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Inline::Perl5 cpan:NINE last updated on 2020-02-01




Build Status


use DBI:from<Perl5>;

my $dbh = DBI.connect('dbi:Pg:database=test');
my $products = $dbh.selectall_arrayref(
    'select * from products', {Slice => {}}


Module for executing Perl 5 code and accessing Perl 5 modules from Perl 6.

Supports Perl 5 modules including XS modules. Allows passing integers, strings, arrays, hashes, code references, file handles and objects between Perl 5 and Perl 6. Also supports calling methods on Perl 5 objects from Perl 6 and calling methods on Perl 6 objects from Perl 5 and subclass Perl 5 classes in Perl 6.


Load a Perl 5 module

Perl 6' use statement allows you to load modules from other languages as well. Inline::Perl5 registers as a handler for the Perl5 language. Rakudo will automatically load Inline::Perl5 as long as it is installed:

use Test::More:from<Perl5>;

In Perl 6 the :ver adverb is used for requiring a minimum version of a loaded module:

use Test::More:from<Perl5>:ver<1.001014>;

Inline::Perl5's use() method maps to Perl 5's use statement:

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;

To load a Perl 5 module from a specific folder:

use lib:from<Perl5> 'lib';
use MyModule:from<Perl5>;

Load a Perl 5 module and import functions

Just list the functions or groups you want to import

use Digest::SHA1:from<Perl5> <sha1_hex>;
use Data::Random:from<Perl5> <:all>;

Call a Perl 5 function

Inline::Perl5 creates wrappers for loaded Perl 5 modules and their functions. They can be used as if they were Perl 6 modules:

use Test::More:from<Perl5>;
plan tests => 1;
ok 'yes', 'looks like a Perl 6 function';

In this example, the plan function exported by Test::More is called.

Inline::Perl5's call($name, *@args) method allows calling arbitrary Perl 5 functions. Use a fully qualified name (like "Test::More::ok") if the function is not in the "main" namespace.

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;
$'print', 'Hello World');
$'Test::More::plan', tests => 1);

Please note that since Perl 6 does not have the same concept of "context", Perl 5 functions are by default called in list context. See "Invoking a method in scalar context" for how to get around that.

Create a Perl 5 object / call a Perl 5 package method

Creating Perl 5 objects works just the same as in Perl 5: invoke their constructor (usually called "new").

use Inline::Perl5;
use Data::Dumper:from<Perl5>;
my $dumper =;

Or using the low level methods:

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;
my $dumper = $p5.invoke('Data::Dumper', 'new');

Please note that since Perl 6 does not have the same concept of "context", Perl 5 methods are by default called in list context. See "Invoking a method in scalar context" for how to get around that.

Invoke a method on a Perl 5 object

Once you have a Perl 5 object in a variable it will behave just like a Perl 6 object. You can call methods on it like on any other object.

use IO::Compress::Bzip2:from<Perl5>;
my $bzip2 ='/tmp/foo.bz2');

Invoking a method in scalar context

Please note that since Perl 6 does not have the same concept of "context", Perl 5 methods are by default called in list context. If you need to call the method in scalar context, you can tell it so explicitly, by passing the Scalar type object as first argument:

use IO::Compress::Bzip2:from<Perl5>;
my $bzip2 =, '/tmp/foo.bz2');
$bzip2.print(Scalar, $data);

This may be neccessary if the Perl 5 method exposes different behavior when called in list and scalar context. Calling in scalar context may also improve performance in some cases.

Access a Perl 5 object's data directly

Most objects in Perl 5 are blessed hash references. Some of them don't even provide accessor methods but require you to just access the hash fields directly. This works the same in Perl 6:

use Foo:from<Perl5>;
my $foo =;
say $foo<some_attribute>;

Run arbitrary Perl 5 code

Perl6's EVAL function supports multiple languages, just like the "use" statement. It allows for execution of arbitrary Perl 5 code given as string:

EVAL "print 'Hello from Perl 5';", :lang<Perl5>;

The low level interface to this functionality is Inline::Perl5's run($str) method:

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;

    sub test {
        return 'Hello from Perl 5';

Both "EVAL" and "run" return the value of the last statement in the EVAL'ed code.

Call a Perl 6 function from Perl 5

Inline::Perl5 creates a Perl 5 package called "v6". This package contains a "call" function which allows for calling Perl 6 functions from Perl 5, same as Inline::Perl5's "call" method. It takes the name of the function to call and passes on any additional arguments and returns the return value of the called Perl 5 function.

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;

our sub foo($str) {
    say "Perl6 says hello to $str";

    v6::call("foo", "Perl 5");

Invoke a method on a Perl 6 object from Perl 5

Perl 6 objects passed to Perl 5 functions will behave just like any other objects in Perl 5, so you can invoke methods using the -> operator.

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;

    sub test {
        my ($perl6) = @_;

class Foo {
    method hello {
        say "Hello Perl 6";


Run arbitrary Perl 6 code from Perl 5

The "run" function in the automatically created "v6" package can be used to execute arbitrary Perl 6 code from Perl 5. It returns the value of the last evaluated expression in the executed code.

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;

    v6::run("say foo");

Inherit from a Perl 5 class

Inline::Perl5 creates a corresponding Perl 6 class for each Perl 5 module loaded via the use Foo:from or $p5.use('Foo') mechanisms.

You can subclass these automatically created classes as if they were original Perl 6 classes:

use Data::Dumper:from<Perl5>;
class MyDumper is Data::Dumper {
    has $.bar;
    method foo { say "foo!"; }
my $dumper =[1], bar => 1);
say $dumper.Dump();
say $;
say $;

You can override methods and the overridden methods will be called even by the Perl 5 methods in your base class. However, it is not yet possible to directly write to the Perl 5 object's data, i.e. $self->{foo} = 1;. Read access however is possible, i.e. my $foo = self;.

When use cannot be used to load the Perl 5 module, the Inline::Perl5::Perl5Parent role allows can be used for subclassing. Pass the Perl 5 package's name as parameter to the role. Pass the Inline::Perl5 object as named parameter to your classes constructor when creating objects.


package Foo;

sub test {
    my ($self) = @_;

    return $self->bar;


class Bar does Inline::Perl5::Perl5Parent['Foo'] {
    method bar {
        return "Perl6";

use Inline::Perl5;
my $p5 =;
say => $p5).test;

Pass a scalar reference to Perl 5 code

Simply pass a Capture object containing the object you want to pass as a reference:

$p5obj.takes-a-scalar-ref-to-str: \("the string");

HASH and ARRAY references are made automatically if the Perl 6 objects are containerized:

$p5obj.takes-an-array:      [<a b c>];
$p5obj.takes-an-array-ref: $[<a b c>];

CODE objects are passed by reference automatically:

$p5obj.takes-a-coderef: *.so;

Regex objects are passed by reference automatically:

$p5obj.takes-a-regex: /foo/;

Catch exceptions thrown by Perl 5 code

Perl 5's exceptions (die) are translated to X::AdHoc exceptions in Perl 6 and can be caught like any other Perl 6 exceptions:

    EVAL "die 'a Perl 5 exception!';", :lang<Perl5>;
    CATCH {
        when X::AdHoc {
            say "Caught a Perl 5 exception: $_";

Catch exceptions thrown by Perl 6 code in Perl 5

Perl 6's exceptions (die) are translated to Perl 5 exceptions and can be caught like any other Perl 5 exceptions:

EVAL q:to:PERL5, :lang<Perl5>;
    use 5.10.0;
    eval {
    say [email protected];

Mix Perl 5 and Perl 6 code in the same file

Inline::Perl5 creates a virtual module called "v6-inline". By saying "use v6-inline;" in a Perl 5 module, you can declare that the rest of the file is written in Perl 6:

package Some::Perl5::Module;

use v6-inline;

has $.name;

sub greet {
    say "Hello $.name";

Note that this Perl 5 module obviously will only work when Inline::Perl5 is loaded, i.e. in a Perl 6 program or if you are using Inline::Perl6 in Perl 5. This functionality is aimed at supporting Perl 5 frameworks (think Catalyst or DBIx::Class or Dancer or ...) that automatically load modules and of course expect these modules to be written in Perl 5.


The oldest perl version supported is 5.18.0.

You will need a perl 5 built with the -fPIC option (position independent code). Most distributions build their Perl 5 that way. When you use perlbrew, you have to build it as:

perlbrew install perl-stable -Duseshrplib

(or, if you want to use more than one Inline::Perl5 interpeter safely, for instance from within Perl 6 threads, add the -Dusemultiplicity option as well)

If you use plenv:

plenv install 5.24.0 -Duseshrplib

If you use the perl that comes with a Linux distribution, you may need to install a separate package containing the perl library. E.g. on Debian this is called libperl-dev, on Fedora perl-libs. On openSUSE, the perl package already contains everything needed.

Build Inline::Perl5 with

perl6 configure.pl6

and test with

make test

and install with

make install


Stefan Seifert [email protected]