To run the tests, enter the I<exact> MMS line you used to
260 compile Perl and add the word "test" to the end, like this:
262 If the compile command was:
266 then the test command ought to be:
268 MMK test
270 MMK (or MMS) will run all the tests. This may take some time, as there are
271 a lot of tests. If any tests fail, there will be a note made on-screen.
272 At the end of all the tests, a summary of the tests, the number passed and
273 failed, and the time taken will be displayed.
275 The test driver invoked via MMK TEST has a DCL wrapper ([.VMS]TEST.COM) that
276 downgrades privileges to NETMBX, TMPMBX for the duration of the test run,
277 and then restores them to their prior state upon completion of testing.
278 This is done to ensure that the tests run in a private sandbox and can do no
279 harm to your system even in the unlikely event something goes badly wrong in
280 one of the test scripts while running the tests from a privileged account.
281 A side effect of this safety precaution is that the account used to run the
282 test suite must be the owner of the directory tree in which Perl has been
283 built; otherwise the manipulations of temporary files and directories
284 attempted by some of the tests will fail.
286 If any tests fail, it means something is wrong with Perl, or at least
287 with the particular module or feature that reported failure. If the test suite
288 hangs (some tests can take upwards of two or three minutes, or more if
289 you're on an especially slow machine, depending on your machine speed, so
290 don't be hasty), then the test I<after> the last one displayed failed. Don't
291 install Perl unless you're confident that you're OK. Regardless of how
292 confident you are, make a bug report to the VMSPerl mailing list.
294 If one or more tests fail, you can get more information on the failure by
295 issuing this command sequence:
297 @[.vms]test .typ "" "-v" [.subdir]test.t
299 where ".typ" is the file type of the Perl images you just built (if you
300 didn't do anything special, use .EXE), and "[.subdir]test.t" is the test
301 that failed. For example, with a normal Perl build, if the test indicated
302 that t/op/time failed, then you'd do this:
304 @ .vms]test .EXE "" "-v" [.OP]TIME.t
306 Note that test names are reported in UNIX syntax and relative to the
307 top-level build directory. When supplying them individually to the test
308 driver, you can use either UNIX or VMS syntax, but you must give the path
309 relative to the [.t] directory and you must also add the .t extension to the
310 filename. So, for example if the test lib/Math/Trig fails, you would run:
312 @[.vms]test .EXE "" -"v" [-.lib.math]trig.t
314 When you send in a bug report for failed tests, please include the output
315 from this command, which is run from the main source directory:
317 MCR MINIPERL "-Ilib" "-V"
319 Note that -"V" really is a capital V in double quotes. This will dump out a
320 couple of screens worth of configuration information, and can help us
321 diagnose the problem. If (and only if) that did not work then try enclosing
322 the output of:
324 MMK printconfig
326 If (and only if) that did not work then try enclosing the output of:
330 You may also be asked to provide your C compiler version ("CC/VERSION NL:"
331 with DEC C, "gcc --version" with GNU CC). To obtain the version of MMS or
332 MMK you are running try "MMS/ident" or "MMK /ident". The GNU make version
333 can be identified with "make --version".
335 =head2 Cleaning up and starting fresh (optional) installing Perl on VMS
337 If you need to recompile from scratch, you have to make sure you clean up
338 first. There is a procedure to do it--enter the I<exact> MMK line you used
339 to compile and add "realclean" at the end, like this:
341 if the compile command was:
345 then the cleanup command ought to be:
347 MMK realclean
349 If you do not do this things may behave erratically during the subsequent
350 rebuild attempt. They might not, too, so it is best to be sure and do it.
352 =head1 Installing Perl
354 There are several steps you need to take to get Perl installed and
357 =over 4
359 =item 1
361 Check your default file protections with
363 SHOW PROTECTION /DEFAULT
365 and adjust if necessary with C<SET PROTECTION=(code)/DEFAULT>.
367 =item 2
369 Decide where you want Perl to be installed (unless you have already done so
370 by using the "prefix" configuration parameter -- see the example in the
371 "Configuring the Perl build" section).
373 The DCL script PERL_SETUP.COM that is written by configure.com will help you
374 with the definition of the PERL_ROOT and PERLSHR logical names and the PERL
375 foreign command symbol. Take a look at PERL_SETUP.COM and modify it if you
376 want to. The installation process will execute PERL_SETUP.COM and copy
377 files to the directory tree pointed to by the PERL_ROOT logical name defined
378 there, so make sure that you have write access to the parent directory of
379 what will become the root of your Perl installation.
381 =item 3
383 Run the install script via:
385 MMK install
387 If for some reason it complains about target INSTALL being up to date,
388 throw a /FORCE switch on the MMS or MMK command.
392 Installation will copy F<PERL_SETUP.COM> to the root of your installation
393 tree. If you want to give everyone on the system access to Perl (and you
394 have, for example, installed to F<dsa0:[utils.perl_root]>) then add a line
395 that reads:
397 $ @dsa0:[utils.perl_root]perl_setup
399 to F<SYS$MANAGER:SYLOGIN.COM>. Or for your own use only, simply place
400 that line in F<SYS$LOGIN:LOGIN.COM>.
402 Two alternatives to the foreign symbol would be to install PERL into
403 DCLTABLES.EXE (Check out the section "Installing Perl into DCLTABLES
404 (optional)" for more information), or put the image in a
405 directory that's in your DCL$PATH.
407 See also the "INSTALLing images (optional)" section.
409 =head2 Installing Perl into DCLTABLES (optional) on VMS
411 Execute the following command file to define PERL as a DCL command.
412 You'll need CMKRNL privilege to install the new dcltables.exe.
414 $ create perl.cld
416 ! modify to reflect location of your perl.exe
418 define verb perl
419 image perl_root:perl.exe
420 cliflags (foreign)
422 $ set command perl /table=sys$common:[syslib]dcltables.exe -
424 $ install replace sys$common:[syslib]dcltables.exe
425 $ exit
427 =head2 INSTALLing Perl images (optional) on VMS
429 On systems that are using perl quite a bit, and particularly those with
430 minimal RAM, you can boost the performance of perl by INSTALLing it as
431 a known image. PERLSHR.EXE is typically larger than 3000 blocks
432 and that is a reasonably large amount of IO to load each time perl is
435 INSTALL ADD PERLSHR/SHARE
436 INSTALL ADD PERL/HEADER
438 should be enough for F<PERLSHR.EXE> (/share implies /header and /open),
439 while /HEADER should do for FPERL.EXE> (perl.exe is not a shared image).
441 If your code 'use's modules, check to see if there is a shareable image for
442 them, too. In the base perl build, POSIX, IO, Fcntl, Opcode, SDBM_File,
443 DCLsym, and Stdio, and other extensions all have shared images that can be
444 installed /SHARE.
446 How much of a win depends on your memory situation, but if you are firing
447 off perl with any regularity (like more than once every 20 seconds or so)
448 it is probably beneficial to INSTALL at least portions of perl.
450 While there is code in perl to remove privileges as it runs you are advised
451 to NOT INSTALL F<PERL.EXE> with PRIVs!
453 =head2 Running h2ph to create perl header files (optional) on VMS
455 If using HP C, ensure that you have extracted loose versions of your
456 compiler's header or *.H files. Be sure to check the contents of:
464 If using GNU cc then also check your GNU_CC:[000000...] tree for the locations
465 of the GNU cc headers.
467 =head1 Reporting Bugs
469 If you come across what you think might be a bug in Perl, please report
470 it. The issue tracker at L<https://github.com/Perl/perl5/issues> walks you
471 through the process of creating a bug report and including details of your
474 =head1 CAVEATS
476 Probably the single biggest gotcha in compiling Perl is giving the wrong
477 switches to MMS/MMK when you build. Use I<exactly> what the configure.com
478 script prints!
480 Be sure that the process that you use to build perl has a PGFLQ greater
481 than 100000. Be sure to have a correct local time zone to UTC offset
482 defined (in seconds) in the logical name SYS$TIMEZONE_DIFFERENTIAL before
483 running the regression test suite. The SYS$MANAGER:UTC$CONFIGURE_TDF.COM
484 procedure will help you set that logical for your system but may require
485 system privileges. For example, a location 5 hours west of UTC (such as
486 the US East coast while not on daylight savings time) would have:
488 DEFINE SYS$TIMEZONE_DIFFERENTIAL "-18000"
490 A final thing that causes trouble is leftover pieces from a failed
491 build. If things go wrong make sure you do a "(MMK|MMS|make) realclean"
492 before you rebuild.
494 =head2 GNU issues with Perl on VMS
496 It has been a while since the GNU utilities such as GCC or GNU make
497 were used to build perl on VMS. Hence they may require a great deal
498 of source code modification to work again.
500 =head2 Floating Point Considerations
502 Prior to 5.8.0, Perl simply accepted the default floating point options of the
503 C compiler, namely representing doubles with D_FLOAT on VAX and G_FLOAT on
504 Alpha. Single precision floating point values are represented in F_FLOAT
505 format when either D_FLOAT or G_FLOAT is in use for doubles. Beginning with
506 5.8.0, Alpha builds now use IEEE floating point formats by default, which in
507 VMS parlance are S_FLOAT for singles and T_FLOAT for doubles. IEEE is not
508 available on VAX, so F_FLOAT and D_FLOAT remain the defaults for singles and
509 doubles respectively. Itanium builds have always used IEEE by default. The
510 available non-default options are G_FLOAT on VAX and D_FLOAT or G_FLOAT on
511 Alpha or Itanium.
513 The use of IEEE on Alpha or Itanium introduces NaN, infinity, and denormalization
514 capabilities not available with D_FLOAT and G_FLOAT. When using one of those
515 non-IEEE formats, silent underflow and overflow are emulated in the conversion
516 of strings to numbers, but it is preferable to get the real thing by using
517 IEEE where possible.
519 Regardless of what floating point format you consider preferable, be aware
520 that the choice may have an impact on compatibility with external libraries,
521 such as database interfaces, and with existing data, such as data created with
522 the C<pack> function and written to disk, or data stored via the Storable
523 extension. For example, a C<pack("d", $foo)")> will create a D_FLOAT,
524 G_FLOAT, or T_FLOAT depending on what your Perl was configured with. When
525 written to disk, the value can only be retrieved later by a Perl configured
526 with the same floating point option that was in effect when it was created.
528 To obtain a non-IEEE build on Alpha or Itanium, simply answer no to the
529 "Use IEEE math?" question during the configuration. To obtain an option
530 different from the C compiler default on any platform, put in the option that
531 you want in answer to the "Any additional cc flags?" question. For example, to
532 obtain a G_FLOAT build on VAX, put in C</FLOAT=G_FLOAT>.
534 =head1 Mailing Lists
536 There are several mailing lists available to the Perl porter. For VMS
537 specific issues (including both Perl questions and installation problems)
538 there is the VMSPERL mailing list. It is usually a low-volume (10-12
539 messages a week) mailing list.
541 To subscribe, send a mail message to VMSPERL-SUBSCRIBE@PERL.ORG. The VMSPERL
542 mailing list address is VMSPERL@PERL.ORG. Any mail sent there gets echoed
543 to all subscribers of the list. There is a searchable archive of the list
544 on the web at:
548 To unsubscribe from VMSPERL send a message to VMSPERL-UNSUBSCRIBE@PERL.ORG.
549 Be sure to do so from the subscribed account that you are canceling.
551 =head2 Web sites for Perl on VMS
553 Vmsperl pages on the web include:
561 =head1 SEE ALSO
563 Perl information for users and programmers about the port of perl to VMS is
564 available from the [.POD]PERLVMS.POD file that gets installed as L<perlvms>.
565 For administrators the perlvms document also includes a detailed discussion
566 of extending vmsperl with CPAN modules after Perl has been installed.
568 =head1 AUTHORS
570 Originally by Charles Bailey email@example.com. See the git repository
571 for history.
573 =head1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
575 A real big thanks needs to go to Charles Bailey
576 firstname.lastname@example.org, who is ultimately responsible for Perl 5.004
577 running on VMS. Without him, nothing the rest of us have done would be at
578 all important.
580 There are, of course, far too many people involved in the porting and testing
581 of Perl to mention everyone who deserves it, so please forgive us if we've
582 missed someone. That said, special thanks are due to the following:
584 Tim Adye T.J.Adye@rl.ac.uk
585 for the VMS emulations of getpw*()
586 David Denholm email@example.com
587 for extensive testing and provision of pipe and SocketShr code,
588 Mark Pizzolato firstname.lastname@example.org
589 for the getredirection() code
590 Rich Salz email@example.com
591 for readdir() and related routines
592 Peter Prymmer firstname.lastname@example.org
593 for extensive testing, as well as development work on
594 configuration and documentation for VMS Perl,
595 Dan Sugalski email@example.com
596 for extensive contributions to recent version support,
597 development of VMS-specific extensions, and dissemination
598 of information about VMS Perl,
599 the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the
600 Laboratory of Nuclear Studies at Cornell University for
601 the opportunity to test and develop for the AXP,
602 John Hasstedt John.Hasstedt@sunysb.edu
603 for VAX VMS V7.2 support
604 John Malmberg firstname.lastname@example.org
605 for ODS-5 filename handling and other modernizations
607 and to the entire VMSperl group for useful advice and suggestions. In
608 addition the perl5-porters deserve credit for their creativity and
609 willingness to work with the VMS newcomers. Finally, the greatest debt of
610 gratitude is due to Larry Wall email@example.com, for having the ideas which
611 have made our sleepless nights possible.
614 The VMSperl group