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ppm install MinGW
by Troy Topnik

Troy Topnik, January 28, 2009

Here's a really cool development for ActivePerl users on Windows. MinGW is now available from the ActiveState PPM repository:

 C:\>ppm install MinGW

This installs the MinGW tools (gcc, dlltool, ar, etc.) and dmake in ActivePerl's 'site/bin' directory.

If you're familiar with dmake and gcc, and how much of a hassle it used to be to get these tools working on Windows, you'll already understand why having this available via PPM is good news. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's some explanation of why this is important:

Back when I used to handle technical support for ActivePerl, I'd occasionally get questions about installing CPAN modules that were not available from the ActiveState PPM repositories. Our PPM build system coverage of CPAN modules has improved greatly since those days, so there are a lot fewer modules that people need to install manually or with the CPAN shell. However, there are still occasions when building modules yourself is preferable or necessary.

To that end, we included some instructions for getting nmake or dmake in the PPM documentation. This was enough to get people building "pure perl" packages, but you would still need to install a compiler (MS Visual C/C++ or gcc) if you wanted to build binary modules. To quote CPAN's module install guide:


Does the module require compilation (i.e. does it have files that end

in .xs, .c, .h, .y, .cc, .cxx, or .C)? If it does, you're on your own.

Well, you're not on your own anymore. Once you've installed MinGW with ppm on your Windows machine, you should be able to build and install binary modules with the CPAN shell.

Here's a really cool development for ActivePerl users on Windows. MinGW is now available from the ActiveState PPM repository:

 C:\>ppm install MinGW

This installs the MinGW tools (gcc, dlltool, ar, etc.) and dmake in ActivePerl's 'site/bin' directory.

If you're familiar with dmake and gcc, and how much of a hassle it used to be to get these tools working on Windows, you'll already understand why having this available via PPM is good news. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's some explanation of why this is important:

Back when I used to handle technical support for ActivePerl, I'd occasionally get questions about installing CPAN modules that were not available from the ActiveState PPM repositories. Our PPM build system coverage of CPAN modules has improved greatly since those days, so there are a lot fewer modules that people need to install manually or with the CPAN shell. However, there are still occasions when building modules yourself is preferable or necessary.

To that end, we included some instructions for getting nmake or dmake in the PPM documentation. This was enough to get people building "pure perl" packages, but you would still need to install a compiler (MS Visual C/C++ or gcc) if you wanted to build binary modules. To quote CPAN's module install guide:


Does the module require compilation (i.e. does it have files that end

in .xs, .c, .h, .y, .cc, .cxx, or .C)? If it does, you're on your own.

Well, you're not on your own anymore. Once you've installed MinGW with ppm on your Windows machine, you should be able to build and install binary modules with the CPAN shell.

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Category: perl
About the Author: RSS

Troy Topnik is ActiveState's technical writer. After joining ActiveState in 2001 as a "Customer Relationship Representative" (AKA Tech Support), Troy went on to lead the PureMessage Enterprise Support team before moving on to a technical writing role in 2004. His talent for describing software for new users stems from his difficulty understanding things that developers find obvious. He has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria.