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Programming Perl, 3rd Edition by Jon Orwant, Tom Christiansen, Larry Wall

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Using CPAN Modules

Most modules that you'll find on CPAN are in "tarball" form. That is, they have a file extension ending in .tar.gz, and expand into a directory with the module code and any auxiliary files, usually including a README and a Makefile.PL file.

There are four steps for making CPAN modules available to your programs: decompression, unpacking, building, and installation. How each of those steps work depend on your operating system and the module being installed, so we can't give you a foolproof recipe that will work all the time. When in doubt, read the README and INSTALL files that were hopefully distributed with the module. Also read the perlmodinstall manpage.

But you may never have to think about the installation procedure if you use the CPAN module (bundled with the Perl distribution) or PPM (the Perl Package Manager, bundled with the ActiveState distribution of Perl). To use the CPAN module (not to be confused with CPAN itself), type:

% perl -MCPAN -e "shell"

at your command line to begin the configuration process. After you've answered a variety of questions about how you'd like to retrieve files, you can install a module by typing:

install Some::Module

in the CPAN module's shell, or by typing:

% perl -MCPAN -e "install 'Some::Module'"

from your normal command line.

If you don't have the convenience of either the CPAN module or PPM, you'll need to go through the steps in the following sections by hand. Instructions are provided for Unix, Windows, and Macintosh; ...

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