Perl is Copyright (C) 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Larry Wall and others. All rights reserved.
Perl is a general-purpose programming language originally developed for
text manipulation and now used for a wide range of tasks including
system administration, web development, network programming, GUI
development, and more.
The language is intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient,
complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal). Its major
features are that it's easy to use, supports both procedural and
object-oriented (OO) programming, has powerful built-in support for text
processing, and has one of the world's most impressive collections of
For an introduction to the language's features, see pod/perlintro.pod.
For a discussion of the important changes in this release, see
There are also many Perl books available, covering a wide variety of topics,
from various publishers. See pod/perlbook.pod for more information.
If you're using a relatively modern operating system and want to
install this version of Perl locally, run the following commands:
./Configure -des -Dprefix=$HOME/localperl
This will configure and compile perl for your platform, run the regression
tests, and install perl in a subdirectory "localperl" of your home directory.
If you run into any trouble whatsoever or you need to install a customized
version of Perl, you should read the detailed instructions in the "INSTALL"
file that came with this distribution. Additionally, there are a number of
"README" files with hints and tips about building and using Perl on a wide
variety of platforms, some more common than others.
Once you have Perl installed, a wealth of documentation is available to you
through the 'perldoc' tool. To get started, run this command:
IF YOU RUN INTO TROUBLE
Perl is a large and complex system that's used for everything from
knitting to rocket science. If you run into trouble, it's quite
likely that someone else has already solved the problem you're
facing. Once you've exhausted the documentation, please report bugs to us
using the 'perlbug' tool. For more information about perlbug, either type
'perldoc perlbug' or just 'perlbug' on a line by itself.
While it was current when we made it available, Perl is constantly evolving
and there may be a more recent version that fixes bugs you've run into or
adds new features that you might find useful.
You can always find the latest version of perl on a CPAN (Comprehensive Perl
Archive Network) site near you at http://www.cpan.org/src/
If you want to submit a simple patch to the perl source, see the "SUPER
QUICK PATCH GUIDE" in pod/perlhack.pod.
Just a personal note: I want you to know that I create nice things like this
because it pleases the Author of my story. If this bothers you, then your
notion of Authorship needs some revision. But you can use perl anyway. :-)
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of either:
a) the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 1, or (at your option) any
later version, or
b) the "Artistic License" which comes with this Kit.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See either
the GNU General Public License or the Artistic License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the Artistic License with this
Kit, in the file named "Artistic". If not, I'll be glad to provide one.
You should also have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program in the file named "Copying". If not, write to the
Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor,
Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA or visit their web page on the internet at
For those of you that choose to use the GNU General Public License,
my interpretation of the GNU General Public License is that no Perl
script falls under the terms of the GPL unless you explicitly put
said script under the terms of the GPL yourself. Furthermore, any
object code linked with perl does not automatically fall under the
terms of the GPL, provided such object code only adds definitions
of subroutines and variables, and does not otherwise impair the
resulting interpreter from executing any standard Perl script. I
consider linking in C subroutines in this manner to be the moral
equivalent of defining subroutines in the Perl language itself. You
may sell such an object file as proprietary provided that you provide
or offer to provide the Perl source, as specified by the GNU General
Public License. (This is merely an alternate way of specifying input
to the program.) You may also sell a binary produced by the dumping of
a running Perl script that belongs to you, provided that you provide or
offer to provide the Perl source as specified by the GPL. (The
fact that a Perl interpreter and your code are in the same binary file
is, in this case, a form of mere aggregation.) This is my interpretation
of the GPL. If you still have concerns or difficulties understanding
my intent, feel free to contact me. Of course, the Artistic License
spells all this out for your protection, so you may prefer to use that.