How to Install Perl on your Operating System

You must install Perl on your computer to run a Perl script. But before going into the hassle to install it, you need to check up if Perl is already installed on your computer. If your operating system is Unix or Linux, there is a big chance that Perl is already installed. In this case, all you have to do is to skip this section.

To see if you have Perl installed on your computer you need to get to a command prompt. To get this, it depends on your operating system.

If you have Unix or Linux, simply log in and you’ll have access to the command prompt. If you have a graphical interface instead, after the login you, need to open a terminal window to have access to the command prompt.

On a Windows system, click Start–>Run and in the Open field type cmd and then confirming by clicking the OK button. It will open a cmd window where you can type the commands you want to be executed.

At the command prompt, please type the following:

perl -v

and you’ll receive either the message “command not found” which means perhaps you must install Perl or Perl’s version number.How to Install Perl on your Operating System

Install Perl on Linux

First, you need a copy of Perl source bundle, and you can download a stable version from the site “” At the moment I am writing these words, I found available the archive perl-5.8.8.tar.gz. You also need an ANSI C compiler but don’t worry about this, Perl’s configuration program will check for one. If it does not find it, you can install a prebuilt version or install the C compiler supplied by your OS vendor, or for a free C compiler try “”

Now, get a command prompt and enter the following commands:

gunzip perl-5.8.8.tar.gz
tar xf perl-5.8.8.tar

And wait for the end of decompression. If you don’t have the gunzip decompression program, you can download it from the internet

The next step is to launch the configure program of the Perl bundle. The installation shell script will examine your system and ask you questions to determine how perl5 package should be installed. If you want to bypass all the questions and use the computed defaults or the previous answers if there was already a file, you can run “Configure –d”:

cd perl-5.8.8
sh Configure –d

After the Perl configuration step, you must build Perl by typing in the following command:


After this step, you can verify Perl’s installation, running again the following command at the command prompt:

perl –v

Install Perl on Windows

The best idea for installing Perl under Windows is to use ActivePerl – the worldwide standard for Perl on Windows. The free ActivePerl binary distribution includes core Perl, popular modules, the Perl Package Manager (PPM), and complete documentation.

You can download it from “” and install it on your computer – the distribution is self-installing, and the installation process is just the same as the one you used for other similar windows applications.

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