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perlos2 (1)
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         perlos2 - Perl under OS/2, DOS, Win0.3*, Win0.95 and WinNT.


         One can read this document in the following formats:
                 man perlos2
                 view perl perlos2
                 explorer perlos2.html
                 info perlos2
         to list some (not all may be available simultaneously), or
         it may be read as is: either as README.os2, or
         To read the .INF version of documentation (very recommended)
         outside of OS/2, one needs an IBM's reader (may be available
         on IBM ftp sites (?)  (URL anyone?)) or shipped with PC DOS
         7.0 and IBM's Visual Age C++ 3.5.
         A copy of a Win* viewer is contained in the "Just add OS/2
         Warp" package
         in ?:\JUST_ADD\view.exe. This gives one an access to EMX's
         .INF docs as well (text form is available in /emx/doc in
         EMX's distribution).
         Note that if you have lynx.exe installed, you can follow WWW
         links from this document in .INF format. If you have EMX
         docs installed correctly, you can follow library links (you
         need to have `view emxbook' working by setting `EMXBOOK'
         environment variable as it is described in EMX docs).


         The target is to make OS/2 the best supported platform for
         using/building/developing Perl and Perl applications, as
         well as make Perl the best language to use under OS/2. The
         secondary target is to try to make this work under DOS and
         Win* as well (but not too hard).
         The current state is quite close to this target. Known
         o    Some *nix programs use fork() a lot, but currently
              fork() is not supported after useing dynamically loaded
         o    You need a separate perl executable perl__.exe (see the
              perl__.exe manpage) to use PM code in your application
              (like the forthcoming Perl/Tk).
         o    There is no simple way to access WPS objects. The only
              way I know is via `OS2::REXX' extension (see the
              OS2::REXX manpage), and we do not have access to
              convenience methods of Object-REXX. (Is it possible at
              all? I know of no Object-REXX API.)
         Please keep this list up-to-date by informing me about other
         Other OSes
         Since OS/2 port of perl uses a remarkable EMX environment,
         it can run (and build extensions, and - possibly - be build
         itself) under any environment which can run EMX. The current
         list is DOS, DOS-inside-OS/2, Win0.3*, Win0.95 and WinNT.
         Out of many perl flavors, only one works, see the section on
         Note that not all features of Perl are available under these
         environments. This depends on the features the extender -
         most probably RSX - decided to implement.
         Cf. the Prerequisites manpage.
         EMX   EMX runtime is required (may be substituted by RSX).
               Note that it is possible to make perl_.exe to run
               under DOS without any external support by binding
               emx.exe/rsx.exe to it, see the emxbind manpage. Note
               that under DOS for best results one should use RSX
               runtime, which has much more functions working (like
               `fork', `popen' and so on). In fact RSX is required if
               there is no VCPI present. Note the RSX requires DPMI.
               Only the latest runtime is supported, currently
               `0.9c'. Perl may run under earlier versions of EMX,
               but this is not tested.
               One can get different parts of EMX from, say
               The runtime component should have the name
               NOTE. It is enough to have emx.exe/rsx.exe on your
               path. One does not need to specify them explicitly
               (though this
                 emx perl_.exe -de 0
               will work as well.)
         RSX   To run Perl on DPMI platforms one needs RSX runtime.
               This is needed under DOS-inside-OS/2, Win0.3*, Win0.95
               and WinNT (see the section on "Other OSes"). RSX would
               not work with VCPI only, as EMX would, it requires
               Having RSX and the latest sh.exe one gets a fully
               functional *nix-ish environment under DOS, say,
               `fork', ```' and pipe-`open' work. In fact, MakeMaker
               works (for static build), so one can have Perl
               development environment under DOS.
               One can get RSX from, say
               Contact the author on
               The latest sh.exe with DOS hooks is available at
         HPFS  Perl does not care about file systems, but to install
               the whole perl library intact one needs a file system
               which supports long file names.
               Note that if you do not plan to build the perl itself,
               it may be possible to fool EMX to truncate file names.
               This is not supported, read EMX docs to see how to do
         pdksh To start external programs with complicated command
               lines (like with pipes in between, and/or quoting of
               arguments), Perl uses an external shell. With EMX port
               such shell should be named <sh.exe>, and located
               either in the wired-in-during-compile locations
               (usually F:/bin), or in configurable location (see the
               section on "PERL_SH_DIR").
               For best results use EMX pdksh. The soon-to-be-
               available standard binary (5.2.12?) runs under DOS
               (with the RSX manpage) as well, meanwhile use the
               binary from
         Starting Perl programs under OS/2 (and DOS and...)
         Start your Perl program with arguments `arg1 arg2
         arg3' the same way as on any other platform, by
                 perl arg1 arg2 arg3
         If you want to specify perl options `-my_opts' to the perl
         itself (as opposed to to your program), use
                 perl -my_opts arg1 arg2 arg3
         Alternately, if you use OS/2-ish shell, like CMD or 4os2,
         put the following at the start of your perl script:
                 extproc perl -S -my_opts
         rename your program to foo.cmd, and start it by typing
                 foo arg1 arg2 arg3
         Note that because of stupid OS/2 limitations the full path
         of the perl script is not available when you use `extproc',
         thus you are forced to use `-S' perl switch, and your script
         should be on path. As a plus side, if you know a full path
         to your script, you may still start it with
                 perl ../../blah/foo.cmd arg1 arg2 arg3
         (note that the argument `-my_opts' is taken care of by the
         `extproc' line in your script, see the section on "`extproc'
         on the first line").
         To understand what the above magic does, read perl docs
         about `-S' switch - see the perlrun manpage, and cmdref
         about `extproc':
                 view perl perlrun
                 man perlrun
                 view cmdref extproc
                 help extproc
         or whatever method you prefer.
         There are also endless possibilities to use executable
         extensions of 4os2, associations of WPS and so on...
         However, if you use *nixish shell (like sh.exe supplied in
         the binary distribution), you need to follow the syntax
         specified in the Switches entry in the perlrun manpage.
         Note that -S switch enables a search with additional
         extensions .cmd, .btm, .bat, .pl as well.
         Starting OS/2 (and DOS) programs under Perl
         This is what system() (see the system entry in the perlfunc
         manpage), ```' (see the I/O Operators entry in the perlop
         manpage), and open pipe (see the open entry in the perlfunc
         manpage) are for. (Avoid exec() (see the exec entry in the
         perlfunc manpage) unless you know what you do).
         Note however that to use some of these operators you need to
         have a sh-syntax shell installed (see the section on
         "Pdksh", the section on "Frequently asked questions"), and
         perl should be able to find it (see the section on
         The cases when the shell is used are:
         1   One-argument system() (see the system entry in the
             perlfunc manpage), exec() (see the exec entry in the
             perlfunc manpage) with redirection or shell meta-
         2   Pipe-open (see the open entry in the perlfunc manpage)
             with the command which contains redirection or shell
         3   Backticks ```' (see the I/O Operators entry in the
             perlop manpage) with the command which contains
             redirection or shell meta-characters;
         4   If the executable called by system()/exec()/pipe-
             open()/```' is a script with the "magic" `#!' line or
             `extproc' line which specifies shell;
         5   If the executable called by system()/exec()/pipe-
             open()/```' is a script without "magic" line, and
             `$ENV{EXECSHELL}' is set to shell;
         6   If the executable called by system()/exec()/pipe-
             open()/```' is not found;
         7   For globbing (see the glob entry in the perlfunc
             manpage, the I/O Operators entry in the perlop manpage).
         For the sake of speed for a common case, in the above
         algorithms backslashes in the command name are not
         considered as shell metacharacters.
         Perl starts scripts which begin with cookies `extproc' or
         `#!' directly, without an intervention of shell.  Perl uses
         the same algorithm to find the executable as pdksh: if the
         path on `#!' line does not work, and contains `/', then the
         executable is searched in . and on `PATH'.  To find
         arguments for these scripts Perl uses a different algorithm
         than pdksh: up to 3 arguments are recognized, and trailing
         whitespace is stripped.
         If a script does not contain such a cooky, then to avoid
         calling sh.exe, Perl uses the same algorithm as pdksh: if
         `$ENV{EXECSHELL}' is set, the script is given as the first
         argument to this command, if not set, then `$ENV{COMSPEC}
         /c' is used (or a hardwired guess if `$ENV{COMSPEC}' is not
         If starting scripts directly, Perl will use exactly the same
         algorithm as for the search of script given by -S command-
         line option: it will look in the current directory, then on
         components of `$ENV{PATH}' using the following order of
         appended extensions: no extension, .cmd, .btm, .bat, .pl.
         Note that Perl will start to look for scripts only if OS/2
         cannot start the specified application, thus `system 'blah''
         will not look for a script if there is an executable file
         blah.exe anywhere on `PATH'.
         Note also that executable files on OS/2 can have an
         arbitrary extension, but .exe will be automatically appended
         if no dot is present in the name. The workaround as as
         simple as that:  since blah. and blah denote the same file,
         to start an executable residing in file n:/bin/blah (no
         extension) give an argument `n:/bin/blah.' to system().
         The last note is that currently it is not straightforward to
         start PM programs from VIO (=text-mode) Perl process and
         visa versa.  Either ensure that shell will be used, as in
         `system 'cmd /c epm'', or start it using optional arguments
         to system() documented in `OS2::Process' module.  This is
         considered a bug and should be fixed soon.

    Frequently asked questions

         I cannot run external programs
             Did you run your programs with `-w' switch? See the 2
             (and DOS) programs under Perl entry in the Starting OS
             Do you try to run internal shell commands, like ``copy a
             b`' (internal for cmd.exe), or ``glob a*b`' (internal
             for ksh)? You need to specify your shell explicitly,
             like ``cmd /c copy a b`', since Perl cannot deduce which
             commands are internal to your shell.
         I cannot embed perl into my program, or use perl.dll from my
         program."  program."
         Is your program EMX-compiled with `-Zmt -Zcrtdll'?
             If not, you need to build a stand-alone DLL for perl.
             Contact me, I did it once. Sockets would not work, as a
             lot of other stuff.
         Did you use the ExtUtils::Embed manpage?
             I had reports it does not work. Somebody would need to
             fix it.
         ```' and pipe-`open' do not work under DOS.
         This may a variant of just the section on "I cannot run
         external programs", or a deeper problem. Basically: you need
         RSX (see the section on "Prerequisites") for these commands
         to work, and you may need a port of sh.exe which understands
         command arguments. One of such ports is listed in the
         section on "Prerequisites" under RSX. Do not forget to set
         variable `the section on "PERL_SH_DIR"' as well.
         DPMI is required for RSX.
         Cannot start `find.exe "pattern" file'
         Use one of
           system 'cmd', '/c', 'find "pattern" file';
           `cmd /c 'find "pattern" file'`
         This would start find.exe via cmd.exe via `sh.exe' via
         `perl.exe', but this is a price to pay if you want to use
         non-conforming program. In fact find.exe cannot be started
         at all using C library API only. Otherwise the following
         command-lines were equivalent:
           find "pattern" file
           find pattern file


         Automatic binary installation
         The most convenient way of installing perl is via perl
         installer install.exe. Just follow the instructions, and 99%
         of the installation blues would go away.
         Note however, that you need to have unzip.exe on your path,
         and EMX environment running. The latter means that if you
         just installed EMX, and made all the needed changes to
         Config.sys, you may need to reboot in between. Check EMX
         runtime by running
         A folder is created on your desktop which contains some
         useful objects.
         Things not taken care of by automatic binary installation:
         `PERL_BADLANG' may be needed if you change your codepage
                        after perl installation, and the new value is
                        not supported by EMX. See the section on
         `PERL_BADFREE' see the section on "PERL_BADFREE".
          This file resides somewhere deep in the
                        location you installed your perl library,
                        find it out by
                          perl -MConfig -le "print $INC{''}"
                        While most important values in this file are
                        updated by the binary installer, some of them
                        may need to be hand-edited. I know no such
                        data, please keep me informed if you find
         NOTE. Because of a typo the binary installer of 5.00305
         would install a variable `PERL_SHPATH' into Config.sys.
         Please remove this variable and put `the PERL_SH_DIR
         manpage' instead.
         Manual binary installation
         As of version 5.00305, OS/2 perl binary distribution comes
         split into 11 components. Unfortunately, to enable
         configurable binary installation, the file paths in the zip
         files are not absolute, but relative to some directory.
         Note that the extraction with the stored paths is still
         necessary (default with unzip, specify `-d' to pkunzip).
         However, you need to know where to extract the files. You
         need also to manually change entries in Config.sys to
         reflect where did you put the files. Note that if you have
         some primitive unzipper (like pkunzip), you may get a lot of
         warnings/errors during unzipping. Upgrade to `(w)unzip'.
         Below is the sample of what to do to reproduce the
         configuration on my machine:
         Perl VIO and PM executables (dynamically linked)
              unzip *.exe *.ico -d f:/emx.add/bin
              unzip *.dll -d f:/emx.add/dll
            (have the directories with `*.exe' on PATH, and `*.dll'
            on LIBPATH);
         Perl_ VIO executable (statically linked)
              unzip -d f:/emx.add/bin
            (have the directory on PATH);
         Executables for Perl utilities
              unzip -d f:/emx.add/bin
            (have the directory on PATH);
         Main Perl library
              unzip -d f:/perllib/lib
            If this directory is preserved, you do not need to change
            anything. However, for perl to find it if it is changed,
            you need to `set PERLLIB_PREFIX' in Config.sys, see the
            section on "PERLLIB_PREFIX".
         Additional Perl modules
              unzip -d f:/perllib/lib/site_perl
            If you do not change this directory, do nothing.
            Otherwise put this directory and subdirectory ./os2 in
            `PERLLIB' or `PERL5LIB' variable. Do not use `PERL5LIB'
            unless you have it set already. See the ENVIRONMENT entry
            in the perl manpage.
         Tools to compile Perl modules
              unzip -d f:/perllib/lib
            If this directory is preserved, you do not need to change
            anything. However, for perl to find it if it is changed,
            you need to `set PERLLIB_PREFIX' in Config.sys, see the
            section on "PERLLIB_PREFIX".
         Manpages for Perl and utilities
              unzip -d f:/perllib/man
            This directory should better be on `MANPATH'. You need to
            have a working man to access these files.
         Manpages for Perl modules
              unzip -d f:/perllib/man
            This directory should better be on `MANPATH'. You need to
            have a working man to access these files.
         Source for Perl documentation
              unzip -d f:/perllib/lib
            This is used by by `perldoc' program (see the perldoc
            manpage), and may be used to generate HTML documentation
            usable by WWW browsers, and documentation in zillions of
            other formats: `info', `LaTeX', `Acrobat', `FrameMaker'
            and so on.
         Perl manual in .INF format
              unzip -d d:/os2/book
            This directory should better be on `BOOKSHELF'.
              unzip -d f:/bin
            This is used by perl to run external commands which
            explicitly require shell, like the commands using
            redirection and shell metacharacters. It is also used
            instead of explicit /bin/sh.
            Set `PERL_SH_DIR' (see the section on "PERL_SH_DIR") if
            you move sh.exe from the above location.
            Note. It may be possible to use some other sh-compatible
            shell (not tested).
         After you installed the components you needed and updated
         the Config.sys correspondingly, you need to hand-edit This file resides somewhere deep in the location
         you installed your perl library, find it out by
           perl -MConfig -le "print $INC{''}"
         You need to correct all the entries which look like file
         paths (they currently start with `f:/').
         The automatic and manual perl installation leave precompiled
         paths inside perl executables. While these paths are
         overwriteable (see the section on "PERLLIB_PREFIX", the
         section on "PERL_SH_DIR"), one may get better results by
         binary editing of paths inside the executables/DLLs.

    Accessing documentation

         Depending on how you built/installed perl you may have
         (otherwise identical) Perl documentation in the following
         OS/2 .INF file
         Most probably the most convenient form. Under OS/2 view it
           view perl
           view perl perlfunc
           view perl less
           view perl ExtUtils::MakeMaker
         (currently the last two may hit a wrong location, but this
         may improve soon). Under Win* see the section on "SYNOPSIS".
         If you want to build the docs yourself, and have OS/2
         toolkit, run
                 pod2ipf > perl.ipf
         in /perllib/lib/pod directory, then
                 ipfc /inf perl.ipf
         (Expect a lot of errors during the both steps.) Now move it
         on your BOOKSHELF path.
         Plain text
         If you have perl documentation in the source form, perl
         utilities installed, and GNU groff installed, you may use
                 perldoc perlfunc
                 perldoc less
                 perldoc ExtUtils::MakeMaker
         to access the perl documentation in the text form (note that
         you may get better results using perl manpages).
         Alternately, try running pod2text on .pod files.
         If you have man installed on your system, and you installed
         perl manpages, use something like this:
                 man perlfunc
                 man 3 less
                 man ExtUtils.MakeMaker
         to access documentation for different components of Perl.
         Start with
                 man perl
         Note that dot (.) is used as a package separator for
         documentation for packages, and as usual, sometimes you need
         to give the section - `3' above - to avoid shadowing by the
         less(1) manpage.
         Make sure that the directory above the directory with
         manpages is on our `MANPATH', like this
           set MANPATH=c:/man;f:/perllib/man
         If you have some WWW browser available, installed the Perl
         documentation in the source form, and Perl utilities, you
         can build HTML docs. Cd to directory with .pod files, and do
         like this
                 cd f:/perllib/lib/pod
         After this you can direct your browser the file perl.html in
         this directory, and go ahead with reading docs, like this:
                 explore file:///f:/perllib/lib/pod/perl.html
         Alternatively you may be able to get these docs prebuilt
         from CPAN.
         GNU `info' files
         Users of Emacs would appreciate it very much, especially
         with `CPerl' mode loaded. You need to get latest `pod2info'
         from `CPAN', or, alternately, prebuilt info pages.
         for `Acrobat' are available on CPAN (for slightly old
         version of perl).
         `LaTeX' docs
         can be constructed using `pod2latex'.


         Here we discuss how to build Perl under OS/2. There is an
         alternative (but maybe older) view on the section on
         "/" in the http: manpage.
         You need to have the latest EMX development environment, the
         full GNU tool suite (gawk renamed to awk, and GNU find.exe
         earlier on path than the OS/2 find.exe, same with sort.exe,
         to check use
           find --version
           sort --version
         ). You need the latest version of pdksh installed as sh.exe.
         Check that you have BSD libraries and headers installed, and
         - optionally - Berkeley DB headers and libraries, and crypt.
         Possible locations to get this from are
         It is reported that the following archives contain enough
         utils to build perl:,,,,,, and  Note that all these utilities
         are known to be available from LEO:
         Make sure that no copies or perl are currently running.
         Later steps of the build may fail since an older version of
         perl.dll loaded into memory may be found.
         Also make sure that you have /tmp directory on the current
         drive, and . directory in your `LIBPATH'. One may try to
         correct the latter condition by
           set BEGINLIBPATH .
         if you use something like CMD.EXE or latest versions of
         Make sure your gcc is good for `-Zomf' linking: run
         `omflibs' script in /emx/lib directory.
         Check that you have link386 installed. It comes standard
         with OS/2, but may be not installed due to customization. If
         shows you do not have it, do Selective install, and choose
         `Link object modules' in Optional system utilities/More. If
         you get into link386, press `Ctrl-C'.
         Getting perl source
         You need to fetch the latest perl source (including
         developers releases). With some probability it is located in
         If not, you may need to dig in the indices to find it in the
         directory of the current maintainer.
         Quick cycle of developers release may break the OS/2 build
         time to time, looking into
         may indicate the latest release which was publicly released
         by the maintainer. Note that the release may include some
         additional patches to apply to the current source of perl.
         Extract it like this
           tar vzxf perl5.00409.tar.gz
         You may see a message about errors while extracting
         Configure. This is because there is a conflict with a
         similarly-named file configure.
         Change to the directory of extraction.
         Application of the patches
         You need to apply the patches in ./os2/diff.* like this:
           gnupatch -p0 < os2\diff.configure
         You may also need to apply the patches supplied with the
         binary distribution of perl.
         Note also that the db.lib and db.a from the EMX distribution
         are not suitable for multi-threaded compile (note that
         currently perl is not multithread-safe, but is compiled as
         multithreaded for compatibility with XFree86-OS/2). Get a
         corrected one from
         To make `-p' filetest work, one may also need to apply the
         following patch to EMX headers:
           --- /emx/include/sys/stat.h.orig      Thu May 23 13:48:16 1996
           +++ /emx/include/sys/stat.h   Sun Jul 12 14:11:32 1998
           @@ -53,7 +53,7 @@ struct stat
            #if !defined (S_IFMT)
           -#define S_IFMT   0160000  /* Mask for file type */
           +#define S_IFMT   0170000  /* Mask for file type */
            #define S_IFIFO  0010000  /* Pipe */
            #define S_IFCHR  0020000  /* Character device */
            #define S_IFDIR  0040000  /* Directory */
         You may look into the file ./hints/ and correct
         anything wrong you find there. I do not expect it is needed
           sh Configure -des -D prefix=f:/perllib
         `prefix' means: where to install the resulting perl library.
         Giving correct prefix you may avoid the need to specify
         `PERLLIB_PREFIX', see the section on "PERLLIB_PREFIX".
         Ignore the message about missing `ln', and about `-c' option
         to tr. In fact if you can trace where the latter spurious
         warning comes from, please inform me.
         At some moment the built may die, reporting a version
         mismatch or unable to run perl. This means that most of the
         build has been finished, and it is the time to move the
         constructed perl.dll to some absolute location in LIBPATH.
         After this is done the build should finish without a lot of
         fuss. One can avoid the interruption if one has the correct
         prebuilt version of perl.dll on LIBPATH, but probably this
         is not needed anymore, since miniperl.exe is linked
         statically now.
         Warnings which are safe to ignore: mkfifo() redefined inside
         If you haven't yet moved perl.dll onto LIBPATH, do it now
         (alternatively, if you have a previous perl installation
         you'd rather not disrupt until this one is installed, copy
         perl.dll to the t directory).
         Now run
           make test
         All tests should succeed (with some of them skipped).  Note
         that on one of the systems I see intermittent failures of
         io/pipe.t subtest 9.  Any help to track what happens with
         this test is appreciated.
         Some tests may generate extra messages similar to
         A lot of `bad free'
             in database tests related to Berkeley DB. This is a
             confirmed bug of DB. You may disable this warnings, see
             the section on "PERL_BADFREE".
             There is not much we can do with it (but apparently it
             does not cause any real error with data).
         Process terminated by SIGTERM/SIGINT
             This is a standard message issued by OS/2 applications.
             *nix applications die in silence. It is considered a
             feature. One can easily disable this by appropriate
             However the test engine bleeds these message to screen
             in unexpected moments. Two messages of this kind should
             be present during testing.
         Two lib/io_* tests may generate popups (system error
         `SYS3175'), but should succeed anyway.  This is due to a bug
         of EMX related to fork()ing with dynamically loaded
         I submitted a patch to EMX which makes it possible to fork()
         with EMX dynamic libraries loaded, which makes lib/io* tests
         pass without skipping offended tests. This means that soon
         the number of skipped tests may decrease yet more.
         To get finer test reports, call
           perl t/harness
         The report with io/pipe.t failing may look like this:
           Failed Test  Status Wstat Total Fail  Failed  List of failed
           io/pipe.t                    12    1   8.33%  9
           7 tests skipped, plus 56 subtests skipped.
           Failed 1/195 test scripts, 99.49% okay. 1/6542 subtests failed, 99.98% okay.
         The reasons for most important skipped tests are:
                 18  Checks `atime' and `mtime' of `stat()' -
                     unfortunately, HPFS provides only 2sec time
                     granularity (for compatibility with FAT?).
                 25  Checks `truncate()' on a filehandle just opened
                     for write - I do not know why this should or
                     should not work.
                 Checks `IO::Pipe' module. Some feature of EMX - test
                 fork()s with dynamic extension loaded - unsupported
                 Checks `IO::Socket' module. Some feature of EMX -
                 test fork()s with dynamic extension loaded -
                 unsupported now.
                 Checks `stat()'. Tests:
                 4   Checks `atime' and `mtime' of `stat()' -
                     unfortunately, HPFS provides only 2sec time
                     granularity (for compatibility with FAT?).
                 It never terminates, apparently some bug in storing
                 the last socket from which we obtained a message.
         Installing the built perl
         If you haven't yet moved perl.dll onto LIBPATH, do it now.
           make install
         It would put the generated files into needed locations.
         Manually put perl.exe, perl__.exe and perl___.exe to a
         location on your PATH, perl.dll to a location on your
           make cmdscripts INSTALLCMDDIR=d:/ir/on/path
         to convert perl utilities to .cmd files and put them on
         PATH. You need to put .EXE-utilities on path manually. They
         are installed in `$prefix/bin', here `$prefix' is what you
         gave to Configure, see the Making manpage.
         `a.out'-style build
         Proceed as above, but make perl_.exe (see the section on
         "perl_.exe") by
           make perl_
         test and install by
           make aout_test
           make aout_install
         Manually put perl_.exe to a location on your PATH.
         Since `perl_' has the extensions prebuilt, it does not
         suffer from the dynamic extensions + fork() syndrome, thus
         the failing tests look like
           Failed Test  Status Wstat Total Fail  Failed  List of failed
           io/fs.t                      26   11  42.31%  2-5, 7-11, 18, 25
           op/stat.t                    56    5   8.93%  3-4, 20, 35, 39
           Failed 2/118 test scripts, 98.31% okay. 16/2445 subtests failed, 99.35% okay.
         Note. The build process for `perl_' does not know about all
         the dependencies, so you should make sure that anything is
         up-to-date, say, by doing
           make perl.dll

    Build FAQ

         Some `/' became `\' in pdksh.
         You have a very old pdksh. See the Prerequisites manpage.
         `'errno'' - unresolved external
         You do not have MT-safe db.lib. See the Prerequisites
         Problems with tr or sed
         reported with very old version of tr and sed.
         Some problem (forget which ;-)
         You have an older version of perl.dll on your LIBPATH, which
         broke the build of extensions.
         Library ... not found
         You did not run `omflibs'. See the Prerequisites manpage.
         Segfault in make
         You use an old version of GNU make. See the Prerequisites

    Specific (mis)features of OS/2 port

         `setpriority', `getpriority'
         Note that these functions are compatible with *nix, not with
         the older ports of '94 - 95. The priorities are absolute, go
         from 32 to -95, lower is quicker. 0 is the default priority.
         Multi-argument form of `system()' allows an additional
         numeric argument. The meaning of this argument is described
         in the OS2::Process manpage.
         `extproc' on the first line
         If the first chars of a script are `"extproc "', this line
         is treated as `#!'-line, thus all the switches on this line
         are processed (twice if script was started via cmd.exe).
         Additional modules:
         the OS2::Process manpage, the OS2::REXX manpage, the
         OS2::PrfDB manpage, the OS2::ExtAttr manpage. These modules
         provide access to additional numeric argument for `system'
         and to the list of the running processes, to DLLs having
         functions with REXX signature and to REXX runtime, to OS/2
         databases in the .INI format, and to Extended Attributes.
         Two additional extensions by Andreas Kaiser, `OS2::UPM', and
         `OS2::FTP', are included into my ftp directory, mirrored on
         Prebuilt methods:
             used by `File::Copy::copy', see the File::Copy manpage.
             used by `DynaLoader' for DLL name mangling.
             Self explanatory.
             leaves drive as it is.
             means has drive letter and is_rooted.
             means has leading `[/\\]' (maybe after a drive-letter:).
             means changes with current dir.
             Interface to cwd from EMX. Used by `Cwd::cwd'.
         `Cwd::sys_abspath(name, dir)'
             Really really odious function to implement. Returns
             absolute name of file which would have `name' if CWD
             were `dir'.  `Dir' defaults to the current dir.
             Get current value of extended library search path. If
             `type' is present and true, works with END_LIBPATH,
             otherwise with `BEGIN_LIBPATH'.
         `Cwd::extLibpath_set( path [, type ] )'
             Set current value of extended library search path. If
             `type' is present and true, works with END_LIBPATH,
             otherwise with `BEGIN_LIBPATH'.
         (Note that some of these may be moved to different libraries
         - eventually).
             Since flock(3) is present in EMX, but is not functional,
             it is emulated by perl.  To disable the emulations, set
             environment variable `USE_PERL_FLOCK=0'.
             Here is the list of things which may be "broken" on EMX
             (from EMX docs):
             o   The functions recvmsg(3), sendmsg(3), and
                 socketpair(3) are not implemented.
             o   sock_init(3) is not required and not implemented.
             o   flock(3) is not yet implemented (dummy function).
                 (Perl has a workaround.)
             o   kill(3):  Special treatment of PID=0, PID=1 and
                 PID=-1 is not implemented.
             o   waitpid(3):
                               Not implemented.
                       waitpid() is not implemented for negative values of PID.
             Note that `kill -9' does not work with the current
             version of EMX.
             Since sh.exe is used for globing (see the glob entry in
             the perlfunc manpage), the bugs of sh.exe plague perl as
             In particular, uppercase letters do not work in
             `[...]'-patterns with the current pdksh.
         Perl modifies some standard C library calls in the following
         `popen'  `my_popen' uses sh.exe if shell is required, cf.
                  the section on "PERL_SH_DIR".
         `tmpnam' is created using `TMP' or `TEMP' environment
                  variable, via `tempnam'.
                  If the current directory is not writable, file is
                  created using modified `tmpnam', so there may be a
                  race condition.
                  a dummy implementation.
         `stat'   `os2_stat' special-cases /dev/tty and /dev/con.
         `flock'  Since flock(3) is present in EMX, but is not
                  functional, it is emulated by perl.  To disable the
                  emulations, set environment variable

    Perl flavors

         Because of idiosyncrasies of OS/2 one cannot have all the
         eggs in the same basket (though EMX environment tries hard
         to overcome this limitations, so the situation may somehow
         improve). There are 4 executables for Perl provided by the
         The main workhorse. This is a chimera executable: it is
         compiled as an `a.out'-style executable, but is linked with
         `omf'-style dynamic library perl.dll, and with dynamic CRT
         DLL. This executable is a VIO application.
         It can load perl dynamic extensions, and it can fork().
         Unfortunately, with the current version of EMX it cannot
         fork() with dynamic extensions loaded (may be fixed by
         patches to EMX).
         Note. Keep in mind that fork() is needed to open a pipe to
         This is a statically linked `a.out'-style executable. It can
         fork(), but cannot load dynamic Perl extensions. The
         supplied executable has a lot of extensions prebuilt, thus
         there are situations when it can perform tasks not possible
         using perl.exe, like fork()ing when having some standard
         extension loaded. This executable is a VIO application.
         Note. A better behaviour could be obtained from `perl.exe'
         if it were statically linked with standard Perl extensions,
         but dynamically linked with the Perl DLL and CRT DLL. Then
         it would be able to fork() with standard extensions, and
         would be able to dynamically load arbitrary extensions. Some
         changes to Makefiles and hint files should be necessary to
         achieve this.
         This is also the only executable with does not require OS/2.
         The friends locked into `M$' world would appreciate the fact
         that this executable runs under DOS, Win0.3*, Win0.95 and
         WinNT with an appropriate extender. See the section on
         "Other OSes".
         This is the same executable as perl___.exe, but it is a PM
         Note. Usually STDIN, STDERR, and STDOUT of a PM application
         are redirected to `nul'. However, it is possible to see them
         if you start `perl__.exe' from a PM program which emulates a
         console window, like Shell mode of Emacs or EPM. Thus it is
         possible to use Perl debugger (see the perldebug manpage) to
         debug your PM application.
         This flavor is required if you load extensions which use PM,
         like the forthcoming `Perl/Tk'.
         This is an `omf'-style executable which is dynamically
         linked to perl.dll and CRT DLL. I know no advantages of this
         executable over `perl.exe', but it cannot fork() at all.
         Well, one advantage is that the build process is not so
         convoluted as with `perl.exe'.
         It is a VIO application.
         Why strange names?
         Since Perl processes the `#!'-line (cf. the DESCRIPTION
         entry in the perlrun manpage, the Switches entry in the
         perlrun manpage, the Not a perl script entry in the perldiag
         manpage, the No Perl script found in input entry in the
         perldiag manpage), it should know when a program is a Perl.
         There is some naming convention which allows Perl to
         distinguish correct lines from wrong ones. The above names
         are almost the only names allowed by this convention which
         do not contain digits (which have absolutely different
         Why dynamic linking?
         Well, having several executables dynamically linked to the
         same huge library has its advantages, but this would not
         substantiate the additional work to make it compile. The
         reason is stupid-but-quick "hard" dynamic linking used by
         The address tables of DLLs are patched only once, when they
         are loaded. The addresses of entry points into DLLs are
         guaranteed to be the same for all programs which use the
         same DLL, which reduces the amount of runtime patching -
         once DLL is loaded, its code is read-only.
         While this allows some performance advantages, this makes
         life terrible for developers, since the above scheme makes
         it impossible for a DLL to be resolved to a symbol in the
         .EXE file, since this would need a DLL to have different
         relocations tables for the executables which use it.
         However, a Perl extension is forced to use some symbols from
         the perl executable, say to know how to find the arguments
         provided on the perl internal evaluation stack. The solution
         is that the main code of interpreter should be contained in
         a DLL, and the .EXE file just loads this DLL into memory and
         supplies command-arguments.
         This greatly increases the load time for the application (as
         well as the number of problems during compilation). Since
         interpreter is in a DLL, the CRT is basically forced to
         reside in a DLL as well (otherwise extensions would not be
         able to use CRT).
         Why chimera build?
         Current EMX environment does not allow DLLs compiled using
         Unixish `a.out' format to export symbols for data. This
         forces `omf'-style compile of perl.dll.
         Current EMX environment does not allow .EXE files compiled
         in `omf' format to fork(). fork() is needed for exactly
         three Perl operations:
         explicit fork()
             in the script, and
         open FH, "|-"
         open FH, "-|"
             opening pipes to itself.
         While these operations are not questions of life and death,
         a lot of useful scripts use them. This forces `a.out'-style
         compile of perl.exe.


         Here we list environment variables with are either OS/2- and
         DOS- and Win*-specific, or are more important under OS/2
         than under other OSes.
         Specific for EMX port. Should have the form
           path1 path2
         If the beginning of some prebuilt path matches path1, it is
         substituted with path2.
         Should be used if the perl library is moved from the default
         location in preference to `PERL(5)LIB', since this would not
         leave wrong entries in @INC.  Say, if the compiled version
         of perl looks for @INC in f:/perllib/lib, and you want to
         install the library in h:/opt/gnu, do
           set PERLLIB_PREFIX=f:/perllib/lib;h:/opt/gnu
         If 1, perl ignores setlocale() failing. May be useful with
         some strange locales.
         If 1, perl would not warn of in case of unwarranted free().
         May be useful in conjunction with the module DB_File, since
         Berkeley DB memory handling code is buggy.
         Specific for EMX port. Gives the directory part of the
         location for sh.exe.
         Specific for EMX port. Since flock(3) is present in EMX, but
         is not functional, it is emulated by perl.  To disable the
         emulations, set environment variable `USE_PERL_FLOCK=0'.
         `TMP' or `TEMP'
         Specific for EMX port. Used as storage place for temporary
         files, most notably `-e' scripts.


         Here we list major changes which could make you by surprise.
         `setpriority' and `getpriority' are not compatible with
         earlier ports by Andreas Kaiser. See `"setpriority,
         DLL name mangling
         With the release 5.003_01 the dynamically loadable libraries
         should be rebuilt. In particular, DLLs are now created with
         the names which contain a checksum, thus allowing workaround
         for OS/2 scheme of caching DLLs.
         As of release 5.003_01 perl is linked to multithreaded CRT
         DLL.  If perl itself is not compiled multithread-enabled, so
         will not be perl malloc(). However, extensions may use
         multiple thread on their own risk.
         Needed to compile `Perl/Tk' for XFree86-OS/2 out-of-the-box.
         Calls to external programs
         Due to a popular demand the perl external program calling
         has been changed wrt Andreas Kaiser's port.  If perl needs
         to call an external program via shell, the f:/bin/sh.exe
         will be called, or whatever is the override, see the section
         on "PERL_SH_DIR".
         Thus means that you need to get some copy of a sh.exe as
         well (I use one from pdksh). The drive F: above is set up
         automatically during the build to a correct value on the
         builder machine, but is overridable at runtime,
         Reasons: a consensus on `perl5-porters' was that perl should
         use one non-overridable shell per platform. The obvious
         choices for OS/2 are cmd.exe and sh.exe. Having perl build
         itself would be impossible with cmd.exe as a shell, thus I
         picked up `sh.exe'. Thus assures almost 100% compatibility
         with the scripts coming from *nix. As an added benefit this
         works as well under DOS if you use DOS-enabled port of pdksh
         (see the section on "Prerequisites").
         Disadvantages: currently sh.exe of pdksh calls external
         programs via fork()/exec(), and there is no functioning
         exec() on OS/2. exec() is emulated by EMX by asyncroneous
         call while the caller waits for child completion (to pretend
         that the `pid' did not change). This means that 1 extra copy
         of sh.exe is made active via fork()/exec(), which may lead
         to some resources taken from the system (even if we do not
         count extra work needed for fork()ing).
         Note that this a lesser issue now when we do not spawn
         sh.exe unless needed (metachars found).
         One can always start cmd.exe explicitly via
           system 'cmd', '/c', 'mycmd', 'arg1', 'arg2', ...
         If you need to use cmd.exe, and do not want to hand-edit
         thousands of your scripts, the long-term solution proposed
         on p5-p is to have a directive
           use OS2::Cmd;
         which will override system(), exec(), ```', and
         `open(,'...|')'. With current perl you may override only
         system(), readpipe() - the explicit version of ```', and
         maybe exec(). The code will substitute the one-argument call
         to system() by `CORE::system('cmd.exe', '/c', shift)'.
         If you have some working code for `OS2::Cmd', please send it
         to me, I will include it into distribution. I have no need
         for such a module, so cannot test it.
         For the details of the current situation with calling
         external programs, see the 2 (and DOS) programs under Perl
         entry in the Starting OS manpage.
             External scripts may be called by name.  Perl will try
             the same extensions as when processing -S command-line
         Memory allocation
         Perl uses its own malloc() under OS/2 - interpreters are
         usually malloc-bound for speed, but perl is not, since its
         malloc is lightning-fast.  Perl-memory-usage-tuned
         benchmarks show that Perl's malloc is 5 times quickier than
         EMX one.  I do not have convincing data about memory
         footpring, but a (pretty random) benchmark showed that Perl
         one is 5% better.
         Combination of perl's malloc() and rigid DLL name resolution
         creates a special problem with library functions which
         expect their return value to be free()d by system's free().
         To facilitate extensions which need to call such functions,
         system memory-allocation functions are still available with
         the prefix `emx_' added. (Currently only DLL perl has this,
         it should propagate to perl_.exe shortly.)
         One can build perl with thread support enabled by providing
         `-D usethreads' option to Configure.  Currently OS/2 support
         of threads is very preliminary.
         Most notable problems:
             may have a race condition.  Needs a reimplementation (in
             terms of chaining waiting threads, with linker list
             stored in per-thread structure?).
             has a couple of static variables used in OS/2-specific
             functions.  (Need to be moved to per-thread structure,
             or serialized?)
         Note that these problems should not discourage
         experimenting, since they have a low probability of
         affecting small programs.


         Ilya Zakharevich,



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