FreeBSD Upgrade Perl 5.8.x to 5.10.x

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How do I upgrade Perl version under FreeBSD operating system?


Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language) is a language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from those text files, and printing reports based on that information. It’s also a good language for many system management tasks. Perl can be easily upgrade to 5.10.1 from 5.8.x version using the following instructions.

lang/perl5.10 has been updated to 5.10.1. You should update everything that depends on perl. The easiest way to do that is to use “perl-after-upgrade” script supplied with lang/perl5.10.

Upgrade ports tree

Type the following command:
# portsnap fetch update

Upgrade Perl using portupgrade

Type the following commands:
# pkgdb -Ff
# portupgrade -o lang/perl5.10 -f perl-5.8.\*
# portupgrade -fr perl

Update all perl related stuff:
# portupgrade -f p5*

Upgrade Perl using portmaster

Type the following commands:
# portmaster -o lang/perl5.10 lang/perl5.8
# portmaster -r perl-

Notice: If the “perl-” glob matches more than one port you will need to specify the name of the perl directory in /var/db/pkg explicitly:
portmaster -Dr perl- /var/db/pkg/perl-5.10.1/

fixup FreeBSD packages that depend on perl

The standard procedure after a perl port (lang/perl5.X) upgrade is to basically reinstall all other packages that depend on perl. This is always a painful exercise. The perl-after-upgrade utility makes this process mostly unnecessary.
# perl-after-upgrade -f

Upgrade Other Packages

You also need to reinstall all other packages that depends upon perl. For example, amavisd-new. spamassassin, and clamav etc.
# cd /usr/ports/your-port-name
# make deinstall install


  • Read /usr/ports/UPDATING file.
  • man pages portmaster, portupgrade, and perl-after-upgrade

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.


4 comment

  1. I wish it worked for me as easily as that (FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE i386): portupgrade, portmaster, and everything else I’ve tried insist that I must pkg_delete perl-5.8 first, which has way too many dependents…

    1. Hmm, I know this is an old thread, but you can also just alter the “conflicts with” line in the Makefile of the perl-5.10 port and life will be good, as the -o tells portupgrade to use 5.10 to upgrade 5.8 (assuming you are using portupgrade)

  2. Thanks a lot for your documentation, it help me very much to update my old 5.8 perl port to 5.12 in my Freebsd 9.0

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