ExtUtils::Packlist - manage .packlist files


   use ExtUtils::Packlist;
   my ($pl) = ExtUtils::Packlist->new('.packlist');
   my @missing_files = $pl->validate();

   $pl->{'/some/other/file/name'} = { type => 'file',
                                      from => '/some/file' };


ExtUtils::Packlist provides a standard way to manage .packlist files. Functions are provided to read and write .packlist files. The original .packlist format is a simple list of absolute pathnames, one per line. In addition, this package supports an extended format, where as well as a filename each line may contain a list of attributes in the form of a space separated list of key=value pairs. This is used by the installperl script to differentiate between files and links, for example.


The hash reference returned by the new() function can be used to examine and modify the contents of the .packlist. Items may be added/deleted from the .packlist by modifying the hash. If the value associated with a hash key is a scalar, the entry written to the .packlist by any subsequent write() will be a simple filename. If the value is a hash, the entry written will be the filename followed by the key=value pairs from the hash. Reading back the .packlist will recreate the original entries.



This takes an optional parameter, the name of a .packlist. If the file exists, it will be opened and the contents of the file will be read. The new() method returns a reference to a hash. This hash holds an entry for each line in the .packlist. In the case of old-style .packlists, the value associated with each key is undef. In the case of new-style .packlists, the value associated with each key is a hash containing the key=value pairs following the filename in the .packlist.


This takes an optional parameter, the name of the .packlist to be read. If no file is specified, the .packlist specified to new() will be read. If the .packlist does not exist, Carp::croak will be called.


This takes an optional parameter, the name of the .packlist to be written. If no file is specified, the .packlist specified to new() will be overwritten.


This checks that every file listed in the .packlist actually exists. If an argument which evaluates to true is given, any missing files will be removed from the internal hash. The return value is a list of the missing files, which will be empty if they all exist.


This returns the name of the associated .packlist file


Here's modrm, a little utility to cleanly remove an installed module.

    #!/usr/local/bin/perl -w

    use strict;
    use IO::Dir;
    use ExtUtils::Packlist;
    use ExtUtils::Installed;

    sub emptydir($) {
        my ($dir) = @_;
        my $dh = IO::Dir->new($dir) || return(0);
        my @count = $dh->read();
        return(@count == 2 ? 1 : 0);

    # Find all the installed packages
    print("Finding all installed modules...\n");
    my $installed = ExtUtils::Installed->new();

    foreach my $module (grep(!/^Perl$/, $installed->modules())) {
       my $version = $installed->version($module) || "???";
       print("Found module $module Version $version\n");
       print("Do you want to delete $module? [n] ");
       my $r = <STDIN>; chomp($r);
       if ($r && $r =~ /^y/i) {
          # Remove all the files
          foreach my $file (sort($installed->files($module))) {
             print("rm $file\n");
          my $pf = $installed->packlist($module)->packlist_file();
          print("rm $pf\n");
          foreach my $dir (sort($installed->directory_tree($module))) {
             if (emptydir($dir)) {
                print("rmdir $dir\n");


Alan Burlison <>


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

Return to the Perl Documentation Index.
Return to the Perl Home Page.