Is this normal behaviour?
Yes. Note, this is not
a Perl issue. The only way environment variables are "shared" is that when a process forks, both parent and child get identical copies. And on an exec, the environment persists.
How can I permanently set PERL5LIB?
Set it in the process that spawns the xterms. Or by setting it in the shell profile that's run each time an xterm starts.
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