Getting Started

The simplest way to install Parrot is to use a pre-compiled binary for your operating system or distribution. Packages are available for many systems, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, FreeBSD, Cygwin, and MacPorts. The Parrot website lists all known packages. A binary installer for Windows is also available from the Parrot Win32 project on SourceForge. If packages aren't available on your system, you can download a source tarball for the latest supported release from

You need a C compiler and a make utility to build Parrot from source code -- usually gcc and make, but Parrot can build with standard compiler toolchains on different operating systems. Perl 5.8 is also a prerequiste for configuring and building Parrot.

If you have these dependencies installed, build the core virtual machine and compiler toolkit and run the standard test suite with the commands:

  $ perl
  $ make
  $ make test

By default, Parrot installs to directories bin/, lib/, and include/ under /usr/local. If you have privileges to write to these directories, install Parrot with:

  $ make install

To install Parrot in a different location, use the --prefix option to

    $ perl --prefix=/home/me/parrot

Setting the prefix to /home/me/parrot installs the Parrot executable in /home/me/parrot/bin/parrot.

If you intend to develop a language on Parrot, install the Parrot developer tools as well:

  $ make install-dev

Once you've installed Parrot, create a test file called news.pir.Files containing PIR code use the .pir extension.

  .sub 'news'
    say "Here is the news for Parrots."

Now run this file with:

  $ parrot news.pir

which will print:

  Here is the news for Parrots.