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2.12.1 Installing Perl on Unix

MySQL Perl support requires that you have installed MySQL client programming support (libraries and header files). Most installation methods install the necessary files. If you install MySQL from RPM files on Linux, be sure to install the developer RPM as well. The client programs are in the client RPM, but client programming support is in the developer RPM.

The files you need for Perl support can be obtained from the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) at

The easiest way to install Perl modules on Unix is to use the CPAN module. For example:

$> perl -MCPAN -e shell
cpan> install DBI
cpan> install DBD::mysql

The DBD::mysql installation runs a number of tests. These tests attempt to connect to the local MySQL server using the default user name and password. (The default user name is your login name on Unix, and ODBC on Windows. The default password is no password.) If you cannot connect to the server with those values (for example, if your account has a password), the tests fail. You can use force install DBD::mysql to ignore the failed tests.

DBI requires the Data::Dumper module. It may be installed; if not, you should install it before installing DBI.

It is also possible to download the module distributions in the form of compressed tar archives and build the modules manually. For example, to unpack and build a DBI distribution, use a procedure such as this:

  1. Unpack the distribution into the current directory:

    $> gunzip < DBI-VERSION.tar.gz | tar xvf -

    This command creates a directory named DBI-VERSION.

  2. Change location into the top-level directory of the unpacked distribution:

    $> cd DBI-VERSION
  3. Build the distribution and compile everything:

    $> perl Makefile.PL
    $> make
    $> make test
    $> make install

The make test command is important because it verifies that the module is working. Note that when you run that command during the DBD::mysql installation to exercise the interface code, the MySQL server must be running or the test fails.

It is a good idea to rebuild and reinstall the DBD::mysql distribution whenever you install a new release of MySQL. This ensures that the latest versions of the MySQL client libraries are installed correctly.

If you do not have access rights to install Perl modules in the system directory or if you want to install local Perl modules, the following reference may be useful: