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PERLMACOSX(1)          Perl Programmers Reference Guide          PERLMACOSX(1)

       README.macosx - Perl under Mac OS X

       This document briefly describes perl under Mac OS X.

       The latest Perl release (5.8.8 as of this writing) builds without changes under Mac OS X. Under 10.3 "Panther"
       and newer OS versions, all self-tests pass, and all standard features are supported.

       Earlier Mac OS X releases (10.2 "Jaguar" and older) did not include a completely thread-safe libc, so threading
       is not fully supported. Also, earlier releases included a buggy libdb, so some of the DB_File tests are known
       to fail on those releases.

       Installation Prefix

       The default installation location for this release uses the traditional UNIX directory layout under /usr/local.
       This is the recommended location for most users, and will leave the Apple-supplied Perl and its modules undis-

       Using an installation prefix of '/usr' will result in a directory layout that mirrors that of Apple's default
       Perl, with core modules stored in '/System/Library/Perl/${version}', CPAN modules stored in
       '/Library/Perl/${version}', and the addition of '/Network/Library/Perl/${version}' to @INC for modules that are
       stored on a file server and used by many Macs.

       SDK support

       First, export the path to the SDK into the build environment:

           export SDK=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.3.9.sdk

       Use an SDK by exporting some additions to Perl's 'ccflags' and '..flags' config variables:

           ./Configure -Accflags="-nostdinc -B$SDK/usr/include/gcc \
                                  -B$SDK/usr/lib/gcc -isystem$SDK/usr/include \
                                  -F$SDK/System/Library/Frameworks" \
                       -Aldflags="-Wl,-syslibroot,$SDK" \

       Universal Binary support

       To compile perl as a universal binary (built for both ppc and intel), export the SDK variable as above, select-
       ing the 10.4u SDK:

           export SDK=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk

       In addition to the compiler flags used to select the SDK, also add the flags for creating a universal binary:

           ./Configure -Accflags="-arch i686 -arch ppc -nostdinc -B$SDK/usr/include/gcc \
                                  -B$SDK/usr/lib/gcc -isystem$SDK/usr/include \
                                  -F$SDK/System/Library/Frameworks" \
                       -Aldflags="-arch i686 -arch ppc -Wl,-syslibroot,$SDK" \

       Keep in mind that these compiler and linker settings will also be used when building CPAN modules. For XS mod-
       ules to be compiled as a universal binary, any libraries it links to must also be universal binaries. The sys-
       tem libraries that Apple includes with the 10.4u SDK are all universal, but user-installed libraries may need
       to be re-installed as universal binaries.

       libperl and Prebinding

       Mac OS X ships with a dynamically-loaded libperl, but the default for this release is to compile a static
       libperl. The reason for this is pre-binding. Dynamic libraries can be pre-bound to a specific address in memory
       in order to decrease load time. To do this, one needs to be aware of the location and size of all previously-
       loaded libraries. Apple collects this information as part of their overall OS build process, and thus has easy
       access to it when building Perl, but ordinary users would need to go to a great deal of effort to obtain the
       information needed for pre-binding.

       You can override the default and build a shared libperl if you wish (Configure ... -Duseshrlib), but the load
       time on pre-10.4 OS releases will be greater than either the static library, or Apple's pre-bound dynamic

       With 10.4 "Tiger" and newer, Apple has all but eliminated the performance penalty for non-prebound libraries.

       Updating Apple's Perl

       In a word - don't, at least without a *very* good reason. Your scripts can just as easily begin with
       "#!/usr/local/bin/perl" as with "#!/usr/bin/perl". Scripts supplied by Apple and other third parties as part of
       installation packages and such have generally only been tested with the /usr/bin/perl that's installed by

       If you find that you do need to update the system Perl, one issue worth keeping in mind is the question of
       static vs. dynamic libraries. If you upgrade using the default static libperl, you will find that the dynamic
       libperl supplied by Apple will not be deleted. If both libraries are present when an application that links
       against libperl is built, ld will link against the dynamic library by default. So, if you need to replace
       Apple's dynamic libperl with a static libperl, you need to be sure to delete the older dynamic library after
       you've installed the update.

       Known problems

       If you have installed extra libraries such as GDBM through Fink (in other words, you have libraries under
       /sw/lib), or libdlcompat to /usr/local/lib, you may need to be extra careful when running Configure to not to
       confuse Configure and Perl about which libraries to use.  Being confused will show up for example as "dyld"
       errors about symbol problems, for example during "make test". The safest bet is to run Configure as

           Configure ... -Uloclibpth -Dlibpth=/usr/lib

       to make Configure look only into the system libraries.  If you have some extra library directories that you
       really want to use (such as newer Berkeley DB libraries in pre-Panther systems), add those to the libpth:

           Configure ... -Uloclibpth -Dlibpth='/usr/lib /opt/lib'

       The default of building Perl statically may cause problems with complex applications like Tk: in that case con-
       sider building shared Perl

           Configure ... -Duseshrplib

       but remember that there's a startup cost to pay in that case (see above "libperl and Prebinding").

       Starting with Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), Apple shipped broken locale files for the eu_ES locale (Basque-Spain).  In
       previous releases of Perl, this resulted in failures in the "lib/locale" test. These failures have been
       supressed in the current release of Perl by making the test ignore the broken locale.  If you need to use the
       eu_ES locale, you should contact Apple support.


       Quite a bit has been written about MacPerl, the Perl distribution for "Classic MacOS" - that is, versions 9 and
       earlier of MacOS. Because it runs in environment that's very different from that of UNIX, many things are done
       differently in MacPerl. Modules are installed using a different procedure, Perl itself is built differently,
       path names are different, etc.

       From the perspective of a Perl programmer, Mac OS X is more like a traditional UNIX than Classic MacOS. If you
       find documentation that refers to a special procedure that's needed for MacOS that's drastically different from
       the instructions provided for UNIX, the MacOS instructions are quite often intended for MacPerl on Classic
       MacOS. In that case, the correct procedure on Mac OS X is usually to follow the UNIX instructions, rather than
       the MacPerl instructions.


       MacPerl ships with a number of modules that are used to access the classic MacOS toolbox. Many of these modules
       have been updated to use Mac OS X's newer "Carbon" toolbox, and are available from CPAN in the "Mac::Carbon"


       There are two ways to use Cocoa from Perl. Apple's PerlObjCBridge module, included with Mac OS X, can be used
       by standalone scripts to access Foundation (i.e. non-GUI) classes and objects.

       An alternative is CamelBones, a framework that allows access to both Foundation and AppKit classes and objects,
       so that full GUI applications can be built in Perl. CamelBones can be found on SourceForge, at

Starting From Scratch
       Unfortunately it is not that difficult somehow manage to break one's Mac OS X Perl rather severely.  If all
       else fails and you want to really, REALLY, start from scratch and remove even your Apple Perl installation
       (which has become corrupted somehow), the following instructions should do it.  Please think twice before fol-
       lowing these instructions: they are much like conducting brain surgery to yourself.  Without anesthesia.  We
       will not come to fix your system if you do this.

       First, get rid of the libperl.dylib:

           # cd /System/Library/Perl/darwin/CORE
           # rm libperl.dylib

       Then delete every .bundle file found anywhere in the folders:


       You can find them for example by

           # find /System/Library/Perl /Library/Perl -name '*.bundle' -print

       After this you can either copy Perl from your operating system media (you will need at least the /Sys-
       tem/Library/Perl and /usr/bin/perl), or rebuild Perl from the source code with "Configure -Dprefix=/usr -Duser-
       shrplib" NOTE: the "-Dprefix=/usr" to replace the system Perl works much better with Perl 5.8.1 and later, in
       Perl 5.8.0 the settings were not quite right.

       "Pacifist" from CharlesSoft (<>;) is a nice way to extract the Perl binaries from the
       OS media, without having to reinstall the entire OS.

       This README was written by Sherm Pendley <>, and subsequently updated by Dominic Dunlop
       <>.  The "Starting From Scratch" recipe was contributed by John Montbriand <mont->.

       Last modified 2005-11-07.

perl v5.8.8                       2006-01-07                     PERLMACOSX(1)