See the current Perl documentation for lib:Shell.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

Shell - run shell commands transparently within perl

See below.

  Date: Thu, 22 Sep 94 16:18:16 -0700
  Message-Id: <>
  From: Larry Wall <>
  Subject: a new module I just wrote

Here's one that'll whack your mind a little out.


    use Shell;

    $foo = echo("howdy", "<funny>", "world");
    print $foo;

    $passwd = cat("</etc/passwd");
    print $passwd;

    sub ps;
    print ps -ww;

    cp("/etc/passwd", "/tmp/passwd");

That's maybe too gonzo. It actually exports an AUTOLOAD to the current package (and uncovered a bug in Beta 3, by the way). Maybe the usual usage should be

    use Shell qw(echo cat ps cp);



Larry Wall