how to escape my string when I calling a shell commend in perl?

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http://stackoverflow.com – I just want to use a awk command in my perl script like follows: $linum = `awk -F "%" '/^\s*kernel/{print NR}' < $grubFile`; But it will say: Unrecognized escape \s passed through at ./root line 36. How do I avoid that? thank you. (HowTos)