Perl is a general purpose scripting (interpreted) language that was developed by Larry Wall in 1987. It particularly excels in its text processing capabilities and as a result is often used in system administration and web programming. Development in Perl is generally very fast and it is a full-featured general purpose language; however, Perl code will generally not run nearly as fast as a compiled language such as C. With its long history, there are tons of modules available freely, including more than 25,000 open source modules from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN).

Availability and Setup

Perl 5 is installed on the Shared Computing Cluster (SCC). Free versions are also available for every major operating system for those who wish to install it on their own machines.

Using Perl

All Perl source code files on the SCC must include as the first line #!/usr/local/bin/perl which is a special line with the characters #! followed by the path on the system to the Perl executable. Perl programs must also have the execute bit set in order to run (done via chmod +x executable_name). With these done, you can simply run the code by typing your executable_name.

Perl Examples

As part of the RCS Introduction to Perl tutorial, we have developed a number of Perl examples to help you get started with using the language including a basic Hello World! example.

Additional Help/Documentation is the home of the Perl language and the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) is the main source for Perl modules.