Installing ActivePerl for Windows


  • Hardware: 200 MB hard disk space for typical install
  • Perl for ISAPI requires an ISAPI-compatible web server, such as IIS
  • PerlScript requires an ActiveX scripting host such as Internet Explorer or Windows Scripting Host
  • Perl Environment Variables: if Perl environment variables such as PERLLIB, PERL5LIB or PERL5OPT have been set on your system, you should unset them before installing ActivePerl. Otherwise, these variables may cause incompatible versions of Perl modules to be used during the installation process.
  • System Account: (MSI Installer only) Do not launch the installation package from a directory for which the “System” account does not have read permission. If you do, the Windows Installer Service will not be able to access the MSI file in order to perform the installation. You may get an error message to this effect, or it may fail mysteriously.
  • Administrative Privileges: On Windows 2003/Vista systems ActivePerl installations must be performed by a privileged user only. If you install ActivePerl without full administrator privileges, the following problems occur:
    • Environment variables are set only for the current user
    • PerlScript file associations are not created
    • The PerlScript feature will be unavailable
    • Registry entries are created under HKEY_CURRENT_USER and not under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    • IIS script mappings are not set
    • ActivePerl applications will not write messages to the event log
    • ActivePerl only appears in the Add/Remove Programs list for the current user

Upgrading from ActivePerl 5.20

Upgrading from earlier ActivePerl versions requires that you delete the old version of ActivePerl, and then install the 5.22 version. This means that any additional packages that were installed using PPM must be manually reinstalled after the ActivePerl 5.22 installation, so creating a list of these packages is an important first step.

You can use ppm profile to help save and restore your locally installed PPM packages. For example, to save a profile before you upgrade, you can type:

ppm profile save C:\profile.xml

Once you have saved this profile, you can proceed with the new install. Once done, you can use the profile you saved to reinstall the same set of PPM packages in your new installation by typing:

  ppm profile restore C:\profile.xml

Windows Installers

EXE Installer Package

To install the EXE package, double-click on the EXE file in Windows Explorer.

Do not install over a 2000 or older series build of ActivePerl. This package must be installed into a separate directory.

EXE Package Installation from the Command Line

You can install ActivePerl from the command line by typing in the EXE’s filename.

Zip Installer Package

The Zip package is a generic installation package that can be used on systems where the EXE package is not supported. The Zip package provides no uninstall functionality. To install using the Zip package, double-click the installer file and follow the prompts.

When installing ActivePerl by using this method, it is strongly recommended to run the install.bat file in a command line window that is in administrator mode.

Manual Windows Configuration after Zip Installation

If you run Perl at the command prompt, the script will be executed by the first Perl.exe it encounters in the list of paths in the PATH environment variable. To ensure the script is executed by the Perl interpreter of your choice, specify the complete path to the Perl.exe you want to use. (Typing perl -v at the command prompt will tell you which version of Perl is currently first in your PATH)

Installing ActivePerl will change your Path environment variable and may change registry settings, such as file associations, which may affect your Web server. If you want to use a previously installed copy of Perl, you will need to modify these settings.

ftype PerlScript=perl.exe %1 %*
assoc .pl=PerlScript

Uninstalling ActivePerl on Windows

EXE Package

If you installed ActivePerl using the EXE installer, uninstall using the Windows Add / Remove Programs applet.

ZIP Package

If you installed ActivePerl using the ZIP installer, uninstall by deleting the directory in which ActivePerl was installed.

Manual Uninstall

If you must uninstall ActivePerl manually, delete the Perl directory, including all sub-directories, and the following registry entries: