perlmodinstall - Installing CPAN Modules


You can think of a module as the fundamental unit of reusable Perl code; see the perlmod manpage for details. Whenever anyone creates a chunk of Perl code that they think will be useful to the world, they register as a Perl developer at so that they can then upload their code to the CPAN. The CPAN is the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network and can be accessed at

This documentation is for people who want to download CPAN modules and install them on their own computer.


You have a file ending in .tar.gz (or, less often, .zip). You know there's a tasty module inside. There are four steps you must now take:

UNPACK the file into a directory
BUILD the module (sometimes unnecessary)
INSTALL the module.

Here's how to perform each step for each operating system. This is not a substitute for reading the README and INSTALL files that might have come with your module!

Also note that these instructions are tailored for installing the module into your system's repository of Perl modules. But you can install modules into any directory you wish. For instance, where I say perl Makefile.PL, you can substitute perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=/my/perl_directory to install the modules into /my/perl_directory. Then you can use the modules from your Perl programs with use lib "/my/perl_directory/lib/site_perl"; or sometimes just use "/my/perl_directory";.


If you have any suggested changes for this page, let me know. Please don't send me mail asking for help on how to install your modules. There are too many modules, and too few Orwants, for me to be able to answer or even acknowledge all your questions. Contact the module author instead, or post to comp.lang.perl.modules, or ask someone familiar with Perl on your operating system.


Jon Orwant

The Perl Journal,

with invaluable help from Brandon Allbery, Charles Bailey, Graham Barr, Dominic Dunlop, Jarkko Hietaniemi, Ben Holzman, Tom Horsley, Nick Ing-Simmons, Tuomas J. Lukka, Laszlo Molnar, Chris Nandor, Alan Olsen, Peter Prymmer, Gurusamy Sarathy, Christoph Spalinger, Dan Sugalski, Larry Virden, and Ilya Zakharevich.

July 22, 1998


Copyright (C) 1998 Jon Orwant. All Rights Reserved.

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this documentation provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this documentation under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided also that they are marked clearly as modified versions, that the authors' names and title are unchanged (though subtitles and additional authors' names may be added), and that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this documentation into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions.


We are painfully aware that these documents may contain incorrect links and misformatted HTML. Such bugs lie in the automatic translation process that automatically created the hundreds and hundreds of separate documents that you find here. Please do not report link or formatting bugs, because we cannot fix per-document problems. The only bug reports that will help us are those that supply working patches to the installhtml or pod2html programs, or to the Pod::HTML module itself, for which I and the entire Perl community will shower you with thanks and praises.

If rather than formatting bugs, you encounter substantive content errors in these documents, such as mistakes in the explanations or code, please use the perlbug utility included with the Perl distribution.

--Tom Christiansen, Perl Documentation Compiler and Editor

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