Perl Binary

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Raskas asked me a question about the creation off a binary Perl script.

The goal of this was to run a Perl script on a machine where Perl is not installed.

perlcc should be our friend… but some dependencies were still giving troubles, so I tried to find another solution, here is a summary of my small research :

first, the Perl script’s source (Copyright fred… but in GPL !) :

root@matisse test# cat fred.pl 
#!/bin/perl
printf("hello world\n");

So the first try with perlcc :

root@matisse test# perlcc -o fred1 fred.pl 
pccPvjBI.c: In function ‘perl_init_aaaa’:
pccPvjBI.c:444: warning: this decimal constant is unsigned only in ISO C90
root@matisse test# ls -l fred1
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 47855 Nov 29 08:42 fred1
root@matisse test# file fred1
fred1: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.6.9, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.9, not stripped
root@matisse test# ldd fred1 
       linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0x006aa000)
       libperl.so => /usr/lib/perl5/5.8.8/i386-linux-thread-multi/CORE/libperl.so (0x00101000)
       libresolv.so.2 => /lib/libresolv.so.2 (0x00c67000)
       libnsl.so.1 => /lib/libnsl.so.1 (0x0314b000)
       libdl.so.2 => /lib/libdl.so.2 (0x00a3e000)
       libm.so.6 => /lib/libm.so.6 (0x00a44000)
       libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/libcrypt.so.1 (0x00aef000)
       libutil.so.1 => /lib/libutil.so.1 (0x0047a000)
       libpthread.so.0 => /lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x00a15000)
       libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x00702000)
       /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x008b5000)

First problem is that libperl.so should be then copied into the destination machine.

Second try then with -static option of perlcc :

root@matisse test# perlcc -static -o fred2 fred.pl 
pccB0xON.c: In function ‘perl_init_aaaa’:
pccB0xON.c:444: warning: this decimal constant is unsigned only in ISO C90
root@matisse test# ls -l fred2 
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 47855 Nov 29 08:46 fred2
root@matisse test# ldd fred2
       linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0x00cf1000)
       libperl.so => /usr/lib/perl5/5.8.8/i386-linux-thread-multi/CORE/libperl.so (0x00101000)
       libresolv.so.2 => /lib/libresolv.so.2 (0x00c67000)
       libnsl.so.1 => /lib/libnsl.so.1 (0x0314b000)
       libdl.so.2 => /lib/libdl.so.2 (0x00a3e000)
       libm.so.6 => /lib/libm.so.6 (0x00a44000)
       libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/libcrypt.so.1 (0x00aef000)
       libutil.so.1 => /lib/libutil.so.1 (0x0047a000)
       libpthread.so.0 => /lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x00a15000)
       libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x00702000)
       /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x008b5000)

Same size, same dependencies… nothing changes even if the files differ :

root@matisse test# diff fred2 fred1
Binary files fred2 and fred1 differ

My third try was then with the -B option (Compiles using the bytecode backend) :

root@matisse test# perlcc -B -o fred3 fred.pl
root@matisse test# ls -l fred3
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 328 Nov 29 08:50 fred3
root@matisse test# ldd fred3
       not a dynamic executable

Woohoooo nice…. !!! Don’t be so happy… it requires Perl :

root@matisse test# file fred3 
fred3: perl script text executable

Indeed :

root@matisse test# head -n 1 fred3
#! /usr/bin/perl

So, once again it’s not the good solution !

My last try then was using Perl Packager (pp) from PAR, installed via CPAN:

root@matisse test# pp -o fred4 fred.pl
root@matisse test# ls -l fred4 
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1880375 Nov 29 08:54 fred4
root@matisse test# file fred4
fred4: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.6.9, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.9, stripped
root@matisse test# ldd fred4
       linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0x00ef2000)
       libresolv.so.2 => /lib/libresolv.so.2 (0x00c67000)
       libnsl.so.1 => /lib/libnsl.so.1 (0x0314b000)
       libdl.so.2 => /lib/libdl.so.2 (0x00a3e000)
       libm.so.6 => /lib/libm.so.6 (0x00a44000)
       libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/libcrypt.so.1 (0x00aef000)
       libutil.so.1 => /lib/libutil.so.1 (0x0047a000)
       libpthread.so.0 => /lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x00a15000)
       libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x00702000)
       /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x008b5000)
root@matisse test# ./fred4 
hello world

Conclusion: in this case pp is the solution to have a binary that could run on a system without Perl.

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