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Rocky Bernstein


Term::ReadLine::Perl5 - A Perl5 implementation GNU Readline


  use Term::ReadLine::Perl5;
  $term = Term::ReadLine::Perl5->new('ProgramName');
  while ( defined ($_ = $term->readline('prompt>')) ) {



This is a implementation of the GNU Readline/History Library written in Perl5.

GNU Readline reads lines from an interactive terminal with emacs or vi editing capabilities. It provides as mechanism for saving history of previous input.

This package typically used in command-line interfaces and REPLs (Read, Eval, Print, Loop).

See Term::ReadLine::Perl5 for details on the API.

Demo program

Another package, Term::ReadLine::Perl5::Demo is available to let you run Term::ReadLine::Perl5 to experiment with its capabilities and show how to use the API.


To install this module type:

    perl Build.PL
    # for interactive testing:
    make test
    # for non-interactive testing
    AUTOMATED_TESTING=1 make test
    make install # might need sudo make install


The first implementation was in Perl4 (mostly) by Jeffrey Friedl. He referenced FSF the code Roland Schemers line_edit.pl.

Ilya Zakharevich turned this into a Perl5 module called Term::ReadLine::Perl. Some of the changes he made include using Term::ReadKey if present, and made this work under xterm. The file Term/ReadLine/Perl5/CHANGES up to but not including version 1.04 contains a list of his changes.

Starting with version 1.04 Rocky Bernstein forked the code, adding GNU readline history. He put it into a public git repository (github) and also started modernizing it and doing the things CPAN prefers, including adding POD documentation and non-interactive tests, removing (some) type globs, and respecting CPAN module namespaces.


Bugs are accepted via the github issues tracker.


Copyright (c) 2013-2014 Rocky Bernstein. Copyright (c) 1995 Ilya Zakharevich.

This program is distributed WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

The program is free software. You may distribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation (either version 2 or any later version) and the Perl Artistic License as published by O’Reilly Media, Inc. Please open the files named gpl-2.0.txt and Artistic for a copy of these licenses.