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README.solaris, Take 1.2

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Andy Dougherty
November 8, 2000 12:20
README.solaris, Take 1.2
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If you read this file _as_is_, just ignore the funny characters you
see.  It is written in the POD format (see pod/perlpod.pod) which is
specifically designed to be readable as is.

=head1 NAME

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also discussed, though they may be out of date.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 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 a
link to /usr/bin/perl.  Do not disturb that installation unless you really
know what you are doing.  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.

=head2 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     SunOS 4.1.3     sunos      4.1.3
    SunOS    5.6       Solaris 2.6     solaris    2.6
    SunOS    5.8       Solaris 8       solaris    2.8


=head2 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 ignore this advice and use a a SunOS4-compiled tar anyway, you
must find the incorrectly renamed file and move it back to lib/

=head2 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.

=head3 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.

=head3 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/cc is NOT
in your PATH before the real C compiler.

=head3 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/.

=head3 GCC

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/.  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

=head3 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 error messages 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.

=head3 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.

=head3 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 prevent Configure
from even looking in /usr/ucblib for libraries, and also explicitly
omit -lucb.

=head2 Environment

=head3 PATH

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.

=head2 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 and later is compiled as a 32-bit application
with large file support.

=head3 General 32-bit vs. 64-bit issues.

[This information is courtesy of Alan Burlison, February 2000, for Solaris
7 and higher.]

=over 4

=item 1

Solaris 2.7 and above will run in either 32 bit or 64 bit mode, via a reboot.

=item 2

You can build 64 bit apps whilst running 32 bit mode and vice-versa.

=item 3

32 bit apps will run under Solaris running in either 32 or 64 bit mode.

=item 4

64 bit apps require Solaris to be running 64 bit mode

=item 5

It is possible to select the appropriate 32 or 64 bit version of an app
at run-time using isaexec(3).

=item 6

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

=item 7

To compile a 64-bit application 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 not supported in Sun WorkShop Compilers 4.2, but is
supported in more recent versions.  [XXX -- any precise citations?]

If you are using gcc, you need to use -mcpu=v9 -m64 instead.  This
option is not supported in the installation of gcc-2.8.1 that I have
at hand, but is supported in more recent versions.  [XXX -- any
precise citations?]

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


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.

=head3 Large File Suppprt

Under Solaris 8 (and possibly 2.7, though I don't have manuals to
check) there are two different ways for 32-bit applications to manipulate
large files (files whose size is > 2Gbyte).  (A 64-bit application
automatically has largefile support built in by default.)

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_CFLAGS        -D_LARGEFILE64_SOURCE
    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.

=head3 Long Doubles.

[XXX needs work, including -lsunmath info.]

=head2 Threads.

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.

=head2 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. [XXX further investigation is needed here.]

You can avoid perl's malloc by Configuring with

	sh Configure -Uusemymalloc


=head2 Dynamic Loading

=over 4

=item Dynamic Loading Problems With GNU as and GNU ld

If you have problems with dynamic loading using gcc on SunOS or
Solaris, and you are using GNU as and GNU ld, see the section
L<"GNU as and GNU ld"> above.

=item ./perl: fatal: relocation error:

If you get this message on SunOS or Solaris, and you're using gcc,
it's probably the GNU as or GNU ld problem in the previous item
L<"GNU as and GNU ld">.

=item dlopen: stub interception failed

The primary cause of the 'dlopen: stub interception failed' message is
that the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable includes a directory
which is a symlink to /usr/lib (such as /lib).  See

=item #error "No DATAMODEL_NATIVE specified"

This is a common error when trying to build perl on Solaris 2.6 with a
gcc installation from Solaris 2.5 or 2.5.1.  The Solaris header files
changed, so you need to update your gcc installation.  You can either
rerun the fixincludes script from gcc or take the opportunity to
update your gcc installation.

=item sh: ar: not found

This is a message from your shell telling you that the command 'ar'
was not found.  You need to check your PATH environment variable to
make sure that it includes the directory with the 'ar' command.  This
is a common problem on Solaris, where 'ar' is in the /usr/ccs/bin


=head1 MAKE TEST

=head2 op/stat.t Test 4

op/stat.t test 4 may fail if you are on a tmpfs of some sort.
Building in /tmp sometimes shows this behavior.  The
test suite detects if you are building in /tmp, but it may not be able
to catch all tmpfs situations.


You can pick up prebuilt binaries for Solaris from
L<>, ActiveState L<>,
and L<> under the Binaries list at the top of the page.
There are probably other sources as well.  Please note that these sites
are under the control of their respective owners, not the perl developers.


=head2 Limits on Numbers of Open Files.

The stdio(3C) manpage notes that only 255 files may be opened using
fopen(), and only file descriptors 0 through 255 can be used in a
stream.  Since perl calls open() and then fdopen(3C) with the
resulting file descriptor, perl is limited to 255 simultaneous open


[XXX -- suggestions?]


=head2 Proc::ProcessTable

Proc::ProcessTable does not compile on Solaris with perl5.6.0 and higher
if you have LARGEFILES defined.  Since largefile support is the
default in 5.6.0 and later, you have to rebuild perl if you want
to use this module. This is due to a limitation in the /proc
file system on Solaris.

[XXX -- others?]

=head1 AUTHOR

The original was written by Andy Dougherty <>
drawing heavily on advice from Alan Burlison, Nick Ing-Simmons, Tim Bunce,
and many other Solaris users over the years.


$Id: README.solaris,v 1.2 2000/11/08 20:12:08 doughera Exp $

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