Multiple versions of perl

Posted by bail003 on 2007-02-26 11:14

I have perl 5.004_02 on a windows 2000 server (SP4)
on directory c:\perl

Can I install perl 5.8 in a different directory (C:\perl58)
and avoid any compability issues?

ActiveState Staff
Tue, 2007-02-27 11:23

I don't recommend doing this for a couple of reasons:

  • registry entries for the 5.004 installation may be overwritten when installing 5.8
  • environment variables used by the 5.004 installation may be replaced with ones referencing the 5.8 installation, or the 5.8 installation may pick up environment variables that point to the older installation

There are potentially other "gotchas" there as well.

If you decide to give this a try I recommend examining your registry and environment and making note of any existing entries that affect Perl before installing Perl 5.8, and taking a good backup of your system beforehand, especially if this is a production environment. This will of course allow you to recover the original functionality if things go awry.

If you do give it a try, please follow up to the thread and let me know how it goes -- that information will no doubt be helpful to others.

Thank you,


bail003 | Tue, 2007-02-27 12:21

I would like to uninstall the 5.004 version, but there is no uninstall utility in the add remove programs. Is there a safe way to manually uninstall 5.004?

ericp | Tue, 2007-02-27 18:08

Windows Perl wasn't installed with an MSI until version 5.6 (5.006), so 5.004 won't show up in the ARP window. You actually don't have to uninstall it if you don't want to. Installing Perl 5.8 will cause it to be set as the CurrentVersion in the registry, and it will be the first Perl in the PATH. But if you want to uninstall perl 5.004, and there's no uninstall command in the Start menu or in c:\perl, you can always delete the folder. You'll lose any libraries that you installed for version 5.004, but any libraries with C code in them won't work with 5.8 anyway.

If you delete the folder, or rename it to "c:\perl_5_004", you get to install the new one in c:\perl

bail003 | Mon, 2007-03-05 12:57

I installed perl 5.8 in a different directory and it's working o.k.