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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to install a module from CPAN

perl -MCPAN -e shell
I always seem to forget this simple syntax, so I thought it would be good to post it where I can find it. Where else, my blog -- by the way, this is another excellent use for blogs. Not only do we publish information for others to find, but occasionally a blog is the best place to put frequently accessed info that the author may need. At least I know the source is reliable. :-)

How do I install a module from CPAN?
The easiest way is to have a module also named CPAN do it for you. This module comes with perl version 5.004 and later.

To get a cpan shell, try either cpan:


  $ cpan



or the more complete command:

$perl -MCPAN -e shell

Terminal does not support AddHistory.

cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.7601)

ReadLine support available (try 'install Bundle::CPAN')


The first time the command runs, it will prompt for a series of configuration questions.
Now, within the shell, you can install a module
 cpan> install Some::Module 

To manually install the CPAN module, or any well-behaved CPAN module for that matter, follow these steps:

  1. Unpack the source into a temporary area.

  2. perl Makefile.PL

  3. make

  4. make test

  5. make install
If your version of perl is compiled without dynamic loading, then you just need to replace step 3 (make) with make perl and you will get a new perl binary with your extension linked in.