release - give your Perl distros to the world


        release [OPTIONS] [ LOCAL_FILE [ REMOTE_FILE ] ]

        # print a help message and exit
        release -h

        # try a dry run without uploading anything
        release -t

        # skip dist while checking
        release -D

        # skip kwalitee testing (e.g. a script distro)
        release -k

        # print debugging information
        release -d

        # print release number and exit
        release -v

        # set $ENV{AUTOMATED_TESTING} to a true value
        release -a


This is the prototype program for using Module::Release. You should modify it to fit your needs. If it doesn't do what you want, you can change it however you like. This is how I like to release my modules, and I'm happy to add features that do not get in my way. Beyond that, you should write your own script to match your process.

This program automates Perl module releases. It makes the distribution, tests it, checks that source control is up to date, tags source control, and uploads it to the PAUSE.

By default this script assumes that you use Git as your source control and relies mostly on Module::Release::Git, which is an external module. This distributes Module::Release::SVN, but I haven't touched that in years. There's still some code for CVS that I should probably rip out.


The release script checks many things before it actually releases the file. Some of these are annoying, but they are also the last line of defense against releasing bad distributions.

Read the configuration data

Look in the current working directory for .releaserc. See the Configuration section. If release cannot find the configuration file, it dies.

Various sanity checks

These are related to various mistakes I've made at some point.

        * am I allowed to release from this branch (so, not an experimental branch)
        * have I listed all the prereqs?
        * is the version greater than what I've already released?
Test and make the distribution

Run make realclean, perl Makefile.PL, make test, make dist, make disttest. If testing fails, release dies. make dist provides the name of the distribution if LOCAL_FILE is not provided on the command line. Too test the distribution against several perl binaries, see the perls configuration setting.

Check that source control is up-to-date

If there are modified files, added files, or extra files so that source control complains, fail.

Upload to PAUSE

This program used to use FTP uploads, but PAUSE has turned off that feature. Now it uploads through the web form.

Tag the repository

Use the version number (in the distribution name) to tag the repository. You should be able to checkout the code from any release.

Command-line switches


Set $ENV{AUTOMATED_TESTING} to true. You can also set automated_testing in the configuration file.


Show debugging information


Print a help message then exit


Skip the kwalitee checks. You can also set the skip_kwalitee directive to a true value in the configuration file.

Have you considered just fixing the kwalitee though? :)


Skip the prereq checks. You can also set the skip_prereqs directive to a true value in the configuration file.

Have you considered just fixing the prereqs though? :)


Run all checks then stop. Do not change any files or upload the distribution.


Skip the tests. This is useful when you just want to upload.


Print the program name and version then exit


Skip the version check against CPAN


The release script uses a configuration file in the current working directory. The file name is .releaserc.

release's own .releaserc looks like this:

    cpan_user BDFOY

If you would like to test with multiple perl binaries (version 1.21 and later), list them as a colon-separated list in the perls setting:

        perls /usr/local/bin/perl5.6.2:/usr/local/bin/perl5.10.0

release does not test the perls in any particular order.


If true, expand globs in the perls configuration.

Default: 0


A comma-separated list of literal branch names that are allowed to release (requires Module::Release::Git 1.016).


A Perl pattern to match version control branches that are allowed to release (requires Module::Release::Git 1.016).


Set automated_testing to the value you want for the $ENV{AUTOMATED_TESTING} setting. By default this is 0, so testing is started in interactive mode.


A sprintf format for the message when release commits its changes. So far this takes one %s placeholder for the module version (requires Module::Release::Git 1.016).


The PAUSE user


A colon-separated list of perls to test with. If allow_glob_in_perls is a true value, globs in paths will expand to their paths so you can specify many perls.

Default: the perl that's running release.


DEPRECATED AND REMOVED. You should really just write your own release script. Fork this one even!


An optional list of comma-separated modules that are required to be available. These are checked before building Makefile.

 required DBI,Text::CSV_XS,SQL::Statement

A list like this can be handy when testing against a lot of perl versions (see perls above) in which some do and some do not have all required modules installed. Another good reason to have this is when testing against optional modules.


Set to a false value to skip kwalitee checks (such as for a script distribution with no modules in it).


Set skip_prereqs to 1 if you don't want to run the Test::Prereq checks. By default this is 0 and release will try to check prerequisites.



    Module::Release doesn't do anything with this other than set it for Test::Harness.


    release reads the CPAN_PASS environment variable to set the password for PAUSE. Of course, you don't need to set the password for a system you're not uploading to.


    The RELEASE_DEBUG environment variable sets the debugging value, which is 0 by default. Set RELEASE_DEBUG to a true value to get debugging output.

  • PERL

    The PERL environment variable sets the path to perl for use in the make; otherwise, the perl used to run release will be used.


    A string representing options to add to the command line.


  • break out functional groups into modules.

  • more plugins!


This source is in GitHub as part of the Module::Release project:


brian d foy, <>


Copyright © 2002-2021, brian d foy <>. All rights reserved.

You may use this software under the same terms as Perl itself.


Ken Williams turned the original release(1) script into a module.

Andy Lester contributed to the module and script.

H. Merijn Brand submitted patches to work with 5.005 and to create the automated_testing and required features.