By: Boopathy in Perl Tutorials on 2011-02-05
Users of Microsoft Windows typically install one of the native binary distributions of Perl for Win32, most commonly Strawberry Perl or ActivePerl. Compiling Perl from source code under Windows is possible, but most installations lack the requisite C compiler and build tools. This also makes it difficult to install modules from the CPAN, particularly those that are partially written in C.
ActivePerl is a closed source distribution from ActiveState that has regular releases that track the core Perl releases. The distribution also includes the Perl package manager (PPM), a popular tool for installing, removing, upgrading, and managing the use of common Perl modules.
Strawberry Perl is an open source distribution for Windows. It has had regular, quarterly releases since January 2008, including new modules as feedback and requests come in. Strawberry Perl aims to be able to install modules like standard Perl distributions on other platforms, including compiling XS modules.
The Cygwin emulation layer is another way of running Perl under Windows. Cygwin provides a Unix-like environment on Windows, and both Perl and CPAN are available as standard pre-compiled packages in the Cygwin setup program. Because Cygwin also includes the gcc, compiling Perl from source is also possible.
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