in reply to weird perl verion and/or OS problem with newlines

If you say that snippet works on BSD, I'll take your word for it, but it seems pretty far from optimal. You read an entire file into a @temp array, but never actually use that array elsewhere -- you just concatenate all the lines into a scalar. Then you use a looping regex where you could use index() and substr(), and on top of that, you use the infamous  $& instead of the more efficient paren-capture and "$1".

And you tried this same snippet with the exact same data on a Gentoo box and got a seg fault? It's known that 5.8.0 has some minor "issues" with a handful of particular/arcane regex conditions, because its expanded support for unicode has "broken new ground" (so to speak); even though you have no hint of utf8-like data here, maybe trying a different (and more efficient) approach would get you past the roadblock.

As for newline behavior, if your snippet actually works as intended on BSD, there should be no difference on Gentoo that involves just line-termination patterns (unless the data on the Gentoo box differs from the BSD data in this regard -- in which case, try fixing the data first because that would be easy).

Anyway, something like this might be worth a try (assuming the text really has unix-style line termination) -- I haven't tested it:

{ # create a scoping block for slurp-mode reading local $/ = undef; my $str = <>; my $bgnstr = "#:lav\n"; my $bgnlen = length( $bgn ); my $endstr = "#:eof\n"; while ( my $startpos = index( $str, $bgnstr ) >= 0 ) { $startpos += $bgnlen; my $stoppos = index( $str, $endstr, $startpos ); $stoppos = length( $str ) if ( $stoppos < 0 ); my $val = substr( $str, $startpos, $stoppos - $startpos ); print $val; $str = substr( $str, $stoppos ); } }
(update: fixed the ">=" operator in the while condition)