Rakudo Perl -- Perl 6 on MoarVM and the JVM
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Rakudo Perl 6

This is Rakudo Perl, a Perl 6 compiler for the MoarVM and JVM.

Rakudo Perl is Copyright (C) 2008-2016, The Perl Foundation. Rakudo Perl is distributed under the terms of the Artistic License 2.0. For more details, see the full text of the license in the file LICENSE.

This directory contains only the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler itself; it does not contain any of the modules, documentation, or other items that would normally come with a full Perl 6 distribution. If you're after more than just the bare compiler, please download the latest Rakudo Star package.

Note that different backends implement slightly different sets of features. For a high-level overview of implemented and missing features, please visit the features page on perl6.org.

Recent changes and feature additions are documented in the doc/ChangeLog text file.

Building and Installing Rakudo

Build Status Build status

See the INSTALL.txt file for detailed prerequisites and build and installation instructions.

The general process for building is running perl Configure.pl with the desired configuration options (common options listed below), and then running make or make install. Optionally, you may run make spectest to test your build on Roast, the Official Perl 6 test suite.

Installation of Rakudo simply requires building and running make install. Note that this step is necessary for running Rakudo from outside the build directory. But don't worry, it installs locally by default, so you don't need any administrator privileges for carrying out this step.

Configuring Rakudo to run on MoarVM

To automatically download and build a fresh MoarVM and NQP, run:

perl Configure.pl --gen-moar --gen-nqp --backends=moar

Configuring Rakudo to run on the JVM

Note that to run Rakudo on JVM, JDK 1.7 must be installed. To automatically download an build a fresh NQP, run:

perl Configure.pl --gen-nqp --backends=jvm

If you get an out of memory error building rakudo on the JVM, you may need to modify your NQP runner to limit memory use. e.g. edit the nqp-j / nqp-j.bat executable (found wherever you installed to, or in the install/bin directory) to include -Xms500m -Xmx2g as options passed to java.

Multiple backends at the same time

By supplying combinations of backends to the --backends flag, you can get two or three backends built in the same prefix. The first backend you supply in the list is the one that gets the perl6 name as a symlink, and all backends are installed seperately as perl6-m or perl6-j for Rakudo on MoarVM, or JVM respectively.

The format for the --backends flag is:

$ perl Configure.pl --backends=moar,jvm
$ perl Configure.pl --backends=ALL

Where to get help or answers to questions

There are several mailing lists, IRC channels, and wikis available with help for Perl 6 and Rakudo. Figuring out the right one to use is often the biggest battle. Here are some rough guidelines:

The central hub for Perl 6 information is perl6.org. This is always a good starting point.

If you have a question about Perl 6 syntax or the right way to approach a problem using Perl 6, you probably want the "perl6-users@perl.org" mailing list or the "irc.freenode.net/#perl6" channel. The perl6-users list is primarily for the people who want to use Perl 6 to write programs, so newbie questions are welcomed there. Newbie questions are also welcome on the #perl6 channel; the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams tend to hang out there and are generally glad to help. You can follow "@rakudoperl" on Twitter, and there's a Perl 6 news aggregator at Planet Perl 6.

Questions about NQP can also be posted to the #perl6 IRC channel. For questions about MoarVM, you can join #moarvm on freenode.

Reporting bugs

Bug reports should be sent to "rakudobug@perl.org", which will automatically create a ticket in the RT system. Please include or attach any sample source code that exhibits the bug, and include either the release name/date or the git commit identifier. You find that information in the output from perl6 --version (or in the first line of git log, if Rakudo fails to build). There's no need to cc: the perl6-compiler mailing list, as the RT system will handle this on its own. Please start your subject with one (or more) of the following text, including the brackets:

  • [BUG] - this is an actual bug
  • [LTA] - a "Less Than Awesome" diagnostic or warning is being generated
  • [JVM] - issue only occurs on the JVM
  • [PERF] - any performance related issue
  • [UNI] - related to unicode support

If you find a bug in MoarVM or NQP, you can either discuss it on the IRC and have it reported for you, or you can submit an issue to the issue trackers on github for perl6/nqp or moarvm/moarvm.

Submitting patches

If you have a patch that fixes a bug or adds a new feature, please create a pull request using github's pull request infrastructure.

Please separate your commits for different issues into different branches, and please squash out any intermediate commits, like adding/removing debug output.

Line editing and tab completion

If you would like simple history and tab completion in the perl6 executable, you need to install the Linenoise module. The recommended way to install Linenoise is via panda:

panda install Linenoise

An alternative is to use a third-party program such as rlwrap.


Jonathan Worthington is the current pumpking for Rakudo Perl 6. See CREDITS for the many people that have contributed to the development of the Rakudo compiler.