I've installed CentOS 6.3 (i386) recently.

It has two perl binary

/usr/bin/perl (v5.10.1)
/usr/local/appx/perl/bin/perl (v5.8.8)

My question: Is it possible to install some other funtinonality to that application using system wide perl & perl's module from that appx?

Like below:

./configue -prefix=/usrl/local/app_xyz -perl_lib_path=/usr/local/appx/perl/lib/5.8.8/

I've tried the above, I got error the following error:

RRD Perl Module -----------------**Not Found**

But that perl module RRDs.pm is available under the /usr/local/appx/lib/5.8.8 directory.

Also the configure script doesn't have ARG to map our appx perl binary path (/usr/local/appx/perl/bin/perl), it automatically picks the system wide perl as default.

  • 1
    Assuming configure doesn't have an option for the path to Perl, maybe something like PATH="/usr/local/appx/perl/bin:$PATH" ./configure -prefix=… would work?
    – derobert
    Apr 29, 2013 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Perl 5 minor versions are backward compatible, so a 5.8.8 module should work with a 5.10.1 perl (but there is an exception, see CAVEAT below). The include path (@INC) is configured in when perl is built, but @INC can be modified by individual programs, and globablly the content of the environment variable $PERL5LIB is prepended.

export PERL5LIB=/usr/local/appx/lib/5.8.8

However, there is a problem with this approach. Because $PERL5LIB is prepended to @INC, doing this will cause the 5.8.8 directory to take precedence when loading various standard modules. That's not desirable.

So, a less tidy but ultimately better idea is to just symlink /usr/local/appx/lib/5.8.8/RRD.pm (and/or the RRD directory, if there is one) into /usr/local/lib/perl5 or some other standard @INC directory. You can see those with:

perl -e 'print "$_\n" foreach @INC'

Note that there may be both a top level RRD.pm and a parallel RRD directory; if so you want to symlink both.


Some perl modules include parts that are compiled from C, and these may break. If RRD.pm does not use C, then you don't have to worry. If it does, you should copy it instead of symlinking it and rebuild; for that you need the source, which may or may not be there :(

  • I'm pretty sure that while Perl code is mostly backwards compatible, the C API is not. So any compiled XS code will not work.
    – derobert
    Apr 29, 2013 at 15:17
  • I think the public C API (as presented in perlguts, etc) is backward compatible but I asked on #perl about this and you are correct -- changes to the internal API can result in binary incompatibility. Will add a note about this.
    – goldilocks
    Apr 29, 2013 at 15:47

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