Compiling Windows Executables with PAR 1

Posted by sam Fri, 06 Mar 2009 17:28:00 GMT

This post documents my attempt to get PAR and PAR::Packer running under ActiveState Perl on Windows XP SP3 in order to produce a native Windows executable of a Perl script. We use this to compile some custom cross-platform Nagios modules.

The first key thing is to start with ActiveState build or greater, as this fixes a YAML parsing problem that prevents CPAN modules from being installed. PAR::Packer isn’t in the ActiveState repository, so we’ll need to use CPAN to get some of the bits that we need.

Once that’s done its thing, you’ll need to grab a copy of Microsoft Nmake 1.5. Running the .exe will unpack nmake.exe, nmake.err and README.TXT into the root of C:. You will need to copy these three files into c:\perl\bin. Nmake is needed to build CPAN modules.

At this point I used the ActiveState Perl Package Manager to update all of the modules that had updates, also electing to install any packages required to satisfy dependencies.

Next, I used CPANPLUS to install PAR::Packer, as it’s not in the default ActiveState repository used by the Perl Package Manager. From a prompt:

i PAR::Packer

confirming the installation of the module dependencies. At this point you might want to put the kettle on as there are a bunch of build/test tasks to run whilst all of the modules install.

It was here that the build failed for me. I realised I’d neglected to install MinGW to do the native binary compliation, unless you’ve got Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 that is - in which case it is preferred.

You will need to manually select to install the g++ component, along with the base install. Once this is installed, add C:\MinGW\bin (assuming you took the defaults) to your system %PATH%, close and reopen your command prompt to get the new value, and re-try the cpanp steps.

This should give you a completed installation. Just to check:

Set up gcc environment - 3.4.5 (mingw-vista special r3)
C:\Perl\site\bin/pp: No input files specified

Ready to go.

pp -o myprogram.exe
  1. Richard 7 days later:

    Should this be of concern?

    CPAN Terminal> i PAR::Packer

    [MSG] No ‘C:\Documents and Settings\richard\Application Data.cpanplus\custom-sources’ dir, skipping custom sour ces