5.0-Nano: Perl

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Uniform Server 5.0-Nano and Perl

Although Uniform Server no longer uses Perl for server control, it remains fully supported.

Perl is a very powerful scripting language. To do it justice, two plugins are provided: full and mini Perl. Full-Perl as the name implies consists of the core program and all modules, while mini-Perl consists of the core program and a selection of commonly used Perl modules.


ActivePerl

Uniform Server's Perl plugins use ActivePerl from ActiveState. The version currently in use is ActivePerl 5.10.1.1007. It’s an industry-standard Perl distribution.

ActivePerl is multi-platform and runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX. Apart from being robust and reliable, one of its main features is portability.


Plugins

There are two plugins to choose from either full or mini. Each is available in the three following versions:

Perl Versions

  • ActivePerl 5.10.1.1005
  • ActivePerl 5.10.1.1006
  • ActivePerl 5.10.1.1007

The mini plugin is suitable for majority of smaller applications. For more advanced applications, download the full plugin.


Download

Download the plugins from Sourceforge and choose one of the following:

ActivePerl 5.10.1.1005

File name Compressed Uncompressed Comments
V5.0_mini_perl.exe 5.07 MB 16.5 MB Contains Perl core program with a collection of commonly used Perl modules.
V5.0_mini_perl.zip 7.13 MB 16.5 MB Contains Perl core program with a collection of commonly used Perl modules.
V5.0_full_perl.exe 10.6 MB 52.2 MB Contains Perl core program and full set of Perl modules.
V5.0_full_perl.zip 16.0 MB 52.2 MB Contains Perl core program and full set of Perl modules.

ActivePerl 5.10.1.1006

File name Compressed Uncompressed Comments
V5.1_mini_perl.exe 5.14 MB 16.9 MB Contains Perl core program with a collection of commonly used Perl modules.
V5.1_mini_perl.zip 7.21 MB 16.9 MB Contains Perl core program with a collection of commonly used Perl modules.
V5.1_full_perl.exe 10.9 MB 54.1 MB Contains Perl core program and full set of Perl modules.
V5.1_full_perl.zip 16.5 MB 54.1 MB Contains Perl core program and full set of Perl modules.

ActivePerl 5.10.1.1007

File name Compressed Uncompressed Comments
V5.2_mini_perl.exe 5.17 MB 17.3 MB Contains Perl core program with a collection of commonly used Perl modules.
V5.2_mini_perl.zip 7.27 MB 17.3 MB Contains Perl core program with a collection of commonly used Perl modules.
V5.2_full_perl.exe 11 MB 55.2 MB Contains Perl core program and full set of Perl modules.
V5.2_full_perl.zip 16.7 MB 55.2 MB Contains Perl core program and full set of Perl modules.

I hope non-Perl users will appreciate the significant overhead this represents, even with mini-Perl installed, which was the reason for making Perl a plugin.

If space is at a premium, Perl users can start with mini-Perl and add modules as required from full-Perl.

Note: Don't mix modules from different versions.


Install

exe

By far the easiest way to install Perl is to download one of the executables and install as follows:

  • Copy file V5.#_mini_perl.exe or V5.#_full_perl.exe to folder UniServer
  • Double click on the file to run the self-extracting archive
  • For Perl to be picked up, restart the servers.

This creates two new folders, bin and lib, in folder UniServer\usr These contain the Perl program and Perl modules respectively.

zip

Installing from a zip file requires a few extra steps as follows:

  • Copy file V5.#_mini_perl.zip or V5.#_full_perl.zip to any folder.
  • Extract to current path.
  • Copy folders bin and lib to folder UniServer\usr
  • For Perl to be picked up restart the servers.

These contain the Perl program and Perl modules respectively.


Support enabled

UniServer automatically detects the presence of Perl and enables functionality to support it in both Apanel and UniTray.


Auto tracking

Perl scripts should be placed in folder UniServer\cgi-bin and any sub-folders as appropriate. Each script requires a Shebang. This must be an absolute path to the Perl executable. For example:

#!C:/Test/UniServer/usr/bin/perl.exe

Moving UniServer to another location automatically updates this Shebang. Server control, on detecting a server move, writes a new Shebang to all files with a .pl or .cgi extension. An automatic update is initiated only when the servers are moved.

Important

After extracting a third party Perl script to cgi-bin, you must either move the servers or force a Shebang update using UniTray. Alternatively, you can manually edit each file.


Apanel support

A new menu option becomes available in Apanel when Perl is installed. This displays the Perl environment and additional information.


UniTray support

Force Shebang update

Perl scripts contain a Shebang (first line) which informs a server where to find the Perl program. Uniform Server is dynamic and tracks any path changes automatically updating the Shebang.

However if the server remains static and you have added new scripts in the cgi-bin folder, the Shebang is never updated. Therefore run the following menu item after installing new scripts. It updates the Shebang in all files to the current Perl location.


left click tray icon > Advance > click "Perl Shebang Update cgi-bin"


Tip:

When writing Perl scripts you can use the following for the Shebang:

#!

From UniTray, run "Perl Shebang Update cgi-bin" and all pages will be updated with the correct shebang.


Convert to Unix format

Perl scripts developed on Windows will not run on a Unix machine. They require conversion to Unix format. Run the conversion script from UniTray as follows:


left click tray icon > Advance > click "Perl win2unix + Shebang Update"


This script copies all files in cgi-bin to a new folder \cgi-bin-unix\

Scripts in this new folder are converted from Windows to Unix format.

  • Converts end of line: Dec(#10#13=>#13) Hex 0D0A to 0A
  • Replaces Windows Shebang with Unix Shebang


Related Topic Links

Perl CGI Hello World - Short snippets to get you started with Perl


Summary

Uniform Server has been pre-configured for Perl, so after installing either of the plugins, Perl is ready to run scripts.

For convenience, any Uniform Server plugin requiring Perl support, such as AWStats, come complete with mini-Perl and any additional modules required to support that plugin.

Next page covers UniTray