Perl on OpenVMS

Current version of perl on VMS

Craig Berry writes:

download the PCSI kits

PCSI Installation kits for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 v8.3 and later are available at:

Download current version of perl

extract the kits

The files are self-extracting archives and after downloading
you must run them like so (version 5.20.0 as of June, 2014):


for Alpha, and:


for Itanium.

Install the kit

Then, on either platform:

$ product install perl

and follow the usual installation prompts.

Have an appropriate amount of fun. Anything related to these kits that turns out to be more fun than you can handle is probably best reported on the vmsperl mailing list.[1]

Changes in this release can be found via typing “perldoc perldelta” after installation, but note that the following item was inadvertently deleted from those release notes:

The PERL_ENV_TABLES feature to control the population of %ENV at perl
start-up was broken in Perl 5.16.0 but has now been fixed.

[1] Perl mailing list

5.8-6 from HP

HP provides a very old (5.8-6) Perl for use with Apache.

You can download a pre-built copy of Perl from the HP website.  HP provides kits for Perl on Alpha and Integrity platforms.  The current version available from HP is V5.8-6.  This download installs with one command:


Build your own

If you wish to be more current, you can download perl source code from CPAN and build it yourself.  The current stable version of Perl is V5.20.0, with 5.20.1 just out (September, 2014).  To install on OpenVMS, download the source code, extract it to your local disk drive, execute the configuration procedure, and build with MMS or MMK. You will need the HP C compiler installed and licensed to build Perl.

Several open source tools are available to help you along.  You will need some of the following tools.

WGET is a utility for downloading web content.
If you download modules in ZIP archives you will need this to extract the files from the archive. Newer versions of both ZIP (3.0) and UNZIP (6.0) are available from Steven M. Schweda’s site, You should build them with large file support, the distributed builds are for small files, for compatibility.
If you download compressed TAR archives you will need this to decompress the archive.
This is a version of the unix ‘tar’ program that understands OpenVMS file systems. You will need this to extract the files from TAR archives after decompressing them.
MMK is an open source version of the MMS utility available from HP in the DECset tools.

The general procedure for installing is as follows.

1) Download the source (version 5.20.1 September 2014)

$ wget

2) Unpack the distribution

$ gzip -d perl-5.20.1.tar.gz
$ vmstar xf perl-5.20.1.tar
$ set default [.perl-5^.20^.1]

3) Run the configuration procedure and answer the questions

$ @configure

4) Build, test and install

$ mmk
$ mmk test
$ mmk install

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