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pp - PAR Packager


pp [ -ABCEFILMPTSVXacdefghilmnoprsuvxz ] [ parfile | scriptfile ]...


Note: When running on Microsoft Windows, the a.out below will be replaced by a.exe instead.

    % pp               # Pack '' into executable 'a.out'
    % pp -o hello      # Pack '' into executable 'hello'
                                # (or 'hello.exe' on Win32)

    % pp -o foo   # Pack '' and '' into 'foo'
    % ./foo                     # Run '' inside 'foo'
    % mv foo bar; ./bar         # Run '' inside 'foo'
    % mv bar baz; ./baz         # Error: Can't open perl script "baz"

    % pp -p file                # Creates a PAR file, 'a.par'
    % pp -o hello a.par         # Pack 'a.par' to executable 'hello'
    % pp -S -o hello file       # Combine the two steps above

    % pp -p -o out.par file     # Creates 'out.par' from 'file'
    % pp -B -p -o out.par file  # same as above, but bundles core modules
                                # and removes any local paths from @INC
    % pp -P -o file      # Creates '' from 'file'
    % pp -B -p -o file   # same as above, but bundles core modules
                                # and removes any local paths from @INC
                                # (-B is assumed when making executables)

    % pp -e "print 123"         # Pack a one-liner into 'a.out'
    % pp -p -e "print 123"      # Creates a PAR file 'a.par'
    % pp -P -e "print 123"      # Creates a perl script ''

    % pp -c hello               # Check dependencies from "perl -c hello"
    % pp -x hello               # Check dependencies from "perl hello"
    % pp -n -x hello            # same as above, but skips static scanning

    % pp -I /foo hello          # Extra include paths
    % pp -M Foo::Bar hello      # Extra modules in the include path
    % pp -M hello     # Extra libraries in the include path
    % pp -X Foo::Bar hello      # Exclude modules
    % pp -a data.txt hello      # Additional data files

    % pp -r hello               # Pack 'hello' into 'a.out', runs 'a.out'
    % pp -r hello a b c         # Pack 'hello' into 'a.out', runs 'a.out'
                                # with arguments 'a b c'

    % pp hello --log=c          # Pack 'hello' into 'a.out', logs
                                # messages into 'c'

    # Pack 'hello' into a console-less 'out.exe' (Win32 only)
    % pp --gui -o out.exe hello

    % pp @file         # Pack '' but read _additional_
                                # options from file 'file'


pp creates standalone executables from Perl programs, using the compressed packager provided by PAR, and dependency detection heuristics offered by Module::ScanDeps. Source files are compressed verbatim without compilation.

You may think of pp as "perlcc that works without hassle". :-)

A GUI interface is also available as the tkpp command.

It does not provide the compilation-step acceleration provided by perlcc (however, see -f below for byte-compiled, source-hiding techniques), but makes up for it with better reliability, smaller executable size, and full retrieval of original source code.

When a single input program is specified, the resulting executable will behave identically as that program. However, when multiple programs are packaged, the produced executable will run the one that has the same basename as $0 (i.e. the filename used to invoke it). If nothing matches, it dies with the error Can't open perl script "$0".


Options are available in a short form and a long form. For example, the three lines below are all equivalent:

    % pp -o output.exe
    % pp --output output.exe
    % pp --output=output.exe

Since the command lines can become sufficiently long to reach the limits imposed by some shells, it is possible to have pp read some of its options from one or more text files. The basic usage is to just include an argument starting with an 'at' (@) sigil. This argument will be interpreted as a file to read options from. Mixing ordinary options and @file options is possible. This is implemented using the Getopt::ArgvFile module, so read its documentation for advanced usage. Note that Getopt::ArgvFile is used here with parameter resolveEnvVars=1, i.e. substrings of the form ${FOO} in the contents of @file are replaced with the value of environment variable FOO.

-a, --addfile=FILE|DIR

Add an extra file into the package. If the file is a directory, recursively add all files inside that directory, with links turned into actual files.

By default, files are placed under / inside the package with their original names. You may override this by appending the target filename after a ;, like this:

    % pp -a "old_filename.txt;new_filename.txt"
    % pp -a "old_dirname;new_dirname"

You may specify -a multiple times.

-A, --addlist=FILE

Read a list of file/directory names from FILE, adding them into the package. Each line in FILE is taken as an argument to -a above.

You may specify -A multiple times.

-B, --bundle

Bundle core modules in the resulting package. This option is enabled by default, except when -p or -P is specified.

Since PAR version 0.953, this also strips any local paths from the list of module search paths @INC before running the contained script.

-C, --clean

Clean up temporary files extracted from the application at runtime. By default, these files are cached in the temporary directory; this allows the program to start up faster next time.

-c, --compile

Run perl -c inputfile to determine additional run-time dependencies.

-cd, --cachedeps=FILE

Use FILE to cache detected dependencies. Creates FILE unless present. This will speed up the scanning process on subsequent runs.

-d, --dependent

Reduce the executable size by not including a copy of perl interpreter. Executables built this way will need a separate perl5x.dll or to function correctly. This option is only available if perl is built as a shared library.

-e, --eval=STRING

Package a one-liner, much the same as perl -e '...'

-E, --evalfeature=STRING

Behaves just like -e, except that it implicitly enables all optional features (in the main compilation unit) with Perl 5.10 and later. See feature.

-x, --execute

Run perl inputfile to determine additional run-time dependencies.

Using this option, pp may be able to detect the use of modules that can't be determined by static analysis of inputfile. Examples are stuff loaded by run-time loaders like Module::Runtime or "plugin" loaders like Module::Loader. Note that which modules are detected depends on which parts of your program are exercised when running inputfile. E.g. if your program immediately terminates when run as perl inputfile because it lacks mandatory arguments, then this option will probably have no effect. You may use --xargs to supply arguments in this case.


If -x is given, splits the STRING using the function shellwords from Text::ParseWords and passes the result as @ARGV when running perl inputfile.

-X, --exclude=MODULE

Exclude the given module from the dependency search path and from the package. If the given file is a zip or par or par executable, all the files in the given file (except MANIFEST, META.yml and script/*) will be excluded and the output file will "use" the given file at runtime.

-f, --filter=FILTER

Filter source script(s) with a PAR::Filter subclass. You may specify multiple such filters.

If you wish to hide the source code from casual prying, this will do:

    % pp -f Bleach

If you are more serious about hiding your source code, you should have a look at Steve Hay's PAR::Filter::Crypto module. Make sure you understand the Filter::Crypto caveats!

Note: Most filters are incompatible with __DATA__ sections in your source. The packed executable typically aborts with an error message like

  readline() on unopened filehandle DATA at (eval 13) line 3.
-g, --gui

Build an executable that does not have a console window. This option is ignored on non-MSWin32 platforms or when -p is specified.

-h, --help

Show basic usage information.

-I, --lib=DIR

Add the given directory to the perl module search path. May be specified multiple times.

-l, --link=FILE|LIBRARY

Add the given shared library (a.k.a. shared object or DLL) into the packed file. Also accepts names under library paths; i.e. -l ncurses means the same thing as -l or -l /usr/local/lib/ in most Unixes. May be specified multiple times.

-L, --log=FILE

Log the output of packaging to a file rather than to stdout.

-F, --modfilter=FILTER[=REGEX],

Filter included perl module(s) with a PAR::Filter subclass. You may specify multiple such filters.

By default, the PodStrip filter is applied. In case that causes trouble, you can turn this off by setting the environment variable PAR_VERBATIM to 1.

Since PAR 0.958, you can use an optional regular expression (REGEX above) to select the files in the archive which should be filtered. The regular expression is matched against module names as they would appear as keys in %INC, e.g. Foo/ for module Foo::Bar. Examples:

  pp -o foo.exe -F 'Bleach=warnings\.pm$'

This creates a binary executable foo.exe from packaging all files as usual except for files ending in which are filtered with PAR::Filter::Bleach.

  pp -o foo.exe -F 'Bleach=^(?!Win32/)'

This "bleaches" all modules except those in the Win32:: namespace.

Note: The same restriction on __DATA__ sections holds as for --filter.

-M, --module=MODULE

Add the specified module into the package, along with its dependencies.

The following variants may be used to add whole module namespaces:

-M Foo::**

Add every module in the Foo namespace except Foo itself, i.e. add Foo::Bar, Foo::Bar::Quux etc up to any depth.

-M Foo::*

Add every module at level 1 in the Foo namespace, i.e. add Foo::Bar, but neither Foo::Bar::Quux nor Foo.

-M Foo::

Shorthand for -M Foo -M Foo:**: every module in the Foo namespace including Foo itself.

Instead of a module name, MODULE may also be specified as a filename relative to the @INC path, i.e. -M Module/ means the same thing as -M Module::ScanDeps.

If MODULE has an extension that is not .pm/.ix/.al, it will not be scanned for dependencies, and will be placed under / instead of /lib/ inside the PAR file. This use is deprecated -- consider using the -a option instead.

You may specify -M multiple times.

-m, --multiarch

Build a multi-architecture PAR file. Implies -p.

-n, --noscan

Skip the default static scanning altogether, using run-time dependencies from -c or -x exclusively.

-N, --namespace=NAMESPACE

Add all modules in the namespace into the package, along with their dependencies. If NAMESPACE is something like Foo::Bar then this will add all modules Foo/Bar/, Foo/Bar/Fred/ etc that can be located in your module search path. It mimics the behaviour of "plugin" loaders like Module::Loader.

This is different from using -M Foo::Bar::, as the latter insists on adding Foo/ which might not exist in the above "plugin" scenario.

You may specify -N multiple times.

-o, --output=FILE

File name for the final packaged executable.

-p, --par

Create PAR archives only; do not package to a standalone binary.

-P, --perlscript

Create stand-alone perl script; do not package to a standalone binary.

-r, --run

Run the resulting packaged script after packaging it.



Make the packaged executable reusable for running arbitrary, external Perl scripts as if they were part of the package:

  pp -o myapp --reusable
  ./myapp --par-options --reuse

The second line will run instead of

-S, --save

Do not delete generated PAR file after packaging.

-s, --sign

Cryptographically sign the generated PAR or binary file using Module::Signature.

-T, --tempcache

Set the program unique part of the cache directory name that is used if the program is run without -C. If not set, a hash of the executable is used.

When the program is run, its contents are extracted to a temporary directory. On Unix systems, this is commonly /tmp/par-USER/cache-XXXXXXX. USER is replaced by the name of the user running the program, but "spelled" in hex. XXXXXXX is either a hash of the executable or the value passed to the -T or --tempcache switch.

-u, --unicode

Note: This option is ignored for Perl 5.32 and above.

Package Unicode support (essentially and everything below the directory unicore in your perl library).

This option exists because it is impossible to detect using static analysis whether your program needs Unicode support at runtime. (Note: If your program contains use utf8 this does not imply it needs Unicode support. It merely says that your program source is written in UTF-8.)

If your packed program exits with an error message like

  Can't locate in @INC (@INC contains: ...)

try to pack it with -u (or use -x).

-v, --verbose[=NUMBER]

Increase verbosity of output; NUMBER is an integer from 1 to 3, 3 being the most verbose. Defaults to 1 if specified without an argument. Alternatively, -vv sets verbose level to 2, and -vvv sets it to 3.

-V, --version

Display the version number and copyrights of this program.

-z, --compress=NUMBER

Set zip compression level; NUMBER is an integer from 0 to 9, 0 = no compression, 9 = max compression. Defaults to 6 if -z is not used.



Command-line options (switches). Switches in this variable are taken as if they were on every pp command line.


Here are some recipes showing how to utilize pp to bundle with all its dependencies, on target machines with different expected settings:

Stone-alone setup:

To make a stand-alone executable, suitable for running on a machine that doesn't have perl installed:

    % pp -o packed.exe        # makes packed.exe
    # Now, deploy 'packed.exe' to target machine...
    $ packed.exe                        # run it
Perl interpreter only, without core modules:

To make a packed .pl file including core modules, suitable for running on a machine that has a perl interpreter, but where you want to be sure of the versions of the core modules that your program uses:

    % pp -B -P -o   # makes
    # Now, deploy '' to target machine...
    $ perl                    # run it
Perl with core modules installed:

To make a packed .pl file without core modules, relying on the target machine's perl interpreter and its core libraries. This produces a significantly smaller file than the previous version:

    % pp -P -o      # makes
    # Now, deploy '' to target machine...
    $ perl                    # run it
Perl with and its dependencies installed:

Make a separate archive and executable that uses the archive. This relies upon the perl interpreter and libraries on the target machine.

    % pp -p                   # makes source.par
    % echo "use PAR 'source.par';" >;
    % cat >>;       # makes
    # Now, deploy 'source.par' and '' to target machine...
    $ perl                    # run it, perl + core modules required

Note that even if your perl was built with a shared library, the 'Stand-alone executable' above will not need a separate perl5x.dll or to function correctly. But even in this case, the underlying system libraries such as libc must be compatible between the host and target machines. Use --dependent if you are willing to ship the shared library with the application, which can significantly reduce the executable size.


tkpp,, parl, perlcc

PAR, PAR::Packer, Module::ScanDeps

Getopt::Long, Getopt::ArgvFile


Simon Cozens, Tom Christiansen and Edward Peschko for writing perlcc; this program try to mimic its interface as close as possible, and copied liberally from their code.

Jan Dubois for writing the utility, which has been partially adapted into the -g flag.

Mattia Barbon for providing the myldr binary loader code.

Jeff Goff for suggesting the name pp.


Audrey Tang <>, Steffen Mueller <> Roderich Schupp <>

You can write to the mailing list at <>, or send an empty mail to <> to participate in the discussion. Archives of the mailing list are available at <> or <>.

Please submit bug reports to <>.


Copyright 2002-2009 by Audrey Tang <>.

Neither this program nor the associated parl program impose any licensing restrictions on files generated by their execution, in accordance with the 8th article of the Artistic License:

    "Aggregation of this Package with a commercial distribution is
    always permitted provided that the use of this Package is embedded;
    that is, when no overt attempt is made to make this Package's
    interfaces visible to the end user of the commercial distribution.
    Such use shall not be construed as a distribution of this Package."

Therefore, you are absolutely free to place any license on the resulting executable, as long as the packed 3rd-party libraries are also available under the Artistic License.

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