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ISBN : 978-2-7460-9712-4
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CentOS 2.1AS







Win32 − Interfaces to some Win32 API Functions


Perl on Win32 contains several functions to access Win32 APIs. Some are included in Perl itself (on Win32) and some are only available after explicitly requesting the Win32 module with:

        use Win32;

The builtin functions are marked as [ CORE ] and the other ones as [ EXT ] in the following alphabetical listing. The "Win32" module is not part of the Perl source distribution; it is distributed in the libwin32 bundle of Win32::* modules on CPAN . The module is already preinstalled in binary distributions like ActivePerl.

Alphabetical Listing of Win32 Functions
Win32::AbortSystemShutdown( MACHINE )

[ EXT ] Aborts a system shutdown (started by the InitiateSystemShutdown function) on the specified MACHINE .


[ CORE ] Returns the ActivePerl build number. This function is only available in the ActivePerl binary distribution.

Win32::CopyFile( FROM , TO , OVERWRITE )

[ CORE ] The Win32::CopyFile() function copies an existing file to a new file. All file information like creation time and file attributes will be copied to the new file. However it will not copy the security information. If the destination file already exists it will only be overwritten when the OVERWRITE parameter is true. But even this will not overwrite a read-only file; you have to unlink() it first yourself.


[ CORE ] Returns the name of the Microsoft Network domain that the owner of the current perl process is logged into. This function does not work on Windows 9x.

Win32::ExpandEnvironmentStrings( STRING )

[ EXT ] Takes STRING and replaces all referenced environment variable names with their defined values. References to environment variables take the form "%VariableName%". Case is ignored when looking up the VariableName in the environment. If the variable is not found then the original "%VariableName%" text is retained. Has the same effect as the following:

        $string =~ s/%([^%]*)%/$ENV{$1} ⎪⎪ "%$1%"/eg

Win32::FormatMessage( ERRORCODE )

[ CORE ] Converts the supplied Win32 error number (e.g. returned by Win32::GetLastError()) to a descriptive string. Analogous to the perror() standard-C library function. Note that "$^E" used in a string context has much the same effect.

        C:\> perl -e "$^E = 26; print $^E;"
        The specified disk or diskette cannot be accessed


[ CORE ] Returns the name of the filesystem of the currently active drive (like ’ FAT ’ or ’ NTFS ’). In list context it returns three values: ( FSTYPE , FLAGS , MAXCOMPLEN ). FSTYPE is the filesystem type as before. FLAGS is a combination of values of the following table:

        0x00000001  supports case-sensitive filenames
        0x00000002  preserves the case of filenames
        0x00000004  supports Unicode in filenames
        0x00000008  preserves and enforces ACLs
        0x00000010  supports file-based compression
        0x00000020  supports disk quotas
        0x00000040  supports sparse files
        0x00000080  supports reparse points
        0x00000100  supports remote storage
        0x00008000  is a compressed volume (e.g. DoubleSpace)
        0x00010000  supports object identifiers
        0x00020000  supports the Encrypted File System (EFS)

MAXCOMPLEN is the maximum length of a filename component (the part between two backslashes) on this file system.

Win32::FreeLibrary( HANDLE )

[ EXT ] Unloads a previously loaded dynamic-link library. The HANDLE is no longer valid after this call. See LoadLibrary for information on dynamically loading a library.


[ EXT ] Use of this function is deprecated. It is equivalent with $ENV{ PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE }. This might not work on Win9X.


[ EXT ] Returns the processor type: 386, 486 or 586 for Intel processors, 21064 for the Alpha chip.


[ CORE ] Returns the current active drive and directory. This function does not return a UNC path, since the functionality required for such a feature is not available under Windows 95.

Win32::GetFullPathName( FILENAME )

[ CORE ] GetFullPathName combines the FILENAME with the current drive and directory name and returns a fully qualified (aka, absolute) path name. In list context it returns two elements: ( PATH , FILE ) where PATH is the complete pathname component (including trailing backslash) and FILE is just the filename part. Note that no attempt is made to convert 8.3 components in the supplied FILENAME to longnames or vice-versa. Compare with Win32::GetShortPathName and Win32::GetLongPathName.

This function has been added for Perl 5.6.


[ CORE ] Returns the last error value generated by a call to a Win32 API function. Note that "$^E" used in a numeric context amounts to the same value.

Win32::GetLongPathName( PATHNAME )

[ CORE ] Returns a representation of PATHNAME composed of longname components (if any). The result may not necessarily be longer than PATHNAME . No attempt is made to convert PATHNAME to the absolute path. Compare with Win32::GetShortPathName and Win32::GetFullPathName.

This function has been added for Perl 5.6.


[ CORE ] Returns a string in the form of "<d>:" where <d> is the first available drive letter.


[ CORE ] Returns the array ( STRING , MAJOR , MINOR , BUILD , ID ), where the elements are, respectively: An arbitrary descriptive string, the major version number of the operating system, the minor version number, the build number, and a digit indicating the actual operating system. For ID , the values are 0 for Win32s, 1 for Windows 9X and 2 for Windows NT . In scalar context it returns just the ID .

Win32::GetShortPathName( PATHNAME )

[ CORE ] Returns a representation of PATHNAME composed only of short (8.3) path components. The result may not necessarily be shorter than PATHNAME . Compare with Win32::GetFullPathName and Win32::GetLongPathName.

Win32::GetProcAddress( INSTANCE , PROCNAME )

[ EXT ] Returns the address of a function inside a loaded library. The information about what you can do with this address has been lost in the mist of time. Use the Win32::API module instead of this deprecated function.


[ CORE ] Returns the number of milliseconds elapsed since the last system boot. Resolution is limited to system timer ticks (about 10ms on WinNT and 55ms on Win9X).



[ EXT ] Shutsdown the specified MACHINE , notifying users with the supplied MESSAGE , within the specified TIMEOUT interval. Forces closing of all documents without prompting the user if FORCECLOSE is true, and reboots the machine if REBOOT is true. This function works only on WinNT.


[ CORE ] Returns non zero if the Win32 subsystem is Windows NT .


[ CORE ] Returns non zero if the Win32 subsystem is Windows 95.

Win32::LoadLibrary( LIBNAME )

[ EXT ] Loads a dynamic link library into memory and returns its module handle. This handle can be used with Win32::GetProcAddress and Win32::FreeLibrary. This function is deprecated. Use the Win32::API module instead.


[ CORE ] Returns the username of the owner of the current perl process.

Win32::LookupAccountName( SYSTEM , ACCOUNT , DOMAIN , SID , SIDTYPE )

[ EXT ] Looks up ACCOUNT on SYSTEM and returns the domain name the SID and the SID type.


[ EXT ] Looks up SID on SYSTEM and returns the account name, domain name, and the SID type.

Win32::MsgBox( MESSAGE [, FLAGS [, TITLE ]])

[ EXT ] Create a dialogbox containing MESSAGE . FLAGS specifies the required icon and buttons according to the following table:

        0 = OK
        1 = OK and Cancel
        2 = Abort, Retry, and Ignore
        3 = Yes, No and Cancel
        4 = Yes and No
        5 = Retry and Cancel

        MB_ICONSTOP          "X" in a red circle
        MB_ICONQUESTION      question mark in a bubble
        MB_ICONEXCLAMATION   exclamation mark in a yellow triangle
        MB_ICONINFORMATION   "i" in a bubble

TITLE specifies an optional window title. The default is "Perl".

The function returns the menu id of the selected push button:

        0  Error

        1  OK
        2  Cancel
        3  Abort
        4  Retry
        5  Ignore
        6  Yes
        7  No


[ CORE ] Returns the Microsoft Network node-name of the current machine.

Win32::RegisterServer( LIBRARYNAME )

[ EXT ] Loads the DLL LIBRARYNAME and calls the function DllRegisterServer.


[ CORE ] Sets the current active drive and directory. This function does not work with UNC paths, since the functionality required to required for such a feature is not available under Windows 95.

Win32::SetLastError( ERROR )

[ CORE ] Sets the value of the last error encountered to ERROR . This is that value that will be returned by the Win32::GetLastError() function. This functions has been added for Perl 5.6.

Win32::Sleep( TIME )

[ CORE ] Pauses for TIME milliseconds. The timeslices are made available to other processes and threads.

Win32::Spawn( COMMAND , ARGS , PID )

[ CORE ] Spawns a new process using the supplied COMMAND , passing in arguments in the string ARGS . The pid of the new process is stored in PID . This function is deprecated. Please use the Win32::Process module instead.

Win32::UnregisterServer( LIBRARYNAME )

[ EXT ] Loads the DLL LIBRARYNAME and calls the function DllUnregisterServer.