Perl Shortcourse Howto

Setup TAMU NetId

Before you can use the campus wireless or apply for a Supercomputing account, you will need to activate your NetId.

Connect to Campus Wireless

Using a laptop with wireless capability, you may connect to the tamulink wireless network where available on campus, including the classroom for the shortcourse.

Obtain a Supercomputing Account

If you are a TAMU faculty, staff, or student who has a genuine need for access to a Supercomputer cluster for research, read the New User Information to find out how to apply for an account and create your login and password on ada.

We will use ada as the main platform for doing the lab exercises. Alternatively, you can download them to another machine with Perl installed.

Get Help With Unix

The New User Information has links to introductory material on Unix under the Getting Started section. You will need to know how to change directories, edit files, run programs, and other basic tasks to perform the laboratory exercises.

Login to ada

You will need to use ssh from a shell (Unix or OS X), or an SSH client for Windows. Consult the Accessing TAMU Supercomputing Machines guide.

Create and Edit Text Files

The text editors vi and emacs are the most common editors for experienced Unix users. However, they are more complicated and require some time to learn. Novice users will probably want to use gedit (which requires that you are running an X-windows server, such as MobaXterm or Xming.

Run Perl

To run a file called, type:


The perl program is located in /usr/bin, in case your shell cannot find it. Check the $PATH environment variable, as set in your startup files.

Run perlconsole

On ada, type:


For ease of use, you may put the appropriate directory in your $PATH environment in your startup files.

Install Perl

If you have a personal laptop (Windows or PC), or have root access to a Unix office/lab machine, first check to see if Perl is already installed (it comes with most releases of Linux and OS X). If not, read the instructions at the Perl Download site for obtaining and installing a version of the machine of your choice.

Install perlconsole

If you have a computer with Perl installed, check to see if the cpan program is installed.

whereis cpan

If so, designate an alternate location and install package PerlConsole.

$ cpan
cpan> o conf makepl_arg INSTALL_BASE=/mydir/perl
cpan> o conf commit
cpan> install PerlConsole

You may need to use force install PerlConsole

If not, you may install it from CPAN Alexis Sukrieh's CPAN website. Be forewarned that this program has a nubmer of CPAN Perl module dependencies, so it may take you and hour or two to install. And, if you do not have administrative privileges, you'll need to install in an alternative location and configure the appropriate path variables.