Graciliano Monteiro Passos

NAME

LibZip - Create very low weight self executables. (This is the generator of TinyPerl).

DESCRIPTION

This module will create low weight self executables, that have this features:

Perl library compressed in a lib.zip file.
Zlib compiled inside the executable (binary).
Initialize Package code is compressed in the sources.
Appended code to the executable can be compressed with LZW.
Remove POD from the source of files inside lib.zip.
Can work with UPX to automatically compress the binaries inside lib.zip.

All this featues will generate a Initialize Package of only 28 Kb, and a executable of less than 80Kb (Win32), plus PerlLib. This means that a hello world script as a self executable will have only 350KB (Win32).

The main idea of this module is to create the smaller Perl distribution as possible, having all the Perl enverioment compressed, including the distribution of scripts in a small package. One good example is TinyPerl (http://tinyperl.sf.net), that have Perl CORE and a basic library in less than 550Kb, what make possible to install Perl fast in any computer connected to the internet.

Initialize Package

Initialize Package (LibZip + user script) is a LibZip code responsible to load all the LibZip enverioment, enabling the use of a lib.zip file as the Perl library directory. This code will be the 1st thing evaluated when Perl is executed, and only after load all the enverioment the user script starts. This package is what is appended to the Perl binary to create the self executable.

USAGE

The usage of this module is through the libzip script:

OPTIONS:
  -allowopts    Allow the Perl options.
  -compile|o    Compile the file.
  -file|f       Define the 2nd file for the options pack, perlbin and lib.
  -gui          Create GUI (non console) executable (Win32 only).
  -icon         Set the icon of the executable (Win32 only).
  -keepsrc      Keep sources created for compilation.
  -lib|l        Create a lib in this directory.
  -lzw          Apply LZW compression to the package.
  -obetter|ob   Compile the file with all the options that can compress better.
  -overwrite    Overwrite already existent files.
  -pack|p       Create a package.
  -perlbin|pb   Create a binary from a package.
  -striplib     Strip POD from libs.
  -upx          UPX the PerlLib binary.
  -upxlib       UPX binaries from the lib.zip
EXAMPLES:
  COMPILE:
    libzip -o file.pl
    ## Creates file.exe (combine -pack, -perlbin and -lib autoamtically).

  CREATE A PACKAGE FROM SCRIPT:
    libzip.bat -p file.pack -f file.pl
    ## Creates file.pack (used to create the executable) with file.pl inside.

  CREATE LIB.ZIP:
    libzip -l lib.zip -f libzip.modules
    ## Create a library (lib.zip) with the modules in the file libzip.modules

  CREATE BINATY:
    libzip -perlbin script.pack -f script.exe
    ## Create the binary from the package.

  FULL EXAMPLE:

    libzip -o script.pl -allowopts vVw -lzw -upx -upxlib -striplib -keepsrc -overwrite

The option -allowopts is usefull if you want to keep some behaviors of the Perl interpreter when calling your executable, like -v and -V that can report informations about the Perl version.

STEP BY STEP EXAMPLE

Script hello.pl:

  #!/usr/bin/perl
  print "Hello World!\n" ;
  exit;

Creating the list of modules to be inside lib.zip:

  $> perl -MLibZip::Scan hello.pl
  ## A file libzip.modules will be created in the current directory.
  ## You can edit it if needed.

Converting the script to executable:

  $> libzip -ob hello.pl
  ## hello.exe (or just hello on Linux) and lib.zip were created.

CREATING THE lib.zip AUTOMATICALLY FROM YOUR SCRIPT

To create a lib.zip file you need a list of modules that will be inside it. To create this automatically when compiling your script, just add in the same path of it 2 files:

  - libzip.modules ## list of modules to be inside lib.zip
  - libzip.skip    ## list of modules to NOT add.

To generate libzip.modules automatically just run your script with:

  $> perl -MLibZip::Scan foo.pl

... and the file will be in the same path of foo.pl.

Example of a libzip.modules file:

  Carp
  Exporter
  HTTP::Date
  HTTP::Headers
  HTTP::Message
  HTTP::Request
  HTTP::Response
  HTTP::Status
  LWP
  LWP::Debug
  LWP::MemberMixin
  LWP::Protocol
  LWP::UserAgent
  Time::Local
  URI
  URI::Escape
  overload
  strict
  utf8
  utf8_heavy.pl
  unicore/Exact.pl
  vars
  warnings
  warnings::register

You also can define your self a skip file, since the list above was created automatically by LibZip when the option -MLibZip::Scan was used to run the script. Whit that you don't need to reedit by hand the list of modules, you just keep a static skip file in the same path with the patterns of what you don't want in your distributtion.

Example of a libzip.skip file:

  Socket
  IO::Socket
  qr/^IO::*/
  qr/\.pl$/

This list will skip the modules 'Socket' and 'IO::Socket', and any file or module name that match the 2 REGEXP will be skiped too, so, all the modules inside IO:: and any file .pl won't be inside lib.zip.

LZW

Can be used to compress the Initialize Package source and the user script, what will save 10Kb+.

PAR

LibZip is not a substitute of PAR, that have much more resources. LibZip has a different architecture, and the main idea of it is to create the smaller Perl distribution as possible.

UPX

UPX is a tool that can be used to compress executables and run them compressed. To enable it with LibZip install the upx binary in the PATH (will look for the name upx).

** See UPX link below.

Source Obfuscation

LibZip doesn't have obfuscation resource for the user script, and I don't have plans to add it, since is very easy to break any obfuscation system if we know what module is in use and the key used to encrypt the sources.

If you want to obfuscate your code against simple users just enable the -lzw option, since a complex obfuscation system won't give you much more obfuscation than this.

TinyPerl

The sources of TinyPerl come with LibZip in the sub-directory ./tinyperl. To build it just type:

  perl myMakeFile.PL
  make

Note that the name is myMakeFile.PL, and it should be called only after have LibZip well installed in your Perl. The command above will create the tinyperl executable, lib.zip and place the PerlLib in the same path. Also it will create a release directory at ./tinyperl/release, where all binaries of TinyPerl will be placed.

SEE ALSO

TinyPerl (http://tinyperl.sf.net).
UPX - Ultimate Packer for eXecutables (http://upx.sf.net)

PAR.

Compress::Zlib, Archive::Zip, Compress::LZW.

Pod::Stripper.

AUTHOR

Graciliano M. P. <gmpassos@cpan.org>

I will appreciate any type of feedback (include your opinions and/or suggestions). ;-P

COPYRIGHT

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.