README .solaris - Perl version 5 on Solaris systems


This document describes various features of Sun's Solaris operating system that will affect how Perl version 5 (hereafter just perl) is compiled and/or runs. Some issues relating to the older SunOS 4.x are also discussed, though they may be out of date.

For the most part, everything should just work.

Starting with Solaris 8, perl5.00503 (or higher) is supplied with the operating system, so you might not even need to build a newer version of perl at all. The Sun-supplied version is installed in /usr/perl5 with /usr/bin/perl pointing to /usr/perl5/bin/perl. Do not disturb that installation unless you really know what you are doing. If you remove the perl supplied with the OS, there is a good chance you will render some bits of your system inoperable. If you wish to install a newer version of perl, install it under a different prefix from /usr/perl5. Common prefixes to use are /usr/local and /opt/perl.

You may wish to put your version of perl in the PATH of all users by changing the link /usr/bin/perl. This is OK , as all Perl scripts shipped with Solaris use /usr/perl5/bin/perl.

Solaris Version Numbers.

For consistency with common usage, perl's Configure script performs some minor manipulations on the operating system name and version number as reported by uname. Here's

a partial translation table

Sun: perl's Configure:

uname uname -r Name osname osvers SunOS 4.1.3 Solaris 1.1 sunos 4.1.3 SunOS 5.6 Solaris 2.6 solaris 2.6 SunOS 5.8 Solaris 8 solaris 2.8 The complete table can be found in the Sun Managers' FAQ


There are many, many source for Solaris information. A few of the important ones for perl:


File Extraction Problems.

Be sure to use a tar program compiled under Solaris (not SunOS 4.x) to extract the perl-5.x.x.tar.gz file. Do not use GNU tar compiled for SunOS4 on Solaris. ( GNU tar compiled for Solaris should be fine.) When you run SunOS4 binaries on Solaris, the run-time system magically alters pathnames matching m#lib/locale# so that when tar tries to create lib/, a file named lib/ gets created instead. If you found this advice it too late and used a SunOS4-compiled tar anyway, you must find the incorrectly renamed file and move it back to lib/

Compiler and Related Tools.

You must use an ANSI C compiler to build perl. Perl can be compiled with either Sun's add-on C compiler or with gcc. The C compiler that shipped with SunOS4 will not do.

Include /usr/ccs/bin/ in your PATH.

Several tools needed to build perl are located in /usr/ccs/bin/: ar, as, ld, and make. Make sure that /usr/ccs/bin/ is in your PATH.

You need to make sure the following packages are installed (this info is extracted from the Solaris FAQ):

for tools (sccs, lex, yacc, make, nm, truss, ld, as): SUNWbtool, SUNWsprot, SUNWtoo

for libraries:

for 64 bit development: SUNWarcx, SUNWbtoox, SUNWdplx, SUNWscpux, SUNWsprox, SUNWtoox, SUNWlmsx, SUNWlmx, SUNWlibCx.

These packages are available on your original install media.

If you are in doubt which package contains a file you are missing, try to find an installation that has that file. Then do a

grep /my/missing/file /var/sadm/install/contents

This will display a line like this
/usr/include/sys/errno.h f none 0644 root bin 7471 37605 956241356 SUNWhea

The last item listed (SUNWhea in this example) is the package you need.

Avoid /usr/ucb/cc.

You don't need to have /usr/ucb/ in your PATH to build perl. If you want /usr/ucb/ in your PATH anyway, make sure that /usr/ucb/ is NOT in your PATH before the directory containing the right C compiler.

Sun's C Compiler

If you use Sun's C compiler, make sure the correct directory (usually /opt/SUNWspro/bin/) is in your PATH (before /usr/ucb/).


If you use gcc, make sure your installation is recent and complete. As a point of reference, perl-5.6.0 built fine with gcc-2.8.1 on both Solaris 2.6 and Solaris 8. You'll be able to Configure perl with

sh Configure -Dcc=gcc

If you have updated your Solaris version, you may also have to update your GCC . For example, if you are running Solaris 2.6 and your gcc is installed under /usr/local, check in /usr/local/lib/gcc-lib and make sure you have the appropriate directory, sparc-sun-solaris2.6/ or i386-pc-solaris2.6/. If gcc's directory is for a different version of Solaris than you are running, then you will need to rebuild gcc for your new version of Solaris.

You can get a precompiled version of gcc from

GNU as and GNU ld

The versions of as and ld supplied with Solaris work fine for building perl. There is normally no need to install the GNU versions.

If you decide to ignore this advice and use the GNU versions anyway, then be sure that they are relatively recent. Versions newer than 2.7 are apparently new enough. Older versions may have trouble with dynamic loading.

If your gcc is configured to use GNU as and ld but you want to use the Solaris ones instead to build perl, then you'll need to add -B/usr/ccs/bin/ to the gcc command line. One convenient way to do that is with

sh Configure -Dcc='gcc -B/usr/ccs/bin/'

Note that the trailing slash is required. This will result in some harmless warnings as Configure is run

gcc: file path prefix `/usr/ccs/bin/' never used

These messages may safely be ignored. (Note that for a SunOS4 system, you must use -B/bin/ instead.)

Alternatively, you can use the GCC_EXEC_PREFIX environment variable to ensure that Sun's as and ld are used. Consult your gcc documentation for further information on the -B option and the GCC_EXEC_PREFIX variable.

GNU make

Sun's make works fine for building perl. If you wish to use GNU make anyway, be sure that the set-group-id bit is not set. If it is, then arrange your PATH so that /usr/ccs/bin/make is before GNU make or else have the system administrator disable the set-group-id bit on GNU make.

Avoid libucb.

Solaris provides some BSD-compatibility functions in /usr/ucblib/libucb.a. Perl will not build and run correctly if linked against -lucb since it contains routines that are incompatible with the standard Solaris libc. Normally this is not a problem since the solaris hints file prevents Configure from even looking in /usr/ucblib for libraries, and also explicitly omits -lucb.



Make sure your PATH includes the compiler (/opt/SUNWspro/bin/ if you're using Sun's compiler) as well as /usr/ccs/bin/ to pick up the other development tools (such as make, ar, as, and ld). Make sure your path either doesn't include /usr/ucb or that it includes it after the compiler and compiler tools and other standard Solaris directories. You definitely don't want /usr/ucb/cc.


If you have the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable set, be sure that it does NOT include /lib or /usr/lib. If you will be building extensions that call third-party shared libraries (e.g. Berkeley DB ) then make sure that your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable includes the directory with that library (e.g. /usr/local/lib).

If you get an error message

dlopen: stub interception failed

it is probably because your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable includes a directory which is a symlink to /usr/lib (such as /lib). The reason this causes a problem is quite subtle. The file actually only contains functions which generate 'stub interception failed' errors! The runtime linker intercepts links to ``/usr/lib/'' and links in internal implementations of those functions instead. [Thanks to Tim Bunce for this explanation.?


See the INSTALL file for general information regarding Configure. Only Solaris-specific issues are discussed here. Usually, the defaults should be fine.

64-bit Issues.

See the INSTALL file for general information regarding 64-bit compiles. In general, the defaults should be fine for most people.

By default, perl-5.6.0 (or later) is compiled as a 32-bit application with largefile and long-long support.

General 32-bit vs. 64-bit issues.

Solaris 7 and above will run in either 32 bit or 64 bit mode on SPARC CPUs, via a reboot. You can build 64 bit apps whilst running 32 bit mode and vice-versa. 32 bit apps will run under Solaris running in either 32 or 64 bit mode. 64 bit apps require Solaris to be running 64 bit mode.

Existing 32 bit apps are properly known as LP32 , i.e. Longs and Pointers are 32 bit. 64-bit apps are more properly known as LP64 . The discriminating feature of a LP64 bit app is its ability to utilise a 64-bit address space. It is perfectly possible to have a LP32 bit app that supports both 64-bit integers (long long) and largefiles (

For a more complete explanation of 64-bit issues, see the Solaris 64-bit Developer's Guide at

You can detect the OS mode using ``isainfo

  • v'', e.g.

    fubar$ isainfo -v # Ultra 30 in 64 bit mode

64-bit sparcv9 applications 32-bit sparc applications By default, perl will be compiled as a 32-bit application. Unless you want to allocate more than 4GB of memory inside Perl, you probably don't need Perl to be a 64-bit app.

Large File Suppprt

For Solaris 2.6 and onwards, there are two different ways for 32-bit applications to manipulate large files (files whose size is

First is the ``transitional compilation environment, described in lfcompile64''(5). According to the man page,

The transitional compilation environment exports all the

explicit 64-bit functions (xxx64()) and types in addition to all the regular functions (xxx()) and types. Both xxx() and xxx64() functions are available to the program source. A 32-bit application must use the xxx64() functions in order to access large files. See the lf64(5)? manual page for a complete listing of the 64-bit transitional interfaces.

The transitional compilation environment is obtained with the following compiler and linker flags

getconf LFS64_LDFLAG # nothing special needed getconf LFS64_LIBS # nothing special needed Second is the ``large file compilation environment'', described in lfcompile(5)?. According to the man page,

Each interface named xxx() that needs to access 64-bit entities

to access large files maps to a xxx64() call in the resulting binary. All relevant data types are defined to be of correct size (for example, off_t has a typedef definition for a 64-bit entity).

An application compiled in this environment is able to use

the xxx() source interfaces to access both large and small files, rather than having to explicitly utilize the transitional xxx64() interface calls to access large files. Two exceptions are fseek() and ftell(). 32-bit applications should use fseeko(3C) and ftello(3C). These will get automatically mapped to fseeko64() and ftello64().

The large file compilation environment is obtained with


getconf LFS_LDFLAGS # nothing special needed getconf LFS_LIBS # nothing special needed By default, perl uses the large file compilation environment and relies on Solaris to do the underlying mapping of interfaces.

Building an LP64 Perl

To compile a 64-bit application on an !UltraSparc? with a recent Sun Compiler, you need to use the flag ``-xarch=v9''. getconf(1) will tell you this, e.g.

fubar$ getconf -a grep v9

XBS5_LP64_OFF64_CFLAGS: -xarch=v9 XBS5_LP64_OFF64_LDFLAGS: -xarch=v9 XBS5_LP64_OFF64_LINTFLAGS: -xarch=v9 XBS5_LPBIG_OFFBIG_CFLAGS: -xarch=v9 XBS5_LPBIG_OFFBIG_LDFLAGS: -xarch=v9 XBS5_LPBIG_OFFBIG_LINTFLAGS: -xarch=v9 _XBS5_LP64_OFF64_CFLAGS: -xarch=v9 _XBS5_LP64_OFF64_LDFLAGS: -xarch=v9 _XBS5_LP64_OFF64_LINTFLAGS: -xarch=v9 _XBS5_LPBIG_OFFBIG_CFLAGS: -xarch=v9 _XBS5_LPBIG_OFFBIG_LDFLAGS: -xarch=v9 _XBS5_LPBIG_OFFBIG_LINTFLAGS: -xarch=v9 This flag is supported in Sun !WorkShop? Compilers 5.0 and onwards (now marketed under the name Forte) when used on Solaris 7 or later on !UltraSparc? systems.

If you are using gcc, you would need to use -mcpu=v9

  • m64 instead. This option is not yet supported as of gcc

2.95.2; from install/SPECIFIC in that release:

GCC version 2.95 is not able to compile code correctly for sparc64 targets. Users of the Linux kernel, at least, can use the sparc32 program to start up a new shell invocation with an environment that causes configure to recognize (via uname -a) the system as sparc-- instead.

All this should be handled automatically by the hints file, if requested.

If you do want to be able to allocate more than 4GB memory inside perl, then you should use the Solaris malloc, since the perl malloc breaks when dealing with more than 2GB of memory. You can do this with

sh Configure -Uusemymalloc

Note that this will break binary compatibility with any version that was not compiled with -Uusemymalloc.

Long Doubles.

As of 5.6.0, long doubles are not working.


It is possible to build a threaded version of perl on Solaris. The entire perl thread implementation is still experimental, however, so beware. Perl uses the sched_yield(3RT) function. In versions of Solaris up to 2.6, that function is in -lposix4. Starting with Solaris 7, it is in -lrt. The hints file should handle adding this automatically.

Malloc Issues.

You should not use perl's malloc if you are building with gcc. There are reports of core dumps, especially in the PDL module. The problem appears to go away under -DDEBUGGING, so it has been difficult to track down. Sun's compiler appears to be ok with or without perl's malloc.

Fatal Error:

lib/CachedMarkup.php (In template 'browse' < 'body' < 'html'):257: Error: Pure virtual

Fatal PhpWiki Error

lib/CachedMarkup.php (In template 'browse' < 'body' < 'html'):257: Error: Pure virtual