Help language development. Donate to The Perl Foundation

Inline::Perl5 cpan:NINE last updated on 2018-06-14




Build Status


use Inline::Perl5;
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';

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 always called in list context.

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 always called in list context.

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

Please note that since Perl 6 does not have the same concept of "context", Perl 5 methods are always called in list context.

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 access the Perl 5 object's data, i.e. $self->{foo}.

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 L:

$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 $@;

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.


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