Install Perl CPAN

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The AppleTV comes with a minimal Perl installation. If you want to unleash the full power of Perl, the first thing you want is to install CPAN modules.

If you additionally want PHP and MySQL, you can consider installing XAMPP which provides all 4 items independently of the AppleTV OS.


First of all, you'll need to install gcc.

We'll start with an ssh enabled AppleTV having a proper recovery partition.

We'll also need some binaries from an Intel Mac with Tiger and Xcode tools installed.

Tiger files

From an Intel Mac with Tiger with Xcode tools installed, copy to the following files to AppleTV:


From the same Mac, copy to the following direcories:


These will be partly overwritten from the recovery partition files.

You also need to populate the directory /System/Library/Perl/5.8.6/darwin-thread-multi-2level/CORE/ with .h files from the Mac.

Perl modules

Log into the AppleTV as root.

Get the Perl modules from the recovery partition:

cd /Users/frontrow/Documents/
dd if=/dev/disk0s2 of=recovery.dmg bs=1m
hdiutil mount recovery.dmg
hdiutil mount /Volumes/Recovery/OS.dmg
cp -R /Volumes/OSBoot\ 1/System/Library/Perl /System/Library/
umount /Volumes/OSBoot\ 1

Configure CPAN (make it simple: answer no to the first question):

perl -MCPAN -e shell

Update CPAN (hit cr to the questions):

perl -MCPAN -e 'install Bundle::CPAN'

With version 2.3 and 3.0.2 AppleTV OS, I did'nt manage to install Mac::Carbon and Mac::Files which are part of File::HomeDir. Nevertheless, CPAN update was OK.

Once this is done, you can check your installation with one of:

perl -MCPAN -e 'autobundle'
perldoc perllocal
perl -e 'print "hello world!\n"'