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PERLBREW(1) User Contributed Perl Documentation PERLBREW(1)


perlbrew - Perl environment manager.


perlbrew command syntax:

    perlbrew <command> [options] [arguments]


    init           Initialize perlbrew environment.
    info           Show useful information about the perlbrew installation
    install        Install perl
    uninstall      Uninstall the given installation
    available      List perls available to install
    lib            Manage local::lib directories.
    alias          Give perl installations a new name
    upgrade-perl   Upgrade the current perl
    list           List perl installations
    use            Use the specified perl in current shell
    off            Turn off perlbrew in current shell
    switch         Permanently use the specified perl as default
    switch-off     Permanently turn off perlbrew (revert to system perl)
    exec           Execute programs with specified perl environments.
    list-modules   List installed CPAN modules for the current Perl version in use
    clone-modules  Re-installs all CPAN modules from one installation to another
    self-install       Install perlbrew itself under PERLBREW_ROOT/bin
    self-upgrade       Upgrade perlbrew itself.
    install-patchperl  Install patchperl
    install-cpanm      Install cpanm, a friendly companion.
    install-cpm        Install cpm, a faster but still friendly companion.
    install-multiple   Install multiple versions and flavors of perl
    download       Download the specified perl distribution tarball.
    clean          Purge tarballs and build directories
    version        Display version
    help           Read more detailed instructions

Generic command options:

    -q --quiet     Be quiet on informative output message.
    -v --verbose   Tell me more about it.

See `perlbrew help` for the full documentation of perlbrew, or

See `perlbrew help <command>` for detail description of the command.


By default, perlbrew builds and installs perls into "$ENV{HOME}/perl5/perlbrew" directory. To use a different directory, set this environment variable in your "bashrc" to the directory in your shell RC before sourcing perlbrew's RC.

It is possible to share one perlbrew root with multiple user account on the same machine. Therefore people do not have to install the same version of perl over an over. Let's say "/opt/perl5" is the directory we want to share. All users should be able append this snippet to their bashrc to make it effective:

    export PERLBREW_ROOT=/opt/perl5
    source ${PERLBREW_ROOT}/etc/bashrc

After doing so, everyone's PATH should include "/opt/perl5/bin" and "/opt/perl5/perls/${PERLBREW_PERL}/bin". Each user can invoke "perlbrew switch" and "perlbrew use" to independently switch to different perl environment of their choice. However, only the user with write permission to $PERLBREW_ROOT may install CPAN modules. This is both good and bad depending on the working convention of your team.

If you wish to install CPAN modules only for yourself, you should use the "lib" command to construct a personal local::lib environment. local::lib environments are personal, and are not shared between different users. For more detail, read "perlbrew help lib" and the documentation of local::lib.

If you want even a cooler module isolation and wish to install CPAN modules used for just one project, you should use carton for this purpose.

It is also possible to set this variable before installing perlbrew to make perlbrew install itself under the given PERLBREW_ROOT:

    export PERLBREW_ROOT=/opt/perl5
    curl -L | bash

After doing this, the perlbrew executable is installed as "/opt/perl5/bin/perlbrew"

By default, perlbrew stores per-user setting to "$ENV{HOME}/.perlbrew" directory. To use a different directory, set this environment variable in your shell RC before sourcing perlbrew's RC.

In some cases, say, your home directory is on NFS and shared across multiple machines, you may wish to have several different perlbrew setting per-machine. To do so, you can use the "PERLBREW_HOME" environment variable to tell perlbrew where to look for the initialization file. Here's a brief bash snippet for the given scenario.

    if [ "$(hostname)" == "machine-a" ]; then
        export PERLBREW_HOME=~/.perlbrew-a
    elif [ "$(hostname)" == "machine-b" ]; then
        export PERLBREW_HOME=~/.perlbrew-b
    source ~/perl5/perlbrew/etc/bashrc
This environment variable specify the list of command like flags to pass through to 'sh Configure'. By default it is '-de'.
The CPAN mirror url of your choice. By default, "" is used.


Usage: perlbrew init

The "init" command should be manually invoked whenever you (the perlbrew user) upgrade or reinstall perlbrew.

If the upgrade is done with "self-upgrade" command, or by running the one-line installer manually, this command is invoked automatically.


Usage: perlbrew info [ <module> ]

Display useful information about the perlbrew installation.

If a module is given the version and location of the module is displayed.



    perlbrew install [options] <perl-release>
    perlbrew install [options] /path/to/perl-5.14.0.tar.gz
    perlbrew install [options] /path/to/perl/git/checkout/dir
    perlbrew install [options]

Build and install the wanted perl. The last argument can be a short string designating a specific version which can be known from the output of "perlbrew available", a path to a pre-downloaded tarball, a path to a git-checkout of perl5 repo, or a URL to a tarball.

The format of <perl-release> looks like:


Version numbers usually look like "5.x.xx", or "perl-5.xx.x-RCx" for release candidates.

Version "stable" is a special token that means whatever the latest stable version is at the moment.

Version "blead" is also a special token that means whatever the latest version in the repository, which is downloaded from this specific URL regardless of mirror settings:

The specified perl is downloaded from the official CPAN website or from the mirror site configured before.

Version number alone without the "perl-" prefix means the official release provided by perl5 porters.

Options for "install" command:

    -f --force     Force installation
    -j $n          Parallel building and testing. ex. C<perlbrew install -j 5 perl-5.14.2>
    -n --notest    Skip testing
       --switch    Automatically switch to this Perl once successfully
                   installed, as if with `perlbrew switch <version>`
       --as        Install the given version of perl by a name.
                   ex. C<perlbrew install perl-5.6.2 --as legacy-perl>
       --noman     Skip installation of manpages
       --thread    Build perl with usethreads enabled
       --multi     Build perl with usemultiplicity enabled
       --64int     Build perl with use64bitint enabled
       --64all     Build perl with use64bitall enabled
       --ld        Build perl with uselongdouble enabled
       --debug     Build perl with DEBUGGING enabled
       --clang     Build perl using the clang compiler
                   Skip calling patchperl
    -D,-U,-A       Switches passed to perl Configure script.
                   ex. C<perlbrew install perl-5.10.1 -D usemymalloc -U versiononly>
    --destdir $path
                   Install perl as per 'make install DESTDIR=$path'
    --sitecustomize $filename
                   Specify a file to be installed as
    --mirror $URL
        Specify a CPAN-mirror URL. The default value of this is ""

By default, all installations are configured after their name like this:

    sh Configure -de -Dprefix=$PERLBREW_ROOT/perls/<name>


Usage: perlbrew install-multiple [options] <perl-version-1> <perl-version-2> ...

Build and install the given versions of perl.

"install-multiple" accepts the same set of options as the command "install" plus the following ones:

    --both $flavor       Where $flavor is one of C<thread>, C<multi>, C<ld>,
                         C<64int>, C<64all>, C<debug> and C<clang>.
                         For every given perl version, install two
                         flavors, one with the flag C<--$flavor> set
                         and the other with out. C<--both> can be
                         passed multiple times with different values
                         and in that case, all the possible
                         combinations are generated.
    --common-variations  equivalent to C<--both thread --both ld --both 64int>
    --all-variations     generates all the possible flavor combinations
    --append $string     Appends the given string to the generated names

For instance:

    perlbrew install-multiple 5.18.0 blead --both thread --both debug

Installs the following perls:


(note that the "multi" flavor is selected automatically because "thread" requires it)

Another example using custom compilation flags:

    perlbrew install-multiple 5.18.0 --both thread -Doptimize='-O3' --append='-O3'


Usage: perlbrew uninstall <name>

Uninstalls the given perl installation. The name is the installation name as in the output of `perlbrew list`. This effectively deletes the specified perl installation, and all libs associated with it.


Usage: perlbrew use [perl-<version> | <version> | <name>]

Use the given version perl in current shell. This will not effect newly opened shells.

Without a parameter, shows the version of perl currently in use.


Usage: perlbrew switch [ <name> ]

Switch to the given version, and makes it the default for this and all future terminal sessions.

Without a parameter, shows the version of perl currently selected.


Usage: perlbrew list

List all perl installations inside perlbrew root specified by $PERLBREW_ROOT environment variable. By default, the value is "~/perl5/perlbrew".

If there are libs associated to some perl installations, they will be included as part of the name. The output items in this list can be the argument in various other commands.


Usage: perlbrew available [--all]

List the recently available versions of perl on CPAN.

By default, the latest sub-version of each stable versions are listed.

To get a list of all perls ever released, inculding development and RC versions, run the command with "--all" option.


Usage: perlbrew off

Temporarily disable perlbrew in the current shell. Effectively re-enables the default system Perl, whatever that is.

This command works only if you add the statement of `source $PERLBREW_ROOT/etc/bashrc` in your shell initialization (bashrc / zshrc).


Usage: perlbrew switch-off

Permananently disable perlbrew. Use "switch" command to re-enable it. Invoke "use" command to enable it only in the current shell.

Re-enables the default system Perl, whatever that is.


Usage: perlbrew alias [-f] create <name> <alias>

    Create an alias for the installation named <name>.

Usage: perlbrew alias [-f] rename <old_alias> <new_alias>

    Rename the alias to a new name.

Usage: perlbrew alias delete <alias>

    Delete the given alias.


Usage: perlbrew exec [options] <command> <args...>

Options for "exec" command:

    --with perl-version,... - only use these versions
    --min n.nnnnn           - minimum perl version
                              (format is the same as in 'use 5.012')
    --max n.nnnnn           - maximum perl version
    --halt-on-error         - stop on first nonzero exit status

Execute command for each perl installations, one by one.

For example, run a Hello program:

    perlbrew exec perl -e 'print "Hello from $]\n"'

The output looks like this:

    Hello word from perl-5.012002
    Hello word from perl-5.013010
    Hello word from perl-5.014000

Notice that the command is not executed in parallel.

When "--with" argument is provided, the command will be only executed with the specified perl installations. The following command install Moose module into perl-5.12, regardless the current perl:

    perlbrew exec --with perl-5.12 cpanm Moose

Multiple installation names can be provided:

    perlbrew exec --with perl-5.12,perl-5.12-debug,perl-5.14.2 cpanm Moo

They are split by either spaces or commas. When spaces are used, it is required to quote the whole specification as one argument, but then commas can be used in the installation names:

    perlbrew exec --with '5.12 5.12,debug 5.14.2@nobita @shizuka' cpanm Moo

As demonstrated above, "perl-" prefix can be omitted, and lib names can be specified too. Lib names can appear without a perl installation name, in such cases it is assumed to be "current perl".

At the moment, any specified names that fails to be resolved as a real installation names are silently ignored in the output. Also, the command exit status are not populated back.


Usage: perlbrew env [ <name> ]

Low-level command. Invoke this command to see the list of environment variables that are set by "perlbrew" itself for shell integration.

The output is something similar to this (if your shell is bash/zsh):

    export PERLBREW_ROOT=/Users/gugod/perl5/perlbrew
    export PERLBREW_VERSION=0.31
    export PERLBREW_PATH=/Users/gugod/perl5/perlbrew/bin:/Users/gugod/perl5/perlbrew/perls/current/bin
    export PERLBREW_PERL=perl-5.14.1

tcsh / csh users should see 'setenv' statements instead of `export`.


Usage: perlbrew symlink-executables [ <name> ]

Low-level command. This command is used to create the "perl" executable symbolic link to, say, "perl5.13.6". This is only required for development version of perls.

You don't need to do this unless you have been using old perlbrew to install perls, and you find yourself confused because the perl that you just installed appears to be missing after invoking `use` or `switch`. perlbrew changes its installation layout since version 0.11, which generates symlinks to executables in a better way.

If you just upgraded perlbrew (from 0.11 or earlier versions) and "perlbrew switch" failed to work after you switch to a development release of perl, say, perl-5.13.6, run this command:

    perlbrew symlink-executables perl-5.13.6

This essentially creates this symlink:

   -> ${PERLBREW_ROOT}/perls/perl-5.13.6/bin/perl5.13.6

Newly installed perls, whether they are development versions or not, does not need manually treatment with this command.


Usage: perlbrew install-cpanm

Install the "cpanm" standalone executable in "$PERLBREW_ROOT/bin".

For more rationale about the existence of this command, read <>

Usage: perlbrew install-cpm

Install the "cpm" standalone executable in "$PERLBREW_ROOT/bin".


Usage: perlbrew install-patchperl

Install the "patchperl" standalone executable in "$PERLBREW_ROOT/bin". This is automatically invoked if your perlbrew installation is done with the installer, but not with cpan.

For more rationale about the existence of this command, read <>


Usage: perlbrew self-upgrade

This command upgrades Perlbrew to its latest version.


Usage: perlbrew self-install

NOTICE: You should not need to run this command in your daily routine.

This command installs perlbrew itself to "$PERLBREW_ROOT/bin". It is intended to be used by the perlbrew installer. However, you could manually do the following to re-install only the "perlbrew" executable:

    curl -o perlbrew
    perl ./perlbrew self-install

It is slightly different from running the perlbrew installer because "patchperl" is not installed in this case.


Usage: perlbrew clean

Removes all previously downloaded Perl tarballs and build directories.


Usage: perlbrew version

Show the version of perlbrew.


Usage: perlbrew lib <action> <lib-name>

    perlbrew lib list
    perlbrew lib create <lib-name>
    perlbrew lib delete <lib-name>

The `lib` command is used to manipulate local::lib roots inside perl installations. Effectively it is similar to `perl -Mlocal::lib=/path/to/lib-name`, but a little bit more than just that.

A lib name can be a short name, containing alphanumeric, like 'awesome', or a full name, prefixed by a perl installation name and a '@' sign, for example, 'perl-5.14.2@awesome'.

Here are some a brief examples to invoke the `lib` command:

    # Create lib perl-5.12.3@shizuka
    perlbrew lib create perl-5.12.3@shizuka
    # Create lib perl-5.14.2@nobita and perl-5.14.2@shizuka
    perlbrew use perl-5.14.2
    perlbrew lib create nobita
    perlbrew lib create shizuka
    # See the list of use/switch targets
    perlbrew list
    # Activate a lib in current shell
    perlbrew use perl-5.12.3@shizuka
    perlbrew use perl-5.14.2@nobita
    perlbrew use perl-5.14.2@shizuka
    # Activate a lib as default
    perlbrew switch perl-5.12.3@shizuka
    perlbrew switch perl-5.14.2@nobita
    perlbrew switch perl-5.14.2@shizuka
    # Delete lib perl-5.14.2@nobita and perl-5.14.2@shizuka
    perlbrew use perl-5.14.2
    perlbrew lib delete nobita
    perlbrew lib delete shizuka
    # Delete lib perl-5.12.3@shizuka
    perlbrew lib delete perl-5.12.3@shizuka

Short lib names are local to current perl. A lib name 'nobita' can refer to 'perl-5.12.3@nobita' or 'perl-5.14.2@nobita', whichever is activated in the current shell.

When "use"ing or "switch"ing to a lib, always provide the long name. A simple rule: the argument to "use" or "switch" command should appear in the output of "perlbrew list".


Usage: perlbrew upgrade-perl

Running this command upgrades the currently activated perl to its latest released brothers. If you have a shell with 5.32.0 activated, it upgrades it to 5.32.1.

Minor Perl releases (ex. 5.x.*) are binary compatible with one another, so this command offers you the ability to upgrade older perlbrew environments in place.


perlbrew download <perl-release>

perlbrew download perl-5.14.2
perlbrew download perl-5.16.1
perlbrew download perl-5.17.3

Download the specified version of perl distribution tarball under the directory "$PERLBREW_ROOT/dists/".

The argument "perl-release" should be one of the items from "perlbrew available" command.


perlbrew list-modules

List all installed cpan modules for the current perl.

This command can be used in conjunction with `perlbrew exec` to migrate your module installation to different perl. The following command re-installs all modules under perl-5.16.0:

    perlbrew list-modules | perlbrew exec --with perl-5.16.0 cpanm

Note that this installs the latest versions of the Perl modules on the new perl, which are not necessarily the same module versions you had installed previously.



    perlbrew clone-modules [options] <destination>
    perlbrew clone-modules [options] <source> <destination>


    --notest    Skip all module tests

This command re-installs all CPAN modules found from one installation to another. For example, this lists all modules under '5.26.1' and re-installs them under '5.27.7':

    perlbrew clone-modules 5.26.1 5.27.7

The argument "source" is optional and defaults to the currently activated one. However if none is activated (perlbrew is switched off), it it an error.

Note that this does not guarantee that the versions of modules stay the same in the destination.



    perlbrew make-shim <program>
    perlbrew make-shim -o <shim-name> <program>
    perlbrew make-shim --output <shim-name> <program>

This commands produce an executable file under current directory named "program", or "shim-name" if given after "--output" (or "-o" for short). The output is a shell-wrapper, a shim, of the named program inside current perlbrew environment.

When the shim is executed, the original "program" is then executed with all relevant environment variable set to the perlbrew environment it is installed in, regardless which perlbrew environment is currently activated. The shim can also be moved to different directories and, such as the conventional "~/.local/bin", so it is always available.

For example, you may find "tldr" from App::tldr a handy tool and decide to install it inside your daily working environment:

    perlbrew use perl-5.36.1
    cpm install -g App::tldr

But when you occasionally have to switch to a different environment, "PATH" would be tweaked and the command "tldr" would went missing, and that is the expected outcome:

    perlbrew use perl-5.18.4
    tldr perl  #=> error: command not found

It would be nice if "tldr" can be made universally available. One way to mitigate such needs is to prepare install the "tldr" program outside of "PERLBREW_ROOT", while still utilize perlbrew environment to run it.

For example, prepare a conventional directory "~/.local/bin" and put that in "PATH", then:

    perlbrew use perl-5.36.1
    cd /tmp
    perlbrew make-shim tldr
    mv /tmp/tldr ~/.local/bin/tldr

This "~/.local/bin/tldr" is a shell-wrapper of the actual "tldr" program, and it internally activates the perlbrew environment "perl-5.36.1". Running the tldr shim will then always run the actual "tldr", no matter which perlbrew environment is activated, or even if perlbrew is turned off. The only requirements is that the perlbrew environment "perl-5.36.1" and the installation of "App::tldr" has to remain.



    perlbrew make-pp <program>
    perlbrew make-pp -o <name> <program>
    perlbrew make-pp --output <name> <program>

This commands produce an executable file under current directory named "program", or "name" if given after "--output" (or "-o" for short). The output is a PAR-packed version of the named program inside current perlbrew environment.

This requires the current perlbrew environment to have PAR and PAR::Packer installed first. Otherwise "make-pp" bails out. In addition, if current perl is not a perlbrew-managed perl, <make-pp> also bails out.

The produced file is a standalone binary executable containing these content:

    1. The named program
    2. perl runtime
    3. all core perl libs of current perl
    4. the entire site lib
    5. the entire local lib (managed by `perlbrew lib` command), if active.

It is expected that the executable can then be running on a different machine of the same OS and arch.

Noted that this approach is the maximum overkill for packing one program as it'll be definitely packaing a lot more then the exact list of runtime dependencies of the named program. "make-pp" is meant for a lazy solution for a non-trivial problem of perfectly determing the runtime dependencies of an arbitarary program.


App::perlbrew, App::cpanminus, Devel::PatchPerl

2024-03-08 perl v5.40.0