Module::Build::SysPath - install files to system folders according to FHS (or Sys::Path settings)


    use Module::Build::SysPath;
    my $builder = Module::Build::SysPath->new(


A subclass of Module::Build using Sys::Path to determine the system folders. Help in task of installing files into system folders and keeping the option to work in local distribution files while developing the module.

See Acme::SysPath for example usage of a module that needs a configuration and a folder to store templates in.



    module-starter --builder=Module::Build --module=Acme::NewModule --author="Pod" --email=pod@pod
    cd Acme-NewModule/
    perl -lane 's/Module::Build-/Module::Build::SysPath-/; print $_;' -i Build.PL 
    vim Build.PL
    # s/Module::Build-/Module::Build::SysPath-/
    # add "configure_requires => { 'Module::Build::SysPath' => 0.10 },"
    # add "Module::Build::SysPath' => 0.10," to build_requires


copy and add it to your source tree. Clean up the paths that you don't need. Local distribution folder names can be changed to anyones taste. For example:

    sub sysconfdir { File::Spec->catdir(__PACKAGE__->prefix, 'conf') };

'conf' is the name of a folder with conffiles. All file put to this folder will be installed to Sys::Path->sysconfdir().

use the

Calling Acme::NewModule::SPc->sysconfdir before the distribution is installed will return path to the 'conf' folder in the distribution root folder. Calling it after install the distribution will return Sys::Path->sysconfdir().


See Acme::SysPath for a really simple, Test::Daily for a real world example.



    $builder->{'properties'}->{$path_type.'_files'} = ...;
    $builder->{'properties'}->{'install_path'}->{$path_type} = ...;

To install files located in:


Folders in:


are skipped during the installation. Add .exists to this folders if you want them to be created during `./Build install`.

Configuration files get a special (Debian like) treatment. All files in sysconfdir and all files specified as $builder->{'properties'}->{'conffiles'} are configuration files. Using "install_checksums" in Sys::Path the c<conffile>s checksums are tracked. Here are the model situations:

conffile was never installed jet

The file is just copied in place (to sysconfdir) as it is. MD5 is recorded.

distribution ships new version, no change in system

The distribution changed the conffile (for example by adding new values), but the conffile was untouched in the system. Then the new version from distribution replaces the one in the system.

distribution conffile wasn't changed, conffile changed in system

Already installed distribution is getting upgrade. Distribution conffiles form installed and the new version didn't change. But the conffile was changed in the system. No prompt and the conffile is kept intact.

distribution conffile change, conffile changed in system

Already installed distribution is getting upgrade. When both the distribution changed the conffile and the conffile was changed in the system. User will be prompted what to do:

    Installing new version of config file /etc/SOMEFILE ...
    Configuration file `/etc/SOMEFILE'
     ==> Modified (by you or by a script) since installation.
     ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
       What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
        Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
        N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
          D     : show the differences between the versions
          Z     : background this process to examine the situation
     The default action is to keep your current version.
    *** /etc/SOMEFILE (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) ?

If N or O is selected distribution files is installed with -spc suffix. If Y or I is selected the system conffile is renamed by adding suffix -old and distribution conffile is installed.


This action is responsible for renaming files, replacing paths to systems once from Sys::Path. Also makes files writable (chmod 0644). And stores the checksums of conffiles.


Jozef Kutej, <jkutej at>


The following people have contributed to the Sys::Path by commiting their code, sending patches, reporting bugs, asking questions, suggesting useful advices, nitpicking, chatting on IRC or commenting on my blog (in no particular order):

    Lars Dɪᴇᴄᴋᴏᴡ 迪拉斯
    Emmanuel Rodriguez
    Slaven Rezić


Copyright 2009 Jozef Kutej, all rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.