perldos - Perl under DOS, W31, W95. =head1 SYNOPSIS

These are instructions for building Perl under DOS (or w??), using DJGPP v2.01 or later. Under w95 long filenames are supported.


Before you start, you should glance through the README file found in the top-level directory where the Perl distribution was extracted. Make sure you read and understand the terms under which this software is being distributed.

This port currently supports MakeMaker (the set of modules that is used to build extensions to perl). Therefore, you should be able to build and install most extensions found in the CPAN sites.



DJGPP is a port of GNU C/C++ compiler and development tools to 32-bit, protected-mode environment on Intel 32-bit CPUs running MS-DOS and compatible operating systems, by DJ Delorie <> and friends.

For more details (FAQ), check out the home of DJGPP at:

If you have questions about DJGPP, try posting to the DJGPP newsgroup: comp.os.msdos.djgpp, or use the email gateway

You can find the full DJGPP distribution on any SimTel.Net mirror all over the world. Like:*

You need the following files to build perl (or add new modules):


or any newer version.


If you want multithreading support in perl, you need a pthread library that supports DJGPP. One of them can be found at:

But thread support is still in alpha, it may be unstable. For more information see below.

Shortcomings of Perl under DOS

Perl under DOS lacks some features of perl under UNIX because of deficiencies in the UNIX-emulation, most notably:




        make test

You should see ``All tests successful'' if you configured a database manager, and 1 failed test script if not (lib/anydbm.t). If you configured POSIX you will see 1 additional failed subtest in lib/posix.t.



        make install

This will copy the newly compiled perl and libraries into your DJGPP directory structure. Perl.exe and the utilities go into ($DJDIR)/bin, and the library goes under ($DJDIR)/lib/perl5. The pod documentation goes under ($DJDIR)/lib/perl5/pod.

Threaded perl under dos-djgpp

Multithreading support is considered alpha, because some of the tests in ext/Thread still die with SIGSEGV (patches are welcome). But if you want to give it a try, here are the necessary steps:

1. You will need a pthread library which supports djgpp. Go, and download FSU's version from:

The latest version is 3.5, released in Feb 98.

2. Unzip the file, cd to threads\src and run configur.bat.

3. Add RAND_SWITCH or MUTEX_SWITCH or RR_SWITCH to CFLAGS in the makefile. Note that using these values, multithreading will NOT be preemptive. This is necessary, since djgpp's libc is not thread safe.

4. Apply the following patch:

    *** include/pthread/signal.h~       Wed Feb  4 10:51:24 1998
    --- include/pthread/signal.h        Tue Feb 10 22:40:32 1998
    *** 364,368 ****
    --- 364,370 ----
      #ifndef SA_ONSTACK
    + #ifdef  SV_ONSTACK
    + #endif
      #endif /* !SA_ONSTACK */

5. run make (before you do this, you must make sure your SHELL environment variable does NOT point to bash).

6. Install the library and header files into your djgpp directory structure.

7. Add -Dusethreads to the commmand line of perl's configure.bat.


Laszlo Molnar,




We are painfully aware that these documents may contain incorrect links and misformatted HTML. Such bugs lie in the automatic translation process that automatically created the hundreds and hundreds of separate documents that you find here. Please do not report link or formatting bugs, because we cannot fix per-document problems. The only bug reports that will help us are those that supply working patches to the installhtml or pod2html programs, or to the Pod::HTML module itself, for which I and the entire Perl community will shower you with thanks and praises.

If rather than formatting bugs, you encounter substantive content errors in these documents, such as mistakes in the explanations or code, please use the perlbug utility included with the Perl distribution.

--Tom Christiansen, Perl Documentation Compiler and Editor

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