I'm trying to install Perl 5.16.1 though perlbrew on my Raspberry Pi and (after many painful hours) the install failed. I installed it with the regular command: perlbrew install perl-5.16.1 The output I got from the build.log file was this:

Test Summary Report
../cpan/CGI/t/tmpdir.t                                          (Wstat: 0 Tests: 9 Failed: 0)
  TODO passed:   3-9
../dist/Tie-File/t/29_downcopy.t                                (Wstat: 0 Tests: 718 Failed: 2)
  Failed tests:  117-118
Files=2312, Tests=520868, 12667 wallclock secs (1584.16 usr 64.96 sys + 9430.16 cusr 444.00 csys = 11523.28 CPU)
Result: FAIL
make: *** [test_harness] Error 2
Write failed: Broken pipe

"Broken pipe" looks suspicious, but I have no idea what that means. Another option would be to just force the install anyway. Would anyone recommend that?

  • Were you connected via SSH? Aug 26, 2012 at 18:56
  • No I was directly on my Pi. Aug 26, 2012 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Looks like it's in the repo: sudo apt-get install perlbrew

I strongly, strongly caution you against adding alternative Perl distros to a Debian-based system. Debian does not allow one package to modify another's configuration. CPAN (and by the looks of things, perlbrew) seems to have no such hangups — and in particular, the LibXML packages merrily alter each other's configs.

This may not seem much of a big deal, but Debian can get deeply confused if its package database gets out of sync with your Perl distribution. I had to back out of a messy install situation a few years ago using the slow and hackish Cpan+ module before I got my Debian system back in a happy state. I wouldn't wish that on anyone else.

  • Hmm interesting. I was installing perlbrew because I was under the impression that it would be cleaner to leave the system installation of Perl alone so that when I install various libraries and change things around, my system doesn't get confused and it would be easy to get it back to the original state. Based on what you're saying, it sounds like I'm wrong. Would it just be better to use the system install of Perl? Aug 26, 2012 at 21:04
  • 1
    As long as it's running only under your user name, and system paths to the Debian installation are unaffected, you might be okay. On Debian, I just use the modules from the repo, and leave CPAN alone.
    – scruss
    Aug 26, 2012 at 21:41
  • @scruss Perlbrew is fine on a debian system. Its whole point is to make compiling a perl that will not interfere with the package system easiy. This means that cpan modules are seperate from system perl. Mar 20, 2013 at 14:18
  • That's fine as long as you're absolutely rigorous about keeping the two Perl systems apart. A few years back, I wasn't as careful as I should've been about Perl modules under Debian, and I really don't want anyone to have to repeat the pain I had. Perlbrew is a great system for local dev work.
    – scruss
    Mar 20, 2013 at 15:17
  • If you never use sudo with perlbrew perl then your fine as it can't change system perl and perlbrew should never need it Mar 20, 2013 at 16:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.