Unix/Linux Go Back    


RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for cpan (redhat section 3pm)

Linux & Unix Commands - Search Man Pages
Man Page or Keyword Search:   man
Select Man Page Set:       apropos Keyword Search (sections above)


CPAN(3pm)			 Perl Programmers Reference Guide			CPAN(3pm)

NAME
       CPAN - query, download and build perl modules from CPAN sites

SYNOPSIS
       Interactive mode:

	 perl -MCPAN -e shell;

       Batch mode:

	 use CPAN;

	 autobundle, clean, install, make, recompile, test

DESCRIPTION
       The CPAN module is designed to automate the make and install of perl modules and exten-
       sions. It includes some searching capabilities and knows how to use Net::FTP or LWP (or
       lynx or an external ftp client) to fetch the raw data from the net.

       Modules are fetched from one or more of the mirrored CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Net-
       work) sites and unpacked in a dedicated directory.

       The CPAN module also supports the concept of named and versioned bundles of modules. Bun-
       dles simplify the handling of sets of related modules. See Bundles below.

       The package contains a session manager and a cache manager. There is no status retained
       between sessions. The session manager keeps track of what has been fetched, built and
       installed in the current session. The cache manager keeps track of the disk space occupied
       by the make processes and deletes excess space according to a simple FIFO mechanism.

       For extended searching capabilities there's a plugin for CPAN available, "CPAN::WAIT".
       "CPAN::WAIT" is a full-text search engine that indexes all documents available in CPAN
       authors directories. If "CPAN::WAIT" is installed on your system, the interactive shell of
       CPAN.pm will enable the "wq", "wr", "wd", "wl", and "wh" commands which send queries to
       the WAIT server that has been configured for your installation.

       All other methods provided are accessible in a programmer style and in an interactive
       shell style.

       Interactive Mode

       The interactive mode is entered by running

	   perl -MCPAN -e shell

       which puts you into a readline interface. You will have the most fun if you install
       Term::ReadKey and Term::ReadLine to enjoy both history and command completion.

       Once you are on the command line, type 'h' and the rest should be self-explanatory.

       The function call "shell" takes two optional arguments, one is the prompt, the second is
       the default initial command line (the latter only works if a real ReadLine interface mod-
       ule is installed).

       The most common uses of the interactive modes are

       Searching for authors, bundles, distribution files and modules
	 There are corresponding one-letter commands "a", "b", "d", and "m" for each of the four
	 categories and another, "i" for any of the mentioned four. Each of the four entities is
	 implemented as a class with slightly differing methods for displaying an object.

	 Arguments you pass to these commands are either strings exactly matching the identifica-
	 tion string of an object or regular expressions that are then matched case-insensitively
	 against various attributes of the objects. The parser recognizes a regular expression
	 only if you enclose it between two slashes.

	 The principle is that the number of found objects influences how an item is displayed.
	 If the search finds one item, the result is displayed with the rather verbose method
	 "as_string", but if we find more than one, we display each object with the terse method
	 <as_glimpse>.

       make, test, install, clean  modules or distributions
	 These commands take any number of arguments and investigate what is necessary to perform
	 the action. If the argument is a distribution file name (recognized by embedded
	 slashes), it is processed. If it is a module, CPAN determines the distribution file in
	 which this module is included and processes that, following any dependencies named in
	 the module's Makefile.PL (this behavior is controlled by prerequisites_policy.)

	 Any "make" or "test" are run unconditionally. An

	   install <distribution_file>

	 also is run unconditionally. But for

	   install <module>

	 CPAN checks if an install is actually needed for it and prints module up to date in the
	 case that the distribution file containing the module doesn't need to be updated.

	 CPAN also keeps track of what it has done within the current session and doesn't try to
	 build a package a second time regardless if it succeeded or not. The "force" command
	 takes as a first argument the method to invoke (currently: "make", "test", or "install")
	 and executes the command from scratch.

	 Example:

	     cpan> install OpenGL
	     OpenGL is up to date.
	     cpan> force install OpenGL
	     Running make
	     OpenGL-0.4/
	     OpenGL-0.4/COPYRIGHT
	     [...]

	 A "clean" command results in a

	   make clean

	 being executed within the distribution file's working directory.

       get, readme, look module or distribution
	 "get" downloads a distribution file without further action. "readme" displays the README
	 file of the associated distribution. "Look" gets and untars (if not yet done) the dis-
	 tribution file, changes to the appropriate directory and opens a subshell process in
	 that directory.

       ls author
	 "ls" lists all distribution files in and below an author's CPAN directory. Only those
	 files that contain modules are listed and if there is more than one for any given mod-
	 ule, only the most recent one is listed.

       Signals
	 CPAN.pm installs signal handlers for SIGINT and SIGTERM. While you are in the cpan-shell
	 it is intended that you can press "^C" anytime and return to the cpan-shell prompt. A
	 SIGTERM will cause the cpan-shell to clean up and leave the shell loop. You can emulate
	 the effect of a SIGTERM by sending two consecutive SIGINTs, which usually means by
	 pressing "^C" twice.

	 CPAN.pm ignores a SIGPIPE. If the user sets inactivity_timeout, a SIGALRM is used during
	 the run of the "perl Makefile.PL" subprocess.

       CPAN::Shell

       The commands that are available in the shell interface are methods in the package
       CPAN::Shell. If you enter the shell command, all your input is split by the Text::Parse-
       Words::shellwords() routine which acts like most shells do. The first word is being inter-
       preted as the method to be called and the rest of the words are treated as arguments to
       this method. Continuation lines are supported if a line ends with a literal backslash.

       autobundle

       "autobundle" writes a bundle file into the "$CPAN::Config->{cpan_home}/Bundle" directory.
       The file contains a list of all modules that are both available from CPAN and currently
       installed within @INC. The name of the bundle file is based on the current date and a
       counter.

       recompile

       recompile() is a very special command in that it takes no argument and runs the
       make/test/install cycle with brute force over all installed dynamically loadable exten-
       sions (aka XS modules) with 'force' in effect. The primary purpose of this command is to
       finish a network installation. Imagine, you have a common source tree for two different
       architectures. You decide to do a completely independent fresh installation. You start on
       one architecture with the help of a Bundle file produced earlier. CPAN installs the whole
       Bundle for you, but when you try to repeat the job on the second architecture, CPAN
       responds with a "Foo up to date" message for all modules. So you invoke CPAN's recompile
       on the second architecture and you're done.

       Another popular use for "recompile" is to act as a rescue in case your perl breaks binary
       compatibility. If one of the modules that CPAN uses is in turn depending on binary compat-
       ibility (so you cannot run CPAN commands), then you should try the CPAN::Nox module for
       recovery.

       The four "CPAN::*" Classes: Author, Bundle, Module, Distribution

       Although it may be considered internal, the class hierarchy does matter for both users and
       programmer. CPAN.pm deals with above mentioned four classes, and all those classes share a
       set of methods. A classical single polymorphism is in effect. A metaclass object registers
       all objects of all kinds and indexes them with a string. The strings referencing objects
       have a separated namespace (well, not completely separated):

		Namespace			  Class

	  words containing a "/" (slash)      Distribution
	   words starting with Bundle:: 	 Bundle
		 everything else	    Module or Author

       Modules know their associated Distribution objects. They always refer to the most recent
       official release. Developers may mark their releases as unstable development versions (by
       inserting an underbar into the module version number which will also be reflected in the
       distribution name when you run 'make dist'), so the really hottest and newest distribution
       is not always the default.  If a module Foo circulates on CPAN in both version 1.23 and
       1.23_90, CPAN.pm offers a convenient way to install version 1.23 by saying

	   install Foo

       This would install the complete distribution file (say BAR/Foo-1.23.tar.gz) with all
       accompanying material. But if you would like to install version 1.23_90, you need to know
       where the distribution file resides on CPAN relative to the authors/id/ directory. If the
       author is BAR, this might be BAR/Foo-1.23_90.tar.gz; so you would have to say

	   install BAR/Foo-1.23_90.tar.gz

       The first example will be driven by an object of the class CPAN::Module, the second by an
       object of class CPAN::Distribution.

       Programmer's interface

       If you do not enter the shell, the available shell commands are both available as methods
       ("CPAN::Shell->install(...)") and as functions in the calling package ("install(...)").

       There's currently only one class that has a stable interface - CPAN::Shell. All commands
       that are available in the CPAN shell are methods of the class CPAN::Shell. Each of the
       commands that produce listings of modules ("r", "autobundle", "u") also return a list of
       the IDs of all modules within the list.

       expand($type,@things)
	 The IDs of all objects available within a program are strings that can be expanded to
	 the corresponding real objects with the "CPAN::Shell->expand("Module",@things)" method.
	 Expand returns a list of CPAN::Module objects according to the @things arguments given.
	 In scalar context it only returns the first element of the list.

       expandany(@things)
	 Like expand, but returns objects of the appropriate type, i.e.  CPAN::Bundle objects for
	 bundles, CPAN::Module objects for modules and CPAN::Distribution objects fro distribu-
	 tions.

       Programming Examples
	 This enables the programmer to do operations that combine functionalities that are
	 available in the shell.

	     # install everything that is outdated on my disk:
	     perl -MCPAN -e 'CPAN::Shell->install(CPAN::Shell->r)'

	     # install my favorite programs if necessary:
	     for $mod (qw(Net::FTP Digest::MD5 Data::Dumper)){
		 my $obj = CPAN::Shell->expand('Module',$mod);
		 $obj->install;
	     }

	     # list all modules on my disk that have no VERSION number
	     for $mod (CPAN::Shell->expand("Module","/./")){
		 next unless $mod->inst_file;
		 # MakeMaker convention for undefined $VERSION:
		 next unless $mod->inst_version eq "undef";
		 print "No VERSION in ", $mod->id, "\n";
	     }

	     # find out which distribution on CPAN contains a module:
	     print CPAN::Shell->expand("Module","Apache::Constants")->cpan_file

	 Or if you want to write a cronjob to watch The CPAN, you could list all modules that
	 need updating. First a quick and dirty way:

	     perl -e 'use CPAN; CPAN::Shell->r;'

	 If you don't want to get any output in the case that all modules are up to date, you can
	 parse the output of above command for the regular expression //modules are up to date//
	 and decide to mail the output only if it doesn't match. Ick?

	 If you prefer to do it more in a programmer style in one single process, maybe something
	 like this suits you better:

	   # list all modules on my disk that have newer versions on CPAN
	   for $mod (CPAN::Shell->expand("Module","/./")){
	     next unless $mod->inst_file;
	     next if $mod->uptodate;
	     printf "Module %s is installed as %s, could be updated to %s from CPAN\n",
		 $mod->id, $mod->inst_version, $mod->cpan_version;
	   }

	 If that gives you too much output every day, you maybe only want to watch for three mod-
	 ules. You can write

	   for $mod (CPAN::Shell->expand("Module","/Apache|LWP|CGI/")){

	 as the first line instead. Or you can combine some of the above tricks:

	   # watch only for a new mod_perl module
	   $mod = CPAN::Shell->expand("Module","mod_perl");
	   exit if $mod->uptodate;
	   # new mod_perl arrived, let me know all update recommendations
	   CPAN::Shell->r;

       Methods in the other Classes

       The programming interface for the classes CPAN::Module, CPAN::Distribution, CPAN::Bundle,
       and CPAN::Author is still considered beta and partially even alpha. In the following para-
       graphs only those methods are documented that have proven useful over a longer time and
       thus are unlikely to change.

       CPAN::Author::as_glimpse()
	   Returns a one-line description of the author

       CPAN::Author::as_string()
	   Returns a multi-line description of the author

       CPAN::Author::email()
	   Returns the author's email address

       CPAN::Author::fullname()
	   Returns the author's name

       CPAN::Author::name()
	   An alias for fullname

       CPAN::Bundle::as_glimpse()
	   Returns a one-line description of the bundle

       CPAN::Bundle::as_string()
	   Returns a multi-line description of the bundle

       CPAN::Bundle::clean()
	   Recursively runs the "clean" method on all items contained in the bundle.

       CPAN::Bundle::contains()
	   Returns a list of objects' IDs contained in a bundle. The associated objects may be
	   bundles, modules or distributions.

       CPAN::Bundle::force($method,@args)
	   Forces CPAN to perform a task that normally would have failed. Force takes as argu-
	   ments a method name to be called and any number of additional arguments that should be
	   passed to the called method. The internals of the object get the needed changes so
	   that CPAN.pm does not refuse to take the action. The "force" is passed recursively to
	   all contained objects.

       CPAN::Bundle::get()
	   Recursively runs the "get" method on all items contained in the bundle

       CPAN::Bundle::inst_file()
	   Returns the highest installed version of the bundle in either @INC or "$CPAN::Con-
	   fig-"{cpan_home}>. Note that this is different from CPAN::Module::inst_file.

       CPAN::Bundle::inst_version()
	   Like CPAN::Bundle::inst_file, but returns the $VERSION

       CPAN::Bundle::uptodate()
	   Returns 1 if the bundle itself and all its members are uptodate.

       CPAN::Bundle::install()
	   Recursively runs the "install" method on all items contained in the bundle

       CPAN::Bundle::make()
	   Recursively runs the "make" method on all items contained in the bundle

       CPAN::Bundle::readme()
	   Recursively runs the "readme" method on all items contained in the bundle

       CPAN::Bundle::test()
	   Recursively runs the "test" method on all items contained in the bundle

       CPAN::Distribution::as_glimpse()
	   Returns a one-line description of the distribution

       CPAN::Distribution::as_string()
	   Returns a multi-line description of the distribution

       CPAN::Distribution::clean()
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution has been unpacked and runs "make
	   clean" there.

       CPAN::Distribution::containsmods()
	   Returns a list of IDs of modules contained in a distribution file.  Only works for
	   distributions listed in the 02packages.details.txt.gz file. This typically means that
	   only the most recent version of a distribution is covered.

       CPAN::Distribution::cvs_import()
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution has been unpacked and runs something
	   like

	       cvs -d $cvs_root import -m $cvs_log $cvs_dir $userid v$version

	   there.

       CPAN::Distribution::dir()
	   Returns the directory into which this distribution has been unpacked.

       CPAN::Distribution::force($method,@args)
	   Forces CPAN to perform a task that normally would have failed. Force takes as argu-
	   ments a method name to be called and any number of additional arguments that should be
	   passed to the called method. The internals of the object get the needed changes so
	   that CPAN.pm does not refuse to take the action.

       CPAN::Distribution::get()
	   Downloads the distribution from CPAN and unpacks it. Does nothing if the distribution
	   has already been downloaded and unpacked within the current session.

       CPAN::Distribution::install()
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution has been unpacked and runs the exter-
	   nal command "make install" there. If "make" has not yet been run, it will be run
	   first. A "make test" will be issued in any case and if this fails, the install will be
	   canceled. The cancellation can be avoided by letting "force" run the "install" for
	   you.

       CPAN::Distribution::isa_perl()
	   Returns 1 if this distribution file seems to be a perl distribution.  Normally this is
	   derived from the file name only, but the index from CPAN can contain a hint to achieve
	   a return value of true for other filenames too.

       CPAN::Distribution::look()
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution has been unpacked and opens a subshell
	   there. Exiting the subshell returns.

       CPAN::Distribution::make()
	   First runs the "get" method to make sure the distribution is downloaded and unpacked.
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution has been unpacked and runs the exter-
	   nal commands "perl Makefile.PL" and "make" there.

       CPAN::Distribution::prereq_pm()
	   Returns the hash reference that has been announced by a distribution as the PREREQ_PM
	   hash in the Makefile.PL. Note: works only after an attempt has been made to "make" the
	   distribution. Returns undef otherwise.

       CPAN::Distribution::readme()
	   Downloads the README file associated with a distribution and runs it through the pager
	   specified in "$CPAN::Config-"{pager}>.

       CPAN::Distribution::test()
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution has been unpacked and runs "make test"
	   there.

       CPAN::Distribution::uptodate()
	   Returns 1 if all the modules contained in the distribution are uptodate. Relies on
	   containsmods.

       CPAN::Index::force_reload()
	   Forces a reload of all indices.

       CPAN::Index::reload()
	   Reloads all indices if they have been read more than "$CPAN::Config-"{index_expire}>
	   days.

       CPAN::InfoObj::dump()
	   CPAN::Author, CPAN::Bundle, CPAN::Module, and CPAN::Distribution inherit this method.
	   It prints the data structure associated with an object. Useful for debugging. Note:
	   the data structure is considered internal and thus subject to change without notice.

       CPAN::Module::as_glimpse()
	   Returns a one-line description of the module

       CPAN::Module::as_string()
	   Returns a multi-line description of the module

       CPAN::Module::clean()
	   Runs a clean on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::cpan_file()
	   Returns the filename on CPAN that is associated with the module.

       CPAN::Module::cpan_version()
	   Returns the latest version of this module available on CPAN.

       CPAN::Module::cvs_import()
	   Runs a cvs_import on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::description()
	   Returns a 44 character description of this module. Only available for modules listed
	   in The Module List (CPAN/modules/00modlist.long.html or 00modlist.long.txt.gz)

       CPAN::Module::force($method,@args)
	   Forces CPAN to perform a task that normally would have failed. Force takes as argu-
	   ments a method name to be called and any number of additional arguments that should be
	   passed to the called method. The internals of the object get the needed changes so
	   that CPAN.pm does not refuse to take the action.

       CPAN::Module::get()
	   Runs a get on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::inst_file()
	   Returns the filename of the module found in @INC. The first file found is reported
	   just like perl itself stops searching @INC when it finds a module.

       CPAN::Module::inst_version()
	   Returns the version number of the module in readable format.

       CPAN::Module::install()
	   Runs an "install" on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::look()
	   Changes to the directory where the distribution associated with this module has been
	   unpacked and opens a subshell there. Exiting the subshell returns.

       CPAN::Module::make()
	   Runs a "make" on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::manpage_headline()
	   If module is installed, peeks into the module's manpage, reads the headline and
	   returns it. Moreover, if the module has been downloaded within this session, does the
	   equivalent on the downloaded module even if it is not installed.

       CPAN::Module::readme()
	   Runs a "readme" on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::test()
	   Runs a "test" on the distribution associated with this module.

       CPAN::Module::uptodate()
	   Returns 1 if the module is installed and up-to-date.

       CPAN::Module::userid()
	   Returns the author's ID of the module.

       Cache Manager

       Currently the cache manager only keeps track of the build directory ($CPAN::Con-
       fig->{build_dir}). It is a simple FIFO mechanism that deletes complete directories below
       "build_dir" as soon as the size of all directories there gets bigger than $CPAN::Con-
       fig->{build_cache} (in MB). The contents of this cache may be used for later re-installa-
       tions that you intend to do manually, but will never be trusted by CPAN itself. This is
       due to the fact that the user might use these directories for building modules on differ-
       ent architectures.

       There is another directory ($CPAN::Config->{keep_source_where}) where the original distri-
       bution files are kept. This directory is not covered by the cache manager and must be con-
       trolled by the user. If you choose to have the same directory as build_dir and as
       keep_source_where directory, then your sources will be deleted with the same fifo mecha-
       nism.

       Bundles

       A bundle is just a perl module in the namespace Bundle:: that does not define any func-
       tions or methods. It usually only contains documentation.

       It starts like a perl module with a package declaration and a $VERSION variable. After
       that the pod section looks like any other pod with the only difference being that one spe-
       cial pod section exists starting with (verbatim):

	       =head1 CONTENTS

       In this pod section each line obeys the format

	       Module_Name [Version_String] [- optional text]

       The only required part is the first field, the name of a module (e.g. Foo::Bar, ie. not
       the name of the distribution file). The rest of the line is optional. The comment part is
       delimited by a dash just as in the man page header.

       The distribution of a bundle should follow the same convention as other distributions.

       Bundles are treated specially in the CPAN package. If you say 'install Bundle::Tkkit'
       (assuming such a bundle exists), CPAN will install all the modules in the CONTENTS section
       of the pod. You can install your own Bundles locally by placing a conformant Bundle file
       somewhere into your @INC path. The autobundle() command which is available in the shell
       interface does that for you by including all currently installed modules in a snapshot
       bundle file.

       Prerequisites

       If you have a local mirror of CPAN and can access all files with "file:" URLs, then you
       only need a perl better than perl5.003 to run this module. Otherwise Net::FTP is strongly
       recommended. LWP may be required for non-UNIX systems or if your nearest CPAN site is
       associated with a URL that is not "ftp:".

       If you have neither Net::FTP nor LWP, there is a fallback mechanism implemented for an
       external ftp command or for an external lynx command.

       Finding packages and VERSION

       This module presumes that all packages on CPAN

       o declare their $VERSION variable in an easy to parse manner. This prerequisite can hardly
	 be relaxed because it consumes far too much memory to load all packages into the running
	 program just to determine the $VERSION variable. Currently all programs that are dealing
	 with version use something like this

	     perl -MExtUtils::MakeMaker -le \
		 'print MM->parse_version(shift)' filename

	 If you are author of a package and wonder if your $VERSION can be parsed, please try the
	 above method.

       o come as compressed or gzipped tarfiles or as zip files and contain a Makefile.PL (well,
	 we try to handle a bit more, but without much enthusiasm).

       Debugging

       The debugging of this module is a bit complex, because we have interferences of the soft-
       ware producing the indices on CPAN, of the mirroring process on CPAN, of packaging, of
       configuration, of synchronicity, and of bugs within CPAN.pm.

       For code debugging in interactive mode you can try "o debug" which will list options for
       debugging the various parts of the code. You should know that "o debug" has built-in com-
       pletion support.

       For data debugging there is the "dump" command which takes the same arguments as
       make/test/install and outputs the object's Data::Dumper dump.

       Floppy, Zip, Offline Mode

       CPAN.pm works nicely without network too. If you maintain machines that are not networked
       at all, you should consider working with file: URLs. Of course, you have to collect your
       modules somewhere first. So you might use CPAN.pm to put together all you need on a net-
       worked machine. Then copy the $CPAN::Config->{keep_source_where} (but not $CPAN::Con-
       fig->{build_dir}) directory on a floppy. This floppy is kind of a personal CPAN. CPAN.pm
       on the non-networked machines works nicely with this floppy. See also below the paragraph
       about CD-ROM support.

CONFIGURATION
       When the CPAN module is installed, a site wide configuration file is created as CPAN/Con-
       fig.pm. The default values defined there can be overridden in another configuration file:
       CPAN/MyConfig.pm. You can store this file in $HOME/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm if you want,
       because $HOME/.cpan is added to the search path of the CPAN module before the use() or
       require() statements.

       Currently the following keys in the hash reference $CPAN::Config are defined:

	 build_cache	    size of cache for directories to build modules
	 build_dir	    locally accessible directory to build modules
	 index_expire	    after this many days refetch index files
	 cache_metadata     use serializer to cache metadata
	 cpan_home	    local directory reserved for this package
	 dontload_hash	    anonymous hash: modules in the keys will not be
			    loaded by the CPAN::has_inst() routine
	 gzip		    location of external program gzip
	 inactivity_timeout breaks interactive Makefile.PLs after this
			    many seconds inactivity. Set to 0 to never break.
	 inhibit_startup_message
			    if true, does not print the startup message
	 keep_source_where  directory in which to keep the source (if we do)
	 make		    location of external make program
	 make_arg	    arguments that should always be passed to 'make'
	 make_install_arg   same as make_arg for 'make install'
	 makepl_arg	    arguments passed to 'perl Makefile.PL'
	 pager		    location of external program more (or any pager)
	 prerequisites_policy
			    what to do if you are missing module prerequisites
			    ('follow' automatically, 'ask' me, or 'ignore')
	 proxy_user	    username for accessing an authenticating proxy
	 proxy_pass	    password for accessing an authenticating proxy
	 scan_cache	    controls scanning of cache ('atstart' or 'never')
	 tar		    location of external program tar
	 term_is_latin	    if true internal UTF-8 is translated to ISO-8859-1
			    (and nonsense for characters outside latin range)
	 unzip		    location of external program unzip
	 urllist	    arrayref to nearby CPAN sites (or equivalent locations)
	 wait_list	    arrayref to a wait server to try (See CPAN::WAIT)
	 ftp_proxy,	 }  the three usual variables for configuring
	   http_proxy,	 }  proxy requests. Both as CPAN::Config variables
	   no_proxy	 }  and as environment variables configurable.

       You can set and query each of these options interactively in the cpan shell with the com-
       mand set defined within the "o conf" command:

       "o conf <scalar option>"
	 prints the current value of the scalar option

       "o conf <scalar option> <value>"
	 Sets the value of the scalar option to value

       "o conf <list option>"
	 prints the current value of the list option in MakeMaker's neatvalue format.

       "o conf <list option> [shift|pop]"
	 shifts or pops the array in the list option variable

       "o conf <list option> [unshift|push|splice] <list>"
	 works like the corresponding perl commands.

       Note on urllist parameter's format

       urllist parameters are URLs according to RFC 1738. We do a little guessing if your URL is
       not compliant, but if you have problems with file URLs, please try the correct format.
       Either:

	   file://localhost/whatever/ftp/pub/CPAN/

       or

	   file:///home/ftp/pub/CPAN/

       urllist parameter has CD-ROM support

       The "urllist" parameter of the configuration table contains a list of URLs that are to be
       used for downloading. If the list contains any "file" URLs, CPAN always tries to get files
       from there first. This feature is disabled for index files. So the recommendation for the
       owner of a CD-ROM with CPAN contents is: include your local, possibly outdated CD-ROM as a
       "file" URL at the end of urllist, e.g.

	 o conf urllist push file://localhost/CDROM/CPAN

       CPAN.pm will then fetch the index files from one of the CPAN sites that come at the begin-
       ning of urllist. It will later check for each module if there is a local copy of the most
       recent version.

       Another peculiarity of urllist is that the site that we could successfully fetch the last
       file from automatically gets a preference token and is tried as the first site for the
       next request. So if you add a new site at runtime it may happen that the previously pre-
       ferred site will be tried another time. This means that if you want to disallow a site for
       the next transfer, it must be explicitly removed from urllist.

SECURITY
       There's no strong security layer in CPAN.pm. CPAN.pm helps you to install foreign,
       unmasked, unsigned code on your machine. We compare to a checksum that comes from the net
       just as the distribution file itself. If somebody has managed to tamper with the distribu-
       tion file, they may have as well tampered with the CHECKSUMS file. Future development will
       go towards strong authentication.

EXPORT
       Most functions in package CPAN are exported per default. The reason for this is that the
       primary use is intended for the cpan shell or for one-liners.

POPULATE AN INSTALLATION WITH LOTS OF MODULES
       Populating a freshly installed perl with my favorite modules is pretty easy if you main-
       tain a private bundle definition file. To get a useful blueprint of a bundle definition
       file, the command autobundle can be used on the CPAN shell command line. This command
       writes a bundle definition file for all modules that are installed for the currently run-
       ning perl interpreter. It's recommended to run this command only once and from then on
       maintain the file manually under a private name, say Bundle/my_bundle.pm. With a clever
       bundle file you can then simply say

	   cpan> install Bundle::my_bundle

       then answer a few questions and then go out for a coffee.

       Maintaining a bundle definition file means keeping track of two things: dependencies and
       interactivity. CPAN.pm sometimes fails on calculating dependencies because not all modules
       define all MakeMaker attributes correctly, so a bundle definition file should specify pre-
       requisites as early as possible. On the other hand, it's a bit annoying that many distri-
       butions need some interactive configuring. So what I try to accomplish in my private bun-
       dle file is to have the packages that need to be configured early in the file and the gen-
       tle ones later, so I can go out after a few minutes and leave CPAN.pm untended.

WORKING WITH CPAN.pm BEHIND FIREWALLS
       Thanks to Graham Barr for contributing the following paragraphs about the interaction
       between perl, and various firewall configurations. For further informations on firewalls,
       it is recommended to consult the documentation that comes with the ncftp program. If you
       are unable to go through the firewall with a simple Perl setup, it is very likely that you
       can configure ncftp so that it works for your firewall.

       Three basic types of firewalls

       Firewalls can be categorized into three basic types.

       http firewall
	   This is where the firewall machine runs a web server and to access the outside world
	   you must do it via the web server. If you set environment variables like http_proxy or
	   ftp_proxy to a values beginning with http:// or in your web browser you have to set
	   proxy information then you know you are running an http firewall.

	   To access servers outside these types of firewalls with perl (even for ftp) you will
	   need to use LWP.

       ftp firewall
	   This where the firewall machine runs an ftp server. This kind of firewall will only
	   let you access ftp servers outside the firewall.  This is usually done by connecting
	   to the firewall with ftp, then entering a username like "user@outside.host.com"

	   To access servers outside these type of firewalls with perl you will need to use
	   Net::FTP.

       One way visibility
	   I say one way visibility as these firewalls try to make themselves look invisible to
	   the users inside the firewall. An FTP data connection is normally created by sending
	   the remote server your IP address and then listening for the connection. But the
	   remote server will not be able to connect to you because of the firewall. So for these
	   types of firewall FTP connections need to be done in a passive mode.

	   There are two that I can think off.

	   SOCKS
	       If you are using a SOCKS firewall you will need to compile perl and link it with
	       the SOCKS library, this is what is normally called a 'socksified' perl. With this
	       executable you will be able to connect to servers outside the firewall as if it is
	       not there.

	   IP Masquerade
	       This is the firewall implemented in the Linux kernel, it allows you to hide a com-
	       plete network behind one IP address. With this firewall no special compiling is
	       needed as you can access hosts directly.

       Configuring lynx or ncftp for going through a firewall

       If you can go through your firewall with e.g. lynx, presumably with a command such as

	   /usr/local/bin/lynx -pscott:tiger

       then you would configure CPAN.pm with the command

	   o conf lynx "/usr/local/bin/lynx -pscott:tiger"

       That's all. Similarly for ncftp or ftp, you would configure something like

	   o conf ncftp "/usr/bin/ncftp -f /home/scott/ncftplogin.cfg"

       Your mileage may vary...

FAQ
       1)  I installed a new version of module X but CPAN keeps saying, I have the old version
	   installed

	   Most probably you do have the old version installed. This can happen if a module
	   installs itself into a different directory in the @INC path than it was previously
	   installed. This is not really a CPAN.pm problem, you would have the same problem when
	   installing the module manually. The easiest way to prevent this behaviour is to add
	   the argument "UNINST=1" to the "make install" call, and that is why many people add
	   this argument permanently by configuring

	     o conf make_install_arg UNINST=1

       2)  So why is UNINST=1 not the default?

	   Because there are people who have their precise expectations about who may install
	   where in the @INC path and who uses which @INC array. In fine tuned environments
	   "UNINST=1" can cause damage.

       3)  I want to clean up my mess, and install a new perl along with all modules I have. How
	   do I go about it?

	   Run the autobundle command for your old perl and optionally rename the resulting bun-
	   dle file (e.g. Bundle/mybundle.pm), install the new perl with the Configure option
	   prefix, e.g.

	       ./Configure -Dprefix=/usr/local/perl-5.6.78.9

	   Install the bundle file you produced in the first step with something like

	       cpan> install Bundle::mybundle

	   and you're done.

       4)  When I install bundles or multiple modules with one command there is too much output
	   to keep track of.

	   You may want to configure something like

	     o conf make_arg "| tee -ai /root/.cpan/logs/make.out"
	     o conf make_install_arg "| tee -ai /root/.cpan/logs/make_install.out"

	   so that STDOUT is captured in a file for later inspection.

       5)  I am not root, how can I install a module in a personal directory?

	   You will most probably like something like this:

	     o conf makepl_arg "LIB=~/myperl/lib \
			       INSTALLMAN1DIR=~/myperl/man/man1 \
			       INSTALLMAN3DIR=~/myperl/man/man3"
	     install Sybase::Sybperl

	   You can make this setting permanent like all "o conf" settings with "o conf commit".

	   You will have to add ~/myperl/man to the MANPATH environment variable and also tell
	   your perl programs to look into ~/myperl/lib, e.g. by including

	     use lib "$ENV{HOME}/myperl/lib";

	   or setting the PERL5LIB environment variable.

	   Another thing you should bear in mind is that the UNINST parameter should never be set
	   if you are not root.

       6)  How to get a package, unwrap it, and make a change before building it?

	     look Sybase::Sybperl

       7)  I installed a Bundle and had a couple of fails. When I retried, everything resolved
	   nicely. Can this be fixed to work on first try?

	   The reason for this is that CPAN does not know the dependencies of all modules when it
	   starts out. To decide about the additional items to install, it just uses data found
	   in the generated Makefile. An undetected missing piece breaks the process. But it may
	   well be that your Bundle installs some prerequisite later than some depending item and
	   thus your second try is able to resolve everything. Please note, CPAN.pm does not know
	   the dependency tree in advance and cannot sort the queue of things to install in a
	   topologically correct order. It resolves perfectly well IFF all modules declare the
	   prerequisites correctly with the PREREQ_PM attribute to MakeMaker. For bundles which
	   fail and you need to install often, it is recommended sort the Bundle definition file
	   manually. It is planned to improve the metadata situation for dependencies on CPAN in
	   general, but this will still take some time.

       8)  In our intranet we have many modules for internal use. How can I integrate these mod-
	   ules with CPAN.pm but without uploading the modules to CPAN?

	   Have a look at the CPAN::Site module.

       9)  When I run CPAN's shell, I get error msg about line 1 to 4, setting meta input/output
	   via the /etc/inputrc file.

	   Some versions of readline are picky about capitalization in the /etc/inputrc file and
	   specifically RedHat 6.2 comes with a /etc/inputrc that contains the word "on" in low-
	   ercase. Change the occurrences of "on" to "On" and the bug should disappear.

       10) Some authors have strange characters in their names.

	   Internally CPAN.pm uses the UTF-8 charset. If your terminal is expecting ISO-8859-1
	   charset, a converter can be activated by setting term_is_latin to a true value in your
	   config file. One way of doing so would be

	       cpan> ! $CPAN::Config->{term_is_latin}=1

	   Extended support for converters will be made available as soon as perl becomes stable
	   with regard to charset issues.

BUGS
       We should give coverage for all of the CPAN and not just the PAUSE part, right? In this
       discussion CPAN and PAUSE have become equal -- but they are not. PAUSE is authors/, mod-
       ules/ and scripts/. CPAN is PAUSE plus the clpa/, doc/, misc/, ports/, and src/.

       Future development should be directed towards a better integration of the other parts.

       If a Makefile.PL requires special customization of libraries, prompts the user for special
       input, etc. then you may find CPAN is not able to build the distribution. In that case,
       you should attempt the traditional method of building a Perl module package from a shell.

AUTHOR
       Andreas Koenig <andreas.koenig@anima.de>

TRANSLATIONS
       Kawai,Takanori provides a Japanese translation of this manpage at http://mem-
       ber.nifty.ne.jp/hippo2000/perltips/CPAN.htm

SEE ALSO
       perl(1), CPAN::Nox(3)

perl v5.8.0				    2002-06-01					CPAN(3pm)
Unix & Linux Commands & Man Pages : ©2000 - 2018 Unix and Linux Forums


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:13 PM.