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If you read this file _as_is_, just ignore the funny characters you
see. It is written in the POD format (see pod/perlpod.pod) which is
specifically designed to be readable as is.
=head1 NAME
perlce - Perl for WinCE
=head1 Building Perl for WinCE
=head2 WARNING
B<< Much of this document has become very out of date and needs updating,
rewriting or deleting. The build process was overhauled during the 5.19
development track and the current instructions as of that time are given
in L</CURRENT BUILD INSTRUCTIONS>; the previous build instructions, which
are largely superseded but may still contain some useful information, are
left in L</OLD BUILD INSTRUCTIONS> but really need removing after anything
of use has been extracted from them. >>
This file gives the instructions for building Perl5.8 and above for
WinCE. Please read and understand the terms under which this
software is distributed.
=head2 General explanations on cross-compiling WinCE
=item *
F<miniperl> is built. This is a single executable (without DLL), intended
to run on Win32, and it will facilitate remaining build process; all binaries
built after it are foreign and should not run locally.
F<miniperl> is built using F<./win32/Makefile>; this is part of normal
build process invoked as dependency from wince/Makefile.ce
=item *
After F<miniperl> is built, F<configpm> is invoked to create right F<>
in right place and its corresponding
Unlike Win32 build, miniperl will not have F<> of host within reach;
it rather will use F<> from within cross-compilation directories.
File F<> is dead simple: for given cross-architecture places in @INC
a path where perl modules are, and right F<> in that place.
That said, C<miniperl -Ilib -MConfig -we 1> should report an error, because
it can not find F<>. If it does not give an error -- wrong F<>
is substituted, and resulting binaries will be a mess.
C<miniperl -MCross -MConfig -we 1> should run okay, and it will provide right
F<> for further compilations.
=item *
During extensions build phase, a script F<./win32/> is invoked,
which in turn steps in F<./ext> subdirectories and performs a build of
each extension in turn.
All invokes of F<Makefile.PL> are provided with C<-MCross> so to enable cross-
(These instructions assume the host is 32-bit Windows. If you're on 64-bit
Windows then change "C:\Program Files" to "C:\Program Files (x86)" throughout.)
1. Install EVC4 from
Use the key mentioned at
The installer is ancient and has a few bugs on the paths it uses. You
will have to fix them later. Basically, some things go into "C:/Program
Files/Windows CE Tools", others go into "C:/Windows CE Tools" regardless
of the path you gave to the installer (the default will be "C:/Windows
CE Tools"). Reboots will be required for the installer to proceed. Also
.c and .h associations with Visual Studio might get overridden when
installing EVC4. You have been warned.
2. Download celib from GitHub (using "Download ZIP") at
Extract it to a spaceless path but not into the perl build source.
I call this directory "celib-palm-3.0" but in the GitHub
snapshot it will be called "celib-master". Make a copy of the
"wince-arm-pocket-wce300-release" folder and rename the copy to
"wince-arm-pocket-wce400". This is a hack so we can build a CE 4.0
binary by linking in CE 3.0 ARM asm; the linker doesn't care. Windows
Mobile/WinCE are backwards compatible with machine code like Desktop Windows.
3. Download console-1.3-src.tar.gz from
Extract it to a spaceless path but not into the perl build source.
Don't extract it into the same directory as celib. Make a copy of the
"wince-arm-pocket-wce300" folder and rename the copy to
"wince-arm-pocket-wce400". This is a hack so we can build a CE 4.0
binary by linking in CE 3.0 ARM asm; the linker doesn't care. Windows
Mobile/WinCE are backwards compatible with machine code like Desktop Windows.
4. Open a command prompt, run your regular batch file to set the environment
for desktop Visual C building, goto the perl source directory, cd into win32/,
fill out Makefile, and do a "nmake all" to build a Desktop Perl.
5. Open win32/Makefile.ce in a text editor and do something similar to the
following patch.
-CELIBDLLDIR = h:\src\wince\celib-palm-3.0
-CECONSOLEDIR = h:\src\wince\w32console
+CELIBDLLDIR = C:\sources\celib-palm-3.0
+CECONSOLEDIR = C:\sources\w32console
Also change
!if "$(MACHINE)" == ""
!if "$(MACHINE)" == ""
so wince-arm-pocket-wce400 is the MACHINE type.
6. Use a text editor to open "C:\Program Files\Microsoft eMbedded C++
4.0\EVC\WCE400\BIN\WCEARMV4.BAT". Look for
if "%SDKROOT%"=="" set SDKROOT=...
On a new install it is "C:\Windows CE Tools". Goto
"C:\Windows CE Tools" in a file manager and see if "C:\Windows CE
Tools\wce400\STANDARDSDK\Include\Armv4" exists on your disk. If not
the SDKROOT need to be changed to "C:\Program Files\Windows CE Tools".
Goto celib-palm-3.0\inc\cewin32.h, search for
typedef struct _ABC {
and uncomment the struct.
7. Open another command prompt, ensure PLATFORM is not set to anything
already unless you know what you're doing (so that the correct default
value is set by the next command), and run "C:\Program Files\Microsoft
eMbedded C++ 4.0\EVC\WCE400\BIN\WCEARMV4.BAT"
8. In the WinCE command prompt you made with WCEARMV4.BAT, goto the perl
source directory, cd into win32/ and run "nmake -f Makefile.ce".
9. The ARM perl interpreter (perl519.dll and perl.exe) will be in something
like "C:\perl519\src\win32\wince-arm-pocket-wce400", with the XS DLLs in
To prove success on the host machine, run
"dumpbin /headers wince-arm-pocket-wce400\perl.exe" from the win32/ folder
and look for "machine (ARM)" in the FILE HEADER VALUES and
"subsystem (Windows CE GUI)" in the OPTIONAL HEADER VALUES.
This section describes the steps to be performed to build PerlCE.
You may find additional information about building perl for WinCE
at L<> and some pre-built binaries.
=head3 Tools & SDK
For compiling, you need following:
=over 4
=item * Microsoft Embedded Visual Tools
=item * Microsoft Visual C++
=item * Rainer Keuchel's celib-sources
=item * Rainer Keuchel's console-sources
Needed source files can be downloaded at
=head3 Make
Normally you only need to edit F<./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat>
to reflect your system and run it.
File F<./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat> is actually a wrapper to call
C<nmake -f makefile.ce> with appropriate parameters and it accepts extra
parameters and forwards them to C<nmake> command as additional
arguments. You should pass target this way.
To prepare distribution you need to do following:
=over 4
=item * go to F<./win32> subdirectory
=item * edit file F<./win32/ce-helpers/compile.bat>
=item * run
=item * run
compile.bat dist
F<Makefile.ce> has C<CROSS_NAME> macro, and it is used further to refer to
your cross-compilation scheme. You could assign a name to it, but this
is not necessary, because by default it is assigned after your machine
configuration name, such as "wince-sh3-hpc-wce211", and this is enough
to distinguish different builds at the same time. This option could be
handy for several different builds on same platform to perform, say,
threaded build. In a following example we assume that all required
environment variables are set properly for C cross-compiler (a special
*.bat file could fit perfectly to this purpose) and your F<compile.bat>
has proper "MACHINE" parameter set, to, say, C<wince-mips-pocket-wce300>.
compile.bat dist
compile.bat CROSS_NAME=mips-wce300-thr "USE_ITHREADS=define" ^
"USE_IMP_SYS=define" "USE_MULTI=define"
compile.bat CROSS_NAME=mips-wce300-thr "USE_ITHREADS=define" ^
"USE_IMP_SYS=define" "USE_MULTI=define" dist
If all goes okay and no errors during a build, you'll get two independent
distributions: C<wince-mips-pocket-wce300> and C<mips-wce300-thr>.
Target C<dist> prepares distribution file set. Target C<zipdist> performs
same as C<dist> but additionally compresses distribution files into zip
NOTE: during a build there could be created a number (or one) of F<>
for cross-compilation ("foreign" F<>) and those are hidden inside
F<../xlib/$(CROSS_NAME)> with other auxiliary files, but, and this is important to
note, there should be B<no> F<> for host miniperl.
If you'll get an error that perl could not find somewhere in building
process this means something went wrong. Most probably you forgot to
specify a cross-compilation when invoking miniperl.exe to Makefile.PL
When building an extension for cross-compilation your command line should
look like
..\miniperl.exe -I..\lib -MCross=mips-wce300-thr Makefile.PL
or just
..\miniperl.exe -I..\lib -MCross Makefile.PL
to refer a cross-compilation that was created last time.
All questions related to building for WinCE devices could be asked in
F<> mailing list.
=head1 Using Perl on WinCE
PerlCE is currently linked with a simple console window, so it also
works on non-hpc devices.
The simple stdio implementation creates the files F<stdin.txt>,
F<stdout.txt> and F<stderr.txt>, so you might examine them if your
console has only a limited number of cols.
When exitcode is non-zero, a message box appears, otherwise the
console closes, so you might have to catch an exit with
status 0 in your program to see any output.
stdout/stderr now go into the files F</perl-stdout.txt> and
PerlIDE is handy to deal with perlce.
No fork(), pipe(), popen() etc.
All environment vars must be stored in HKLM\Environment as
strings. They are read at process startup.
=item PERL5LIB
Usual perl lib path (semi-list).
=item PATH
Semi-list for executables.
=item TMP
- Tempdir.
- Root for accessing some special files, i.e. F</dev/null>, F</etc/services>.
- Rows/cols for console.
=item HOME
- Home directory.
- Size for console font.
You can set these with cereg.exe, a (remote) registry editor
or via the PerlIDE.
To start perl by clicking on a perl source file, you have
to make the according entries in HKCR (see F<ce-helpers/wince-reg.bat>).
cereg.exe (which must be executed on a desktop pc with
ActiveSync) is reported not to work on some devices.
You have to create the registry entries by hand using a
registry editor.
=head2 XS
The following Win32-Methods are built-in:
newXS("Win32::GetCwd", w32_GetCwd, file);
newXS("Win32::SetCwd", w32_SetCwd, file);
newXS("Win32::GetTickCount", w32_GetTickCount, file);
newXS("Win32::GetOSVersion", w32_GetOSVersion, file);
newXS("Win32::IsWinNT", w32_IsWinNT, file);
newXS("Win32::IsWin95", w32_IsWin95, file);
newXS("Win32::IsWinCE", w32_IsWinCE, file);
newXS("Win32::CopyFile", w32_CopyFile, file);
newXS("Win32::Sleep", w32_Sleep, file);
newXS("Win32::MessageBox", w32_MessageBox, file);
newXS("Win32::GetPowerStatus", w32_GetPowerStatus, file);
newXS("Win32::GetOemInfo", w32_GetOemInfo, file);
newXS("Win32::ShellEx", w32_ShellEx, file);
=head2 BUGS
Opening files for read-write is currently not supported if
they use stdio (normal perl file handles).
If you find bugs or if it does not work at all on your
device, send mail to the address below. Please report
the details of your device (processor, ceversion,
devicetype (hpc/palm/pocket)) and the date of the downloaded
Currently installation instructions are at L<>.
After installation & testing processes will stabilize, information will
be more precise.
The port for Win32 was used as a reference.
=head1 History of WinCE port
=item 5.6.0
Initial port of perl to WinCE. It was performed in separate directory
named F<wince>. This port was based on contents of F<./win32> directory.
F<miniperl> was not built, user must have HOST perl and properly edit
F<makefile.ce> to reflect this.
=item 5.8.0
wince port was kept in the same F<./wince> directory, and F<wince/Makefile.ce>
was used to invoke native compiler to create HOST miniperl, which then
facilitates cross-compiling process.
Extension building support was added.
=item 5.9.4
Two directories F<./win32> and F<./wince> were merged, so perlce build
process comes in F<./win32> directory.
=head1 AUTHORS
=item Rainer Keuchel <>
provided initial port of Perl, which appears to be most essential work, as
it was a breakthrough on having Perl ported at all.
Many thanks and obligations to Rainer!
=item Vadim Konovalov
made further support of WinCE port.
=item Daniel Dragan
updated the build process during the 5.19 development track.