README.mpeix - Perl/iX for HP e3000 MPE

   Perl language for MPE
   Last updated January 12, 2006 @ 2100 UTC


This is a podified version of the above-mentioned web page, podified by Jarkko Hietaniemi 2001-Jan-01.

Binary distribution from HP

The simplest way to obtain Perl for the MPE/iX is to go either of these URLs and follow the instructions within.

Use which ever one is more recent.

What's New in Perl for MPE/iX

January 12, 2006

Welcome to Perl/iX

This is the official home page for the HP e3000 MPE/iX ( ) port of the Perl scripting language ( ) which gives you all of the power of C, awk, sed, and sh in a single language. Check here for the latest news, implemented functionality, known bugs, to-do list, etc. Status reports about major milestones will also be posted to the HP3000-L mailing list ( ) and its associated gatewayed newsgroup comp.sys.hp.mpe.

I'm doing this port because I can't live without Perl on the Unix machines that I administer, and I want to have the same power available to me on MPE.

Please send your comments, questions, and bug reports directly to me, Mark Bixby ( ). Or just post them to HP3000-L.

The platform I'm using to do this port is an HP 3000 957RX running MPE/iX 6.0 and using the GNU gcc C compiler ( ).

The combined porting wisdom from all of my ports can be found in my MPE/iX Porting Guide (

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Yes, I do work for the HP CSY R&D lab, but ALL of the software you download from is my personal freeware that is NOT supported by HP.

System Requirements for Perl/iX

How to Obtain Perl/iX

  1. Download Perl using either FTP.ARPA.SYS or some other client

  2. Extract the installation script

  3. Edit the installation script

  4. Run the installation script

  5. Convert your *.a system archive libraries to *.sl shared libraries

Download Perl using FTP.ARPA.SYS from your HP 3000 (the preferred method).....

    cd /pub/mpe
    get perl-5.6.0-mpe.tar.Z /tmp/perl.tar.Z;disc=2147483647

.....Or download using some other generic web or ftp client (the alternate method)

Download the following files (make sure that you use ``binary mode'' or whatever client feature that is 8-bit clean):

Perl/iX Distribution Contents Highlights


The file you're reading now.


Perl/iX Installation script.


Script to convert *.a system archive libraries to *.sl shared libraries.


Perl NMPRG executable. A version-numbered backup copy also exists. You might wish to ``ln -s /PERL/PUB/PERL /usr/local/bin/perl''.


Much add-on source code downloaded with the CPAN module.


Perl libraries, both core and add-on.


Perl man page documentation.


Sample feedback CGI form written in Perl.


Source code.

How to Compile Perl/iX

  1. cd src/perl-5.6.0-mpe

  2. Read the INSTALL file for the official instructions

  3. ./Configure -d

  4. make

  5. ./mpeix/relink

  6. make test (expect approximately 15 out of 11306 subtests to fail, mostly due to MPE not supporting hard links, UDP socket problems, and handling exit() return codes improperly)

  7. make install

  8. Optionally create symbolic links that point to the Perl executable, i.e. ln -s /PERL/PUB/PERL /usr/local/bin/perl

The summary test results from ``cd t; ./perl -I../lib harness'':

  Failed Test  Status Wstat Total Fail  Failed  List of failed
  io/fs.t                      29    8  27.59%  2-5, 7-9, 11
  io/openpid.t                 10    1  10.00%  7
  lib/io_sock.t                14    1   7.14%  13
  lib/io_udp.t                  7    2  28.57%  3, 5
  lib/posix.t                  27    1   3.70%  12
  op/lex_assign.t             187    1   0.53%  13
  op/stat.t                    58    1   1.72%  3
  15 tests and 94 subtests skipped.
  Failed 7/236 test scripts, 97.03% okay. 15/11306 subtests failed, 99.87% okay.

Getting Started with Perl/iX

Create your Perl script files with ``#!/PERL/PUB/perl'' (or an equivalent symbolic link) as the first line. Use the chmod command to make sure that your script has execute permission. Run your script!

Be sure to take a look at the CPAN module list ( ). A wide variety of free Perl software is available. You can automatically download these packages by using the CPAN module ( ).

MPE/iX Implementation Considerations

There some minor functionality issues to be aware of when comparing Perl for Unix (Perl/UX) to Perl/iX:

Known Perl/iX Bugs Under Investigation


Perl/iX To-Do List

Perl/iX Change History

May 6, 1999

April 7, 1999

November 20, 1998

August 14, 1998

August 7, 1998

July 28, 1998

July 23, 1998

July 17, 1998

July 15, 1998

July 8, 1998

November 6, 1997

October 16, 1997

October 3, 1997

October 2, 1997

September 1997


Mark Bixby,