Not Quite Perl
Perl6 Java JavaScript HTML Perl Shell


=head1 NQP - Not Quite Perl (6)

NQP is Copyright (C) 2009-2016 by The Perl Foundation.  See F<LICENSE>
for licensing details.

This is "Not Quite Perl" -- a lightweight Perl 6-like environment for
virtual machines.  The key feature of NQP is that it's designed to be a very
small environment (as compared with, say, perl6 or Rakudo) and is focused on
being a high-level way to create compilers and libraries for virtual
machines like MoarVM [1], the JVM, and others.

Unlike a full-fledged implementation of Perl 6, NQP strives to have as small
a runtime footprint as it can, while still providing a Perl 6 object model
and regular expression engine for the virtual machine.


=head2 Building from source

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To build NQP from source, you'll just need a C<make> utility and Perl 5.8 or
newer.  To automatically obtain and build MoarVM you may also need
a git client.

To obtain NQP directly from its repository:

    $ git clone git://

If you don't have git installed, you can get a tarball or zip of NQP from
github by visiting and clicking
"Download".  Then unpack the tarball or zip.

NQP can run on three different backends: MoarVM, the JVM, and JavaScript
But JavaScript is currently still experimental.

Decide on which backends you want it to run, and configure and build it as

Once you have a copy of NQP, build it as follows:

    $ cd nqp
    $ perl --backends=moar,jvm
    $ make

If you don't have an installed MoarVM, you can have build one for you by passing the C<--gen-moar> option to it as well.

The C<make> step will create a "nqp" or "nqp.exe" executable in the current
directory.  Programs can then be run from the build directory using a
command like:

    $ ./nqp hello.nqp

By default, NQP searches for the MoarVM executable and installs to the
directory C<./install>. You can change that with the C<--prefix> option to

Once built, NQP's C<make install> target will install NQP and its libraries
into the same location as the MoarVM installation
that was used to create it.  Until this step is
performed, the "nqp" executable created by C<make> above can only be
reliably run from the root of NQP's build directory.  After C<make install>
is performed the executable can be run from any directory.

If the NQP compiler is invoked without an explicit script to run, it enters
a small interactive mode that allows statements to be executed from the
command line.  Each line entered is treated as a separate compilation unit,
however (which means that subroutines are preserved after they are defined,
but variables are not).

=head2 Troubleshooting

=head3 OS X

On OS X, it appears that configuration fails in some configurations:

  3rdparty/libuv/include/uv-darwin.h:26:11: fatal error: 'mach/mach.h' file not found

Should this happen to you, then a solution might be the following:

    $ cd MoarVM/3rdparty/libuv/include
    $ ln -s /Applications/
    $ cd ../../../..
    $ # run the Configure again

Note that the 10.9 in the above, represents the major version of OS X being
used.  On Mavericks use 10.9 (like above), on Yosemite use 10.10.

=head2 Using NQP

The L<examples directory|> is a good place to start, with the
L<loops|> and other files. Opcodes are listed in
L<the docs directory|>. You can use NQP from this
release, it will be already installed if you have built Perl6 from

=head2 JavaScript backend

The JavaScript backend is currently undergoing a refactor/rewrite of parts to generate decently performing javascript, add source maps and remove some old hack as well as clean up the code. 
As a result of that it's in a really rough state so the best thing before playing with it/hacking on it is to contact pmurias via IRC at #perl6 on

Building the JavaScript backend currently requires building the moar backend:

    $ perl --backends=moar,js
    $ make

    $ mkdir node_modules
    $ npm install src/vm/js/nqp-runtime
    $ npm install tap

Currently it needs to be run like:

    $ ./nqp-js file.nqp

To run the tests:

    $ make js-test

To build nqp-js-on-js (that is nqp-js itself running on node.js):

    $ make js-bootstrap

To run nqp-js-on-js:

    $ node nqp-js-on-js/nqp-bootstrapped.js -e "say('Hello World')"