[tpm] Upgrading Perl on Debian & Derivatives

Stuart Watt stuart at morungos.com
Mon Aug 30 10:48:42 PDT 2010

  If I was you, I'd use the separate Perl. I know that the Debian base 
Perl is pretty good, but it is installed for a different purpose (to 
help manage the OS) and cannot be guaranteed to be maintained as you 
need. It isn't too bad to do this, and most of your modules will 
probably build OK. If you stick with the OS Perl there is a risk that an 
OS update breaks something for you, or that you break the OS in some 
subtle way by upgrading a system module.

I tend to use PATH hacking rather than a link, though, so that perldoc 
and the cpan command and its friends relate to your Perl rather than the 
system one. I just tend to regard the OS Perl is best not touched, or 
even used, when I can help it.

I learnt this approach through bitter experience with OSX and CentOS, 
both of which had slightly funny Perl versions, which generally were 
best left alone. I did slightly break my Mac briefly (temporarily) by 
upgrading a CPAN module in a way that was incompatible with some Perl 
stuff that Apple used somewhere internally.

All the best

On 8/30/2010 1:34 PM, Scott Elcomb wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've recently begun working with a custom CMS.  When installing the
> required modules, at least one of those modules tells CPAN to upgrade
> Perl (from 5.10 to 5.12); this completely messed up my previous Debian
> 5 environment.
> After that little learning experience, I've moved to virtualization
> (under Ubuntu 10.04 LTS) so I can take snapshots and simply revert to
> an earlier image when/if things blow up.  Unfortunately, I still
> haven't figured out a way to safely upgrade the system-wide Perl
> installation without affecting other installed debian packages.
> It looks like they're working on getting a package out[1], but I can't
> wait... I need to get this working asap.  If worst comes to worst,
> I'll just do same as before (build, install into /usr/local then
> symlink /usr/bin/perl to the 5.12 install).  It was ugly but mostly
> sorta worked.
> Any suggestions? TIA!
> - Scott
> [1]<http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=53447>

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