Perl Interview Questions

1) What are the two different types of data perl handles?
Perl handles two types of data they are
(i) Scalar Variables and
(ii) Lists
Scalar variables hold a single data item whereas lists hold multiple data items.
2) What are scalar variables?
Scalar variables are what many programming languages refer to as simple variables. They hold a single data item, a number, a string, or a perl reference. Scalars are called scalars to differentiate them from constructs that can hold more than one item, like arrays.
3) Explain about lists?
A list is a construct that associates data elements together and you can specify a list by enclosing those elements in parenthesis and separating them with commas. They could themselves be arrays, hashes or even other lists. Lists do not have a specific list data type.
4) Name all the prefix dereferencer in perl?
The symbol that starts all scalar variables is called a prefix dereferencer. The different types of dereferencer are.
(i) $-Scalar variables
(ii) %-Hash variables
(iii) @-arrays
(iv) &-subroutines
(v) Type globs-*myvar stands for @myvar, %myvar.
5) Explain about an ivalue?
An ivalue is an item that can serve as the target of an assignment. The term I value originally meant a “left value”, which is to say a value that appears on the left. An ivalue usually represents a data space in memory and you can store data using the ivalues name. Any variable can serve as an ivalue.
6) How does a “grep” function perform?
Grep returns the number of lines the expression is true. Grep returns a sublist of a list for which a specific criterion is true. This function often involves pattern matching. It modifies the elements in the original list.
7) Explain about Typeglobs?
Type globs are another integral type in perl. A typeglob`s prefix derefrencer is *, which is also the wild card character because you can use typeglobs to create an alias for all types associated with a particular name. All kinds of manipulations are possible with typeglobs.
8) Is there any way to add two arrays together?
Of course you can add two arrays together by using push function. The push function adds a value or values to the end of an array. The push function pushes the values of list onto the end of the array. Length of an array can be increased by the length of list.
9) How to use the command shift?
Shift array function shifts off the first value of the array and returns it, thereby shortening the array by one element and moving everything from one place to the left. If you don’t specify an array to shift, shift uses @ ARGV, the array of command line arguments passed to the script or the array named @-.
10) What exactly is grooving and shortening of the array?
You can change the number of elements in an array simply by changing the value of the last index of/in the array $#array. In fact, if you simply refer to a non existent element in an array perl extends the array as needed, creating new elements. It also includes new elements in its array.
11) What are the three ways to empty an array?
The three different ways to empty an array are as follows
1) You can empty an array by setting its length to a negative number.
2) Another way of empting an array is to assign the null list ().
3) Try to clear an array by setting it to undef, but be aware when you set to undef.
12) How do you work with array slices
An array slice is a section of an array that acts like a list, and you indicate what elements to put into the slice by using multiple array indexes in square brackets. By specifying the range operator you can also specify a slice.
13) What is meant by splicing arrays explain in context of list and scalar.
Splicing an array means adding elements from a list to that array, possibly replacing elements now in the array. In list context, the splice function returns the elements removed from the array. In scalar context, the splice function returns the last element removed.
14) What are the different types of perl operators?
There are four different types of perl operators they are
(i) Unary operator like the not operator
(ii) Binary operator like the addition operator
(iii) Tertiary operator like the conditional operator
(iv) List operator like the print operator
15) Which has the highest precedence, List or Terms? Explain?
Terms have the highest precedence in perl. Terms include variables, quotes, expressions in parenthesis etc. List operators have the same level of precedence as terms. Specifically, these operators have very strong left word precedence.
16) What is a short circuit operator?
The C-Style operator, ll, performs a logical (or) operation and you can use it to tie logical clauses together, returning an overall value of true if either clause is true. This operator is called a short-circuit operator because if the left operand is true the right operand is not checked or evaluated.
17) What are the different forms of goto in perl? Explain?
The three forms of goto are as follows. They are
(i) Goto label
(ii) Goto name
(iii) Goto expr
The first form, goto LABEL, transfers execution to the statement labeled LABEL. The second form, goto EXPR, expects EXPR to evaluate to a label. The last form goto &name is used with subroutines. This goto statement is used only when there is a necessity as it can create havoc in a program.
18) What are the different types of eval statements?
There are two different types of eval statements they are eval EXPR and eval BLOCK. Eval EXPR executes an expression and eval BLOCK executes BLOCK. Eval Block executes an entire block, BLOCK. First one is used when you want your code passed in the expression and the second one is used to parse the code in the block.
19) Determine the difference between my and local?
The fundamental difference between my and local is that my creates a new variable, whereas local saves a copy of an existing variable.
20) Explain about returning values from subroutines (functions)?
The return value of the subroutine is the value of the last expression evaluated or you can explicitly use a return statement to exit the subroutine specifying the return value. That return value is evaluated in the appropriate content depending on the content of the subroutine call.

Why do you use Perl?
Perl is a powerful free interpreter.
Perl is portable, flexible and easy to learn.
How do I set environment variables in Perl programs?
you can just do something like this:
$path = $ENV{'PATH'};
As you may remember, "%ENV" is a special hash in Perl that contains the value of all your environment variables.
Because %ENV is a hash, you can set environment variables just as you'd set the value of any Perl hash variable. Here's how you can set your PATH variable to make sure the following four directories are in your path::
$ENV{'PATH'} = '/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/home/yourname/bin';
Which of these is a difference between C++ and Perl?
Perl can have objects whose data cannot be accessed outside its class, but C++ cannot.
Perl can use closures with unreachable private data as objects, and C++ doesn't support closures. Furthermore, C++ does support pointer arithmetic via `int *ip = (int*)&object', allowing you do look all over the object. Perl doesn't have pointer arithmetic. It also doesn't allow `#define private public' to change access rights to foreign objects. On the other hand, once you start poking around in /dev/mem, no one is safe.
How to open and read data files with Perl
Data files are opened in Perl using the open() function. When you open a data file, all you have to do is specify (a) a file handle and (b) the name of the file you want to read from.
As an example, suppose you need to read some data from a file named "checkbook.txt". Here's a simple open statement that opens the checkbook file for read access: open (CHECKBOOK, "checkbook.txt"); In this example, the name "CHECKBOOK" is the file handle that you'll use later when reading from the checkbook.txt data file. Any time you want to read data from the checkbook file, just use the file handle named "CHECKBOOK".
Now that we've opened the checkbook file, we'd like to be able to read what's in it. Here's how to read one line of data from the checkbook file:
$record = < CHECKBOOK > ;
After this statement is executed, the variable $record contains the contents of the first line of the checkbook file. The "<>" symbol is called the line reading operator.
To print every record of information from the checkbook file

open (CHECKBOOK, "checkbook.txt") || die "couldn't open the file!";
while ($record = < CHECKBOOK >) {
print $record;
How do I do fill_in_the_blank for each file in a directory?
Here's code that just prints a listing of every file in the current directory:
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
opendir(DIR, ".");
@files = readdir(DIR);
foreach $file (@files) {
print "$file\n";
How do I do fill_in_the_blank for each file in a directory?
Here's code that just prints a listing of every file in the current directory:
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
opendir(DIR, ".");
@files = readdir(DIR);
foreach $file (@files) {
print "$file\n";
How do I generate a list of all .html files in a directory?
Here's a snippet of code that just prints a listing of every file in the current directory that ends with the extension .html:
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
opendir(DIR, ".");
@files = grep(/\.html$/,readdir(DIR));
foreach $file (@files) {
print "$file\n";
What is Perl one-liner?
There are two ways a Perl script can be run:
--from a command line, called one-liner, that means you type and execute immediately on the command line. You'll need the -e option to start like "C:\ %gt perl -e "print \"Hello\";". One-liner doesn't mean one Perl statement. One-liner may contain many statements in one line.
--from a script file, called Perl program.
Assuming both a local($var) and a my($var) exist, what's the difference between ${var} and ${"var"}?
${var} is the lexical variable $var, and ${"var"} is the dynamic variable $var.
Note that because the second is a symbol table lookup, it is disallowed under `use strict "refs"'. The words global, local, package, symbol table, and dynamic all refer to the kind of variables that local() affects, whereas the other sort, those governed by my(), are variously knows as private, lexical, or scoped variable.
What happens when you return a reference to a private variable?
Perl keeps track of your variables, whether dynamic or otherwise, and doesn't free things before you're done using them.
How to turn on Perl warnings? Why is that important?
Perl is very forgiving of strange and sometimes wrong code, which can mean hours spent searching for bugs and weird results. Turning on warnings helps uncover common mistakes and strange places and save a lot of debugging time in the long run. There are various ways of turning on Perl warnings:
For Perl one-liner, use -w option on the command line.
On Unix or Windows, use the -w option in the shebang line (The first # line in the script). Note: Windows Perl interpreter may not require it.
For other systems, choose compiler warnings, or check compiler documentation.
What are scalar data and scalar variables?
Perl has a flexible concept of data types. Scalar means a single thing, like a number or string. So the Java concept of int, float, double and string equals to Perl\'s scalar in concept and the numbers and strings are exchangeable. Scalar variable is a Perl variable that is used to store scalar data. It uses a dollar sign $ and followed by one or more alphanumeric characters or underscores. It is case sensitive.

1) What is shell scripting?
Shell scripting is used to program command line of an operating system. Shell Scripting is also used to program the shell which is the base for any operating system. Shell scripts often refer to programming UNIX. Shell scripting is mostly used to program operating systems of windows, UNIX, Apple, etc. Also this script is used by companies to develop their own operating system with their own features.
2) State the advantages of Shell scripting?
There are many advantages of shell scripting some of them are, one can develop their own operating system with relevant features best suited to their organization than to rely on costly operating systems. Software applications can be designed according to their platform.
3) What are the disadvantages of shell scripting?
There are many disadvantages of shell scripting they are
* Design flaws can destroy the entire process and could prove a costly error.
* Typing errors during the creation can delete the entire data as well as partition data.
* Initially process is slow but can be improved.
* Portbility between different operating system is a prime concern as it is very difficult to port scripts etc.
4) Explain about the slow execution speed of shells?
Major disadvantage of using shell scripting is slow execution of the scripts. This is because for every command a new process needs to be started. This slow down can be resolved by using pipeline and filter commands. A complex script takes much longer time than a normal script.
5) Give some situations where typing error can destroy a program?
There are many situations where typing errors can prove to be a real costly effort. For example a single extra space can convert the functionality of the program from deleting the sub directories to files deletion. cp, cn, cd all resemble the same but their actual functioning is different. Misdirected > can delete your data.

Coding Related Shell Scripting Interview Questions ...

6) Explain about return code?
Return code is a common feature in shell programming. These return codes indicate whether a particular program or application has succeeded or failed during its process. && can be used in return code to indicate which application needs to be executed first.
7) What are the different variables present in Linux shell?
Variables can be defined by the programmer or developer they specify the location of a particular variable in the memory. There are two types of shells they are System variables and user defined variables. System variables are defined by the system and user defined variables are to be defined by the user (small letters).
8) Explain about GUI scripting?
Graphical user interface provided the much needed thrust for controlling a computer and its applications. This form of language simplified repetitive actions. Support for different applications mostly depends upon the operating system. These interact with menus, buttons, etc.

Shell Scripting Command Interview Questions ...

9) Explain about echo command?
Echo command is used to display the value of a variable. There are many different options give different outputs such as usage \c suppress a trailing line, \r returns a carriage line, -e enables interpretation, \r returns the carriage.
10) Explain about Stdin, Stdout and Stderr?
These are known as standard input, output and error. These are categorized as 0, 1 and 2. Each of these functions has a particular role and should accordingly functions for efficient output. Any mismatch among these three could result in a major failure of the shell.
11) Explain about sourcing commands?
Sourcing commands help you to execute the scripts within the scripts. For example sh command makes your program to run as a separate shell. .command makes your program to run within the shell. This is an important command for beginners and for special purposes.
12) Explain about debugging?
Shell can make your debugging process easier because it has lots of commands to perform the function. For example sh –ncommand helps you to perform debugging. It helps you to read the shell but not to execute it during the course. Similarly sh –x command helps you by displaying the arguments and functions as they are executed.
13) Explain about Login shell?
Login shell is very useful as it creates an environment which is very useful to create the default parameters. It consists of two files they are profile files and shell rc files. These files initialize the login and non login files. Environment variables are created by Login shell.
14) Explain about non-login shell files?
The non login shell files are initialized at the start and they are made to run to set up variables. Parameters and path can be set etc are some important functions. These files can be changed and also your own environment can be set. These functions are present in the root. It runs the profile each time you start the process.
15) Explain about shebang?
Shebang is nothing but a # sign followed by an exclamation. This is visible at the top of the script and it is immediately followed by an exclamation. To avoid repetitive work each time developers use shebang. After assigning the shebang work we pass info to the interpreter.
16) Explain about the Exit command?
Every program whether on UNIX or Linux should end at a certain point of time and successful completion of a program is denoted by the output 0. If the program gives an output other than 0 it defines that there has been some problem with the execution or termination of the problem. Whenever you are calling other function, exit command gets displayed.
17) Explore about Environment variables?
Environment variables are set at the login time and every shell that starts from this shell gets a copy of the variable. When we export the variable it changes from an shell variable to an environment variable and these variables are initiated at the start of the shell.

Unix/Linux programming interview questions

Question 1: What is the major advantage of a hash table? (Asked by Silicon Magic Corp. people)
Answer: The major advantage of a hash table is its speed. Because the hash function is to take a range of key values and transform them into index values in such a way that the key values are distributed randomly across all the indices of a hash table.
Question 2: What are the techniques that you use to handle the collisions in hash tables?(Asked by Silicon Magic Corp. people)
Answer: We can use two major techniques to handle the collisions. They are open addressing and separate chaining. In open addressing, data items that hash to a full array cell are placed in another cell in the array. In separate chaining, each array element consist of a linked list. All data items hashing to a given array index are inserted in that list.
Question 3: In Unix OS, what is the file server? (Asked by Silicon Magic Corp. people)
Answer: The file server is a machine that shares its disk storage and files with other machines on the network.
Question 4: What is NFS? What is its job?(Asked by Silicon Magic Corp. people)
Answer: NFS stands for Network File System. NFS enables filesystems physically residing on one computer system to be used by other computers in the network, appearing to users on the remote host as just another local disk.
Question 5: What is CVS? List some useful CVS commands.(Asked by Silicon Magic Corp.people)
Anser: CVS is Concurrent Version System. It is the front end to the RCS revision control system which extends the notion of revision control from a collection of files in a single directory to a hierarchical collection of directories consisting of revision controlled files. These directories and files can be combined together to form a software release.
There are some useful commands that are being used very often. They are
cvs checkout
cvs update
cvs add
cvs remove
cvs commit 

No comments:

Post a Comment