The Perl package is in /usr/bin and is an older version (5.12.4). The current stable release appears to be 5.14.2.

How do I update this version? Root access is required, and I do not want to compile new binaries to install in a directory that is in my path.

  • Do you have root access?
    – mdpc
    Feb 18, 2013 at 18:42

5 Answers 5


Warning: Using cpan as shown will take a considerable amount of time and cannot be left unattended.

The following command will update all of your Perl packages and test them for you:

$ sudo cpan
cpan[1]> upgrade

Perl Tag:

Perl is a high-level programming language that comes installed by default in Ubuntu.

Package versions


When Ubuntu releases a new version of its OS every 6 months, that release is largely frozen in time. While the software that is part of that release will get bug fixes and security patches, new major releases of software and the new features that come with them will not be available.

Ubuntu 11.10 Perl version

A link: What version of Perl is shipped with the Desktop Version of 11.10?

The Perl 5.14.2

Ubuntu Packages: http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=perl&searchon=names&suite=all&section=all

precise (perl): Larry Wall's Practical Extraction and Report Language 5.14.2-6ubuntu2: amd64 i386

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

The Ubuntu 12.04 will be released: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PrecisePangolin/ReleaseSchedule

April 26th Final Release

Ubuntu 12.04 Forum: http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=412

sudo perl -MCPAN -e 'upgrade'

is an option that might help.

  • Did not succeed because I had an error, but I seems to have updated some packages which solved my problem.
    – Andrei
    Mar 1, 2015 at 21:09
  • you mean it did not complete or completed with errors?
    – Zuko
    Mar 4, 2015 at 14:20
  • The install asked for my apach.e install directory and then crashed because I supplied an additional "/" in the path name. The upgrade still did something though, as my problem went away. I will upgrade to a newer Ubuntu soon
    – Andrei
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:50
  • 2
    This updates perl modules, not perl Oct 15, 2016 at 17:59

Open Terminal (CTRL + ALT + T) and execute the following command:

sudo su

And become the super user by giving your password. Then execute:

apt-get update

And then execute:

apt-get upgrade

And finally execute:

apt-get install -y perl

You should use perlbrew; this is the actual way to do it. Maybe Ubuntu people won't like this way because it is not package based, but if you need to involve yourself into Perl, this is a prerequisite. The installation process is painless, and you don't have to be afraid by compiling Perl..

Depending on your needs, take also a look at cpanminus and local::lib. It will make you life easier.

None of those require root privileges; you have to enjoy this.

Don't forget that using the Ubuntu outdated Perl packages is silly, because they are ancient versions, and you just don't need to hurt yourself by using this old stuff.

See also this answer.

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