Installing ActivePerl for Windows

You can install ActivePerl by downloading and running the Setup Wizard (.exe). For more complex installations you can run the Setup Wizard on 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.


  • Windows Server 2008, 7, Server 2012, 8 (x86 and x64), and 10.
  • The installation requires at least 200 MB of hard drive space
  • 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. 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

Using the ActivePerl Setup Wizard

There are two ways to install ActivePerl with the setup wizard:

  1. You can run the setup wizard and enter the required information to install the software.
  2. If you want to automate the installation, you can run the setup wizard from the command line.

Running the ActivePerl Setup Wizard

When you install ActivePerl, you should run the setup wizard as an Administrator.

Note: If you do not have Administrator rights on the computer, you can use the generic ActiveState Package Installer to complete the installation.

  1. Download and save the .exe installation package.
  2. Right-click the .exe file and select Run As Administrator.
  3. Follow the prompts on screen to complete the installation.

Running the installation as an Administrator allows other users on the computer to use ActivePerl, and ensures that all of ActivePerl’s features function correctly.

Running the ActivePerl Setup Wizard on the command line

You can install ActivePerl from the command line. You should start the command prompt as an Administrator to ensure the the installation can complete successfully. ActivePerl’s installer uses Windows Installer technology, which allows you to partially control the install from the command line.

Starting the Setup Wizard

You can start the Setup Wizard from the command line, and walk through the installation steps in the user interface.

c:\> ActivePerl-<version>.exe

Logging the Setup Wizard output

If you want to enable logging you can add the appropriate command line switches to specify the level of logging and the log file location. The following command will generate a log of the install in “install.log” in the current directory.

c:\> ActivePerl-<version>.exe /L*v ./install.log

Specifying a custom installation directory

You can also specify a custom installation directory instead of using the default.

c:\> ActivePerl-<version>.exe APPDIR=C:\apps\Perl

Complete installation example

You can combine command line options to complete your custom installation from the command line. For example, the following command will install just the ActivePerl core and documentation to C:\apps\Perl.

c:\> ActivePerl-<version>.exe /qn+ APPDIR="C:\apps\Perl" ^
     /L*v ./install.log

For more information about the command line installation options, contact

Uninstalling ActivePerl

The ActivePerl for Windows can be uninstalled using the Modify, Repair or Uninstall ActivePerl shortcut in the ActiveState ActivePerl 2.7 program group in the Windows Start menu, or you can use Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.

Alternatively, you use the setup wizard (.exe) file to uninstall ActivePerl on the command line and write the progress to a log file:

c:\> ActivePerl-<version>.exe /x // /L*v ./uninstall.log

ActiveState package installer

You can use the ActiveState package installer it to install ActivePerl if you do not have Administrator rights on Windows.

  • Download the package to a temporary directory, extract the files, and run the install.bat script.

The AS package is delivered as a zip file, (.zip).

Interactive Install

To install interactively, simple run the install script without arguments. The install script will prompt your for an installation directory.

Unzip ActivePerl-<version>.zip with WinZip or equivalent and:

C:\> cd .../ActivePerl-<version>
C:\...\ActivePerl-<version>> install.bat

You can add the bin directory to your PATH environment variable for quicker access.

Non-interactive install

By default the install script will prompt you for an install directory. You can avoid this interaction by specifying the install directory with the -I <installdir> option. Use the -h option for full usage information.

Uninstalling the “AS Package”

Uninstalling an “AS Package” installation is as simple as removing the directory to which you installed, because the ActivePerl installation is fully contained in that install location.