Scroll to navigation

cpanfile(3) User Contributed Perl Documentation cpanfile(3)


cpanfile - A format for describing CPAN dependencies for Perl applications


  requires 'Plack', '1.0'; # 1.0 or newer
  requires 'JSON', '>= 2.00, < 2.80';
  recommends 'JSON::XS', '2.0';
  conflicts 'JSON', '< 1.0';
  on 'test' => sub {
    requires 'Test::More', '>= 0.96, < 2.0';
    recommends 'Test::TCP', '1.12';
  on 'develop' => sub {
    recommends 'Devel::NYTProf';
  feature 'sqlite', 'SQLite support' => sub {
    recommends 'DBD::SQLite';


This document describes cpanfile format version 1.0.


"cpanfile" describes CPAN dependencies required to execute associated Perl code.


  requires $module, $version_requirement;

Describes the requirement for a module. See CPAN::Meta::Spec for the meanings of each requirement type.

When version requirement is omitted, it is assumed that 0 is passed, meaning any version of the module would satisfy the requirement.

Version requirement can either be a version number or a string that satisfies "Version Ranges" in CPAN::Meta::Spec, such as >= 1.0, != 1.1.

Note that, per CPAN::Meta::Spec, when a plain version number is given, it means the version or newer is required. If you want a specific version for a module, use the specific range syntax, i.e. " == 2.1 ".

  on $phase => sub { ... };

Describe requirements for a specific phase. Available phases are "configure", "build", "test", "runtime" and "develop".

  feature $identifier, $description => sub { ... };

Group requirements with features. Description can be omitted, when it is assumed to be the same as identifier. See "optional_features" in CPAN::Meta::Spec for more details.

  configure_requires $module, $version;
  # on 'configure' => sub { requires $module, $version }
  build_requires $module, $version;
  # on 'build' => sub { requires $module, $version };
  test_requires $module, $version;
  # on 'test' => sub { requires $module, $version };
  author_requires $module, $version;
  # on 'develop' => sub { requires $module, $version };

Shortcut for "requires" in specific phase. This is mainly provided for compatibilities with Module::Install DSL.


"cpanfile" is a format to describe dependencies. How to use this file is dependent on the tools reading/writing it.

Usually, you're expected to place the "cpanfile" in the root of the directory containing the associated code.

Tools supporting "cpanfile" format (e.g. cpanm and carton) will automatically detect the file and install dependencies for the code to run.

There are also tools to support converting cpanfile to CPAN toolchain compatible formats, such as Module::CPANfile, Dist::Zilla::Plugin::Prereqs::FromCPANfile, Module::Install::CPANfile, so that "cpanfile" can be used to describe dependencies for a CPAN distribution as well.

The cpanfile-dump tool can be used to dump dependencies.


Tatsuhiko Miyagawa


The format (DSL syntax) is inspired by Module::Install and Module::Build::Functions.

"cpanfile" specification (this document) is based on Ruby's Gemfile <> specification.


CPAN::Meta::Spec Module::Install Carton

2018-04-27 perl v5.38.2