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This is Rakudo Star, a useful, usable Rakudo Perl 6 production distribution.
This is the 2018.10 release of Rakudo Star for the 6.c version of Perl 6.
Rakudo Star is Copyright (C) 2010 - 2018 by the Rakudo Star Team.
License Information
Rakudo Star is distributed under the terms of the Artistic License 2.0.
This distribution contains software collected from other sources; see the
individual source subdirectories (in rakudo/, MoarVM/ and modules/)
for copyright and licensing information of those components.
The Rakudo Perl 6 compiler can target MoarVM and the JVM. Rakudo Star fully
supports MoarVM; not all modules work on the JVM at present. You can choose
to build and install Rakudo for one or more of these virtual machines at
configure time.
Build Prerequisites for Rakudo on MoarVM
To build Rakudo Star on MoarVM, you need at least a 'make' utility, a C
compiler, and Perl 5.10.0 or newer. Building Rakudo on MoarVM needs a
machine with a gigabyte of memory; for a 32-bit build, you may get by
with less.
Build Prerequisites for Rakudo on the JVM
Please note that this release of Rakudo Star is *not* fully functional with the
JVM backend from the Rakudo compiler. Use the JVM backend only if you are
trying to help with fixing JVM support (which is best done upstream with the
monthly Rakudo release). This is a known issue and it's not worth reporting
JVM failures as bugs unless you have patches.
To build an experimental Rakudo Star on the JVM, you need at least a 'make'
utility, both 'java' and 'javac' available in your path, and Perl 5.10.0 or
newer. The 'java' and 'javac' are obtained by installing a Java Development
kit, for example openjdk-8 or the Oracle JDK.
The newer the JDK you have the better; due to bugs in the invokedynamic
instruction in early releases, JDK 8 or above is needed. The build can
complete within a gigabyte of memory.
Configuring Rakudo Star
The easiest way to build Rakudo Star for a particular backend is:
$ perl --backend=moar --gen-moar # MoarVM
$ perl --backend=jvm --gen-nqp # JVM
You can also build for all backends:
$ perl --backend=moar,jvm --gen-moar
Note that --gen-moar automatically builds a MoarVM for you, and implies
--gen-nqp, which builds NQP, a subset of Perl 6 that is used to implement
Configured this way, one or more Perl 6 executables and selected Perl 6
modules will be installed into the install/ subdirectory, which resides inside
the source archive directory. Running make install will *not* install anything
into /usr/local. If you want to change this behavior, specify the install
prefix using the --prefix option.
Configuring with the --prefix option
If you want to install rakudo into a system-wide directory, you must either
have root privileges or own the desired installation directory. Assuming you
are root, use any of the desired configuration commands shown above and add
"--prefix=$INSTDIR" to the end where $INSTDIR is the installation directory
of choice.
Building Rakudo Star
After configuration, build Rakudo Star on a UNIX-like system with:
$ make
$ make install
Rakudo Star can be built on Windows either using Microsoft tools (MSVC) and
nmake or using gcc and gmake as bundled with Strawberry Perl. In the latter
case use cmd.exe rather than bash as a shell.
Note that possible platform-specific errata may be covered under:
Setting up the environment
To set up the environment under a UNIX type system you will need to add the
absolute path of the local "install/bin" directory under your source build
directory or system-wide "${INSTDIR}/bin" directory (if you used the
--prefix option) to your PATH environment variable.
Note also that other executable scripts such as "p6doc" will be installed
under "${INSTDIR}/share/perl6/site/bin" so you also need to add that to the
PATH for development convenience.
You will have to append the %PATH% in a similar way under Windows. You
may have to use Windows type directory path separators.
You will be reminded of the two additions to the PATH by a welcome message
after the source build completes.
Once Rakudo Star is installed (and assuming perl6 is in your PATH), you can
run Perl 6 programs by doing:
$ perl6
If the Rakudo compiler is invoked without an explicit script to run, it
enters a small interactive mode that allows Perl 6 statements to be executed
from the command line.
Running the Perl 6 test suite
Entering "make rakudo-test" will run a small test suite that comes bundled
with Rakudo. This is a simple suite of tests, designed to make sure that the
Rakudo compiler is basically working and that it's capable of running a simple
test harness.
Running "make rakudo-spectest" will run the Perl 6 specification test suite
("roast") that was bundled with the Rakudo compiler release.
Running "make modules-test" will run the test suites of any installed modules.
The modules currently have to be installed (via 'make install' or 'make
modules-install') before the tests can be run.
Currently a number of roast tests may be reported as missing due to a known
issue with test suite versioning. This can be ignored and it's hoped this will
be fixed shortly.
Perl 6 Documentation
The official documentation site is
This distribution also contains documentation in the docs/ directory:
docs/cheatsheet.txt — Perl 6 cheat sheet
docs/2015-spw-perl6-course.pdf — A short Perl 6 course
docs/perl6intro.pdf — Recent snapshot of
docs/announce/ — Detailed release announcements is available in multiple languages, Dutch, French,
German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish at the time of writing.
Installing Perl 6 Modules
zef is a module installer bundled with Rakudo Star.
See for zef documentation.
panda is an alternative module installer.
A list of modules available in the "ecosystem" is at
Git is useful for both zef and panda (and required with the latter).
When upgrading between versions of perl 6 it may be necessary to remove
~/.perl6 and/or ~/.zef due to a possible toolchain bug. If you see this issue
please email details as suggested in the "Reporting Bugs" section below.
Where to get help or answers to questions
'p6doc faq' will display a version of the FAQ.
Also see
There are several mailing lists, IRC channels, and wikis available with help
for Perl 6 and Rakudo.
A friendly IRC channel for new starter questions is
The Rakudo and MoarVM development teams tend to hang out on IRC a fair bit, on and, respectively.
IRC tends to be busier than the mailing lists but if you have a question about
Perl 6 syntax or the right way to approach a problem using Perl 6, you could
use the mailing list. This list is primarily for the
people who want to use Perl 6 to write programs, as opposed to those who are
implementing or developing the Perl 6 language itself.
Questions about the Rakudo compiler can go to
The website contains a great many links to resources for Perl
6 development, and is generally the starting point for information about Perl
Rakudo's official web site is, where you can
find useful information for developers and users alike.
Reporting bugs
Bug reports about Rakudo Star or the Perl 6 specification should be sent to with the moniker [BUG] (including the brackets) at the
start of the subject so that it gets appropriately tagged 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 this information in the output from "perl6
--version". There's no need to Cc: the perl6-compiler mailing list, as the RT
system will handle this on its own.
Submitting patches
Patches to the Rakudo compiler itself should be submitted to
''. Patches for individual modules should be submitted to
the module authors (see the module source code for details).
We'll generally accept patches in any form if we can get them to work, but
unified diff from the 'git' command is greatly preferred. See further
instructions in the rakudo/ subdirectory for more details. Other ways to
create and submit patches are discussed at
Patrick Michaud ( was originally the primary author and
maintainer for Rakudo Star. See docs/CREDITS for further Rakudo Star authors,
and */CREDITS for authors of other collected components.