Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) is a collection of Perl modules and documentation.

Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) is a code and documentation archive of over 100,000 Perl modules across more than 25,000 distributions written by more than 10,000 authors.

CPAN has been online since October 1995 and is constantly growing. CPAN's main purpose is to provide a distributed repository for Perl programmers to locate, install, and share open source modules and code snippets.

Installable files on the CPAN are known as distributions. A distribution consists of one or more modules, documentation files, or scripts. Distributions are typically packaged with an install script called Makefile.PL or Build.PL.


CPAN Installation tools for end users

  • CPAN - the classic CPAN command line install shell
  • CPANPLUS - an updated API and command line interface to CPAN intended to be more scriptable
  • cpanminus - a faster and more concise CPAN installer
  • CPAN::Mini - create a minimal mirror of CPAN


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