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githook-perltidy - run perltidy before Git commits


1.0.1 (2022-10-14)


    githook-perltidy COMMAND [OPTIONS...]


githook-perltidy is a script designed to run from a Git pre-commit hook. It ensures that your Perl files are always cleanly commited with Perl::Tidy (or Perl::Tidy::Sweetened). The script can also call Perl::Critic and Pod::Tidy if you want.

This script is is efficient: it only modifies files that are being committed and not every file in your repository. It also tries its hardest to be safe: tidying is performed in a temporary location so that your own working files are not left in a bad state in the event of failure.

Repository Setup

Before you can use githook-perltidy you need to make sure everyone working on your code uses the the same Perl::Tidy and (probably) Pod::Tidy options:

    $ perltidy -b -w -dop | grep -v dump-options > .perltidyrc
    $ echo '--columns 72' > .podtidy-opts
    $ echo '^\.perltidyrc' >> MANIFEST.SKIP
    $ echo '^\.podtidy-opts' >> MANIFEST.SKIP
    $ git add .perltidyrc .podtidy-opts MANIFEST.SKIP
    $ git commit -m 'githook-perltidy support' && git push

You should also add App::githook::perltidy as an explicit "develop" dependency in your cpanfile, Makefile.PL or Build.PL, so that githook-perltidy gets installed when developers install the rest of your project's dependencies.

        # For example in your cpanfile:
        on develop => sub {
                requires 'App::githook::perltidy' => 0;

Sweeter Tidying

You may prefer to tidy with Perl::Tidy::Sweetened instead of plain Perl::Tidy. To enable that you commit a .perltidyrc.sweetened file instead of .perltidyrc. If you use this feature you will want to add Perl::Tidy::Sweetened as an explicit "develop" dependency in your cpanfile, Makefile.PL or Build.PL.

Critical Checks

You may additionally wish to have Perl::Critic run against your commits. To enable that you simply commit a .perlcriticrc file to the repository. If you use this feature you will want to add Perl::Critic as an explicit "develop" dependency in your cpanfile, Makefile.PL or Build.PL.


githook-perltidy also has an automatic README-from-POD feature. To enable it you create and commit a file called .readme_from containing the name of the POD source file:

    $ echo 'lib/Your/' > .readme_from
    $ echo '^\.readme_from' >> MANIFEST.SKIP
    $ git add .readme_from MANIFEST.SKIP
    $ git commit -m 'githook-perltidy readme_from' && git push

With the above in place the README file will be updated (and potentially committed) whenever lib/Your/ is committed.

githook-perltidy install [--force, -f] [--absolute, -a]

Anyone making commits in your repository should ensure that githook-perltidy runs before the Git commit completes. The install command is used to create a pre-commit file in the $GIT_DIR/hooks/ directory. It must be run from the top-level directory of your repository.

    $ githook-perltidy install
    $ cat .git/hooks/pre-commit
        if [ "$NO_GITHOOK_PERLTIDY" != "1" ]; then
                PERL5LIB="" githook-perltidy pre-commit

The install command fails if there is no .perltidyrc or .perltidyrc.sweetened file in the repository or if the hooks directory isn't found. It will also fail if the Git pre-commit file already exists, unless --force is used to replace it.

By default the hook finds githook-perltidy via $PATH. If regular changes to your PATH (e.g. due to perlbrew, local::lib, etc) break that, you may wish to do an --absolute install instead to use the full path. However, be aware that upgrading your system perl and/or githook-perltidy might invalidate that, requiring you to reinstall the hook to make it work again. Ideally you would install githook-perltidy in a system-wide location (e.g. /usr/local/bin) that doesn't change and does not depend on particular PERL5LIB.

githook-perltidy pre-commit

The pre-commit command loops through the Git index, checking out files to a temporary working directory. Then on each file that looks like a Perl or Pod file it:

  • Runs perlcritic if .perlcriticrc exists (for a Perl file)

  • Runs perltidy (or perltidy-sweet) (for a Perl file)

  • Runs podtidy if .podtidy-opts exists (for a Perl or Pod file)

  • Updates the Git index with the tidied file.

  • Creates a new README file using Pod::Text if the tidied file matches .readme_from. The README file gets committed if it is already being tracked by Git.

  • Runs perltidy and/or podtidy on your working tree file. This prevents git diff from displaying an eroneous diff.

Any error stops the script (and therefore the commit) immediately. Any successful cleanups to the index and working tree up until that point remain in place.

This command fails if there is no .perltidyrc or .perltidyrc.sweetened file in the repository.


--help, -h

Print the full usage message and exit.

--verbose, -v

Print underlying Git commands or filesystem actions as they are run.

--version, -V

Print the version and exit.


There are two ways in which githook-perltidy behaviour may affect your existing workflow.

  • If you are accustomed to commiting changes to files which are still open in your editor, your editor may complain that the underlying file has changed on disk. Possibily your editor doesn't even detect the change and your next write will not be 'tidy'.

  • Aborting a commit with an empty commit message or via a later command in the pre-commit hook will still result in changed (tidied) files on disk and in the index.

Previous versions of githook-perltidy made use of a Git post-commit hook. If that hook is still in place you will receive an usage error message after you commit. The post-commit call to githook-perltidy (or possibly even the entire hook) can be removed.



Perl::Tidy options file.


Perl::Tidy::Sweetened options file. Conflicts with .perltidyrc.


Pod::Tidy options file. This is githook-perltidy specific.


Perl::Critic options file.


Contains name of POD file to convert to a text README file. This is githook-perltidy specific.



Setting this to 1 makes the githook-perltidy pre-commit command a no-op. Useful if you want to make a non-tidy commit.


This tool is managed via github:


githooks(5), perltidy(1), podtidy(1), perlcritic(1)


Mark Lawrence <>


Copyright 2011-2022 Mark Lawrence <>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.