Installing ActivePerl

ActivePerl -- Installation Guide

General Installation Notes

Welcome, and thank you for choosing ActivePerl.

  • Version Numbers:The first three numbers of an ActivePerl release correspond to the core Perl version. The fourth number is the ActivePerl build number, which may be followed by a fifth number that specifies a modified build for ActivePerl Enterprise. For example, this release of ActivePerl is, which corresponds to Perl 5.24.3.
  • Binary Incompatibility: ActivePerl 2400 series builds (Perl 5.24) are not binary-compatible with the 2200 (Perl 5.22), and older series builds. In particular, do not attempt to use extensions or PPM packages built for an older series builds with ActivePerl 2400 series builds and vice versa.
  • Side-by-Side x64 and x86 Installation: On 64 bit operating systems which support 32 bit compatibility, both x86 and x64 versions of ActivePerl can be installed on the same system as long as they are installed in separate directories. The Windows EXE installer will suggest the following default directories to keep them separate:
    • Windows x64: C:\Perl64
    • Windows x86: C:\Perl
    Other installers will not suggest a platform-specific default install directory. You must specify a unique installation directory manually.

Installing ActivePerl on Windows (x86)

Windows Prerequisites

  • 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: (EXE 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 EXE file in order to perform the installation. You may get an error message to this effect, or it may fail mysteriously.
  • Administrative Privileges: ActivePerl installations must be performed by a privileged user only. Temporary folders where the installer resides 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 5.22

Upgrading from earlier ActivePerl versions requires that you delete the old version of ActivePerl, and then install the 5.24 version. This means that any additional packages that were installed using PPM must be manually reinstalled after the ActivePerl 5.24 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 an 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 the name of the installer and pressing enter.
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 Installer

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 AS 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:
  1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/ActiveState/ActivePerl
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/ActiveState/PerlScript
  3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall/ActivePerl

Installing ActivePerl on macOS (x86)

You can install the macOS package using the standard user interface, or by using the command line.

Before you begin

Before you start the installation, you need to ensure that your system meets the prerequisites, and that you do not have other Perl distributions that are going to conflict with ActivePerl.


  • Hardware: 200 MB hard disk space
  • Operating System: macOS 10.9 “Mavericks” or later

Installing with Package

ActivePerl is distributed on macOS as an installer package (.pkg bundle).

  1. Download the ActivePerl installer package (ActivePerl-<version>.pkg).
  2. Double-click the ActivePerl installer package (ActivePerl-<version>.pkg) to start the installation.
  3. Follow the Installer prompts. The installer will ask for administrative authentication if the current user does not have administrative privileges.

Installing with the Package command line tool

macOS includes a non-interactive command line interface to Apple’s Installer you can use to install ActivePerl from the command line:

  1. Download the ActivePerl installer package (ActivePerl-<version>.pkg).

  2. Open Terminal and run Installer using the following syntax:

    $ sudo installer -pkg /Users/<username>/Downloads/ActivePerl-<version>.pkg -target /

    Note: It is sometimes useful to create an install log file (e.g. to send to ActiveState technical support). To do this, use the -verbose and -dumplog flags:

    sudo installer -pkg /Users/<username>/Downloads/ActivePerl-<version>.pkg \
    -target / -verbose -dumplog > install.log 2>&1

    For more information on the command line interface to Installer, enter man installer in Terminal.

More information on the command line interface to Installer can be found by entering man installer in Terminal.

macOS Configuration

The macOS Installer package installs ActivePerl in /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.26. To run the perl interpreter and the ppm package manager without having to enter the full path, you need to add /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.26/bin to your PATH environment variable. For example:

$ export PATH=/usr/local/ActivePerl-5.26/bin:$PATH
$ export PATH=/usr/local/ActivePerl-5.26/site/bin:$PATH

To permanently add the directory to your PATH, add it to the .profile or .bash_profile file in your home directory. For example:

export PATH

Alternatively, you can create symbolic links to the binaries in any bin directory in your PATH to run the perl executables without entering the full path. For example, you could add a bin subdirectory in your home directory to your PATH and create symbolic links:

$ mkdir /Users/<username/bin
$ export PATH=/Users/<username>/bin:$PATH
$ ln -s /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.24/bin/perl /Users/<username>/bin/perl
$ ln -s /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.24/bin/ppm /Users/<username>/bin/ppm

Verify that you are pointing to the correct ActivePerl executables by entering perl --version and ppm --version

Uninstalling ActivePerl on macOS

Apple does not provide a standard uninstallation tool or mechanism. You may, however, use the uninstall script that comes with ActivePerl to uninstall ActivePerl:

$ sudo /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.26/bin/ap-uninstall

Removing ActivePerl will also remove perl modules manually installed using PPM.

If necessary, remove any symbolic links, or updates to your .profile or .bash_profile file, added during configuration. For example:

$ rm /Users/<username>/bin/perl
$ rm /Users/<username>/bin/ppm

Installing ActivePerl on Linux

Linux Prerequisites

  • Hardware: 200 MB hard disk space for typical install
  • Operating System: Linux distribution using glibc 2.15 or later (e.g. Ubuntu 12.04)
  • Online Help: Web browser
  • Check the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable and unset any references to Perl & Lib if these are set

Installing ActivePerl

The installer allows installation as an unprivileged user into a user-specified path. GNU tar is required for extracting the files. See Known Issues in the ActivePerl Release Notes for details.

** Do not use package managers to install ActivePerl as these use a different algorithm and will corrupt the tarball file. **

Download the distribution to a temporary directory, extract the files, chdir to the ActivePerl directory and then run the script The installation script will prompt you for the target installation directory.

    % tar zxf ActivePerl-
    % cd ActivePerl-
    % ./

If you share the system with other people, or if you do not have root access, it is recommended that you install ActivePerl in your own user directory. For example:


We suggest adding the following line to your .bash_profile file:


Also, we suggest that you create symbolic links to the binaries:

    ln -s /home/<username>/ActivePerl-5.24/bin/perl /home/<username>/bin/perl
    ln -s /home/<username>/ActivePerl-5.24/bin/ppm /home/<username>/bin/ppm

This will allow you to call ActivePerl with a command like:

    perl -le "Hello World!;"

Linux Configuration

The installer allows you to install the package anywhere that the user has write permission. Add the bin directory to your PATH environment variable to conveniently access it. For example. assuming you installed into /home/<username>/ActivePerl-5.24:

C shell example:

% setenv PATH /opt/ActivePerl-5.24/bin:$PATH

Bash shell example:

% export PATH=/opt/ActivePerl-5.24/bin:$PATH

Uninstalling ActivePerl on Linux

If you installed ActivePerl using the AS format installer, remove the directory into which ActivePerl was installed. For example:

    /bin/rm -rf /opt/ActivePerl-5.24