README.epoc(1) Perl for EPOC


Perl 5 README file for the EPOC Release 5 operating system.


EPOC is an OS for palmtops and mobile phones. For more information look at: <>

This is a port of perl to the epocemx SDK by Eberhard Mattes, which itself uses the SDK by symbian. Essentially epocemx it is a POSIX look alike environment for the EPOC OS. For more information look at: <>

perl and epocemx runs on Epoc Release 5 machines: Psion 5mx, 5mx Pro, Psion Revo, Psion Netbook and on the Ericsson M128. It may run on Epoc Release 3 Hardware (Series 5 classic), too. For more information about this hardware please refer to <>

Vendors which like to have support for their devices are free to send me a sample.


You can download a ready-to-install version from <>

You will need at least ~6MB free space in order to install and run perl.

Please install the emxusr.sis package from <> first.

Install perl.sis on the EPOC machine. If you do not know how to do that, consult your PsiWin documentation.

Perl itself and its standard library is using 4 MB disk space. Unicode support and some other modules are left out. (For details, please look into epoc/ If you like to use these modules, you are free to copy them from a current perl release.


Please use the epocemx shell to start perl. perl integrates with the conventions of epocemx.

Features of Perl on Epoc

The built-in function EPOC::getcwd returns the current directory.

Restrictions of Perl on Epoc

Features are left out, because of restrictions of the POSIX support in EPOC:
  • socket IO is only implemented poorly. You can only use sysread and syswrite on them. The commands read, write, print, <> do not work for sockets. This may change iff epocemx supports sockets.
  • kill, alarm and signals. Do not try to use them. This may be impossible to implement on EPOC.
  • select is missing.
  • binmode does not exist. (No CR LF to LF translation for text files)
  • EPOC does not handle the notion of current drive and current directory very well (i.e. not at all, but it tries hard to emulate one). See PATH.
  • Heap is limited to 4MB.
  • Dynamic loading is not implemented.

Compiling Perl 5 on the EPOC cross compiling environment

Sorry, this is far too short.
  • You will need the epocemx SDK from Eberhard Mattes.
  • Get the Perl sources from your nearest CPAN site.
  • Unpack the sources.
  • Build a native perl from this sources... Make sure to save the miniperl executable as miniperl.native.

    Start again from scratch

          cp epoc/* .
          ./Configure -S
          cp miniperl.native miniperl
          touch miniperl.exe
          emxsis perl.pkg perl.sis


I'm offering this port ``as is''. You can ask me questions, but I can't guarantee I'll be able to answer them. Since the port to epocemx is quite new, please check the web for updates first.

Very special thanks to Eberhard Mattes for epocemx.