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This directory contains the C source code packages used to build Perl releases. To use these you do need a C compilation environment. Here you will not find ready-to-install Perl packages. For that, try the ports directory.

Since the release 5.6 (March 2000) Perl has followed the commonly used scheme where there is a development branch, which eventually stabilizes into a "point-oh/point-zero" (.0) release, which then branches into a maintenance branch with maintenance releases (.1, .2, ...), while the development branches back to uncharted waters. The development (or devel, as it is called by the Perl 5 developers) releases have an odd (as opposed to even) major release number (5.7, 5.9, 5.11, ...), while the maintenance (or maint) releases have an even major release number (5.6, 5.8, 5.10, 5.12, ...). The "point-oh/point-zero" releases and release candidates are called testing releases.

For stable production use the maint branches are recommended. The "point-oh/point-zero" releases of maintenance releases have of course by definition not been tested for long periods of time, but you should still start using them.

If you want to help out developing new releases of Perl you can use the devel releases, but you should probably not wait for them and instead follow the development and hang around in the perl5-porters@perl.org mailing list.

Please note that branches earlier than 5.8 are no more supported (as of 2008), though fixes for urgent issues like for example for severe security problems may still be issued. Also, there are 5.005_04 and 5.6.2 releases which enabled compiling 5.005 and 5.6 with some of the more current platforms and compilers, for those who need backward compatibility.

(Historical note: there used to be "symbolic" source code releases called "stable", "latest", "maint", "devel", but those were found to cause more confusion than they were worth, they didn't really work with multiple branches, especially not with multiple maintenance branches, and especially the "latest" made absolutely no sense.)

Perl 6 has not been released yet. The Parrot virtual machine planned to be used to run Perl 6 has made pre-1.0 developer releases, but the best way to track that is to follow the development.

The latest releases in each branch

ReleaseFileTypeAge
5.115.11.1perl-5.11.1.tar.gzdevel5 days
5.105.10.1perl-5.10.1.tar.gzmaint2 months, 3 days
5.85.8.9perl-5.8.9.tar.gzmaint10 months, 14 days
5.65.6.2perl-5.6.2.tar.gzmaint5 years, 11 months, 16 days
5.55.5.4perl5.005_04.tar.gzmaint5 years, 8 months, 6 days
5.45.4.5perl5.004_05.tar.gzmaint10 years, 5 months, 32 days

(A year is 365.2425 days and a month is 30.436875 days.)

Any development releases made obsolete by later releases are not included here.

The first releases in each branch

These should give an idea of the age of each branch.

Released
5.11October 2009
5.10December 2007
5.8July 2002
5.6March 2000
5.5July 1998
5.4May 1997

For further information see the full release history of Perl.

Once you've downloaded one of these archives and unpacked it, you need to use it to build a binary for your system, then test and install it. The file README in the distribution gives license information and brief instructions; the file INSTALL gives comprehensive instructions. If you have a non-UNIX system, see also README.yoursystem -- for example, README.win32.

Other files and directories


Corrections? Additions? Suggestions? Please contact cpan@perl.org. Other questions? See the CPAN FAQ.

Copyright Jarkko Hietaniemi <jhi@iki.fi> 1998-2008 All Rights Reserved.


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