Alien::Base::ModuleBuild - A Module::Build subclass for building Alien:: modules and their libraries


In your Build.PL:

 use Alien::Base::ModuleBuild;
 my $builder = Alien::Base::ModuleBuild->new(
   module_name => 'Alien::MyLibrary',
   configure_requires => {
     'Alien::Base' =>   '0.005',
     'Module::Build' => '0.28'
   requires => {
     'Alien::Base' => '0.005',
   alien_name => 'mylibrary', # the pkg-config name if you want
                              # to use pkg-config to discover
                              # system version of the mylibrary
   alien_repository => {
     protocol => 'http',
     host     => '',
     location => '/path/to/tarballs',
     pattern  => qr{^mylibrary-([0-9\.]+)\.tar\.gz$},
   # this is the default:
   alien_build_commands => [
     "%c --prefix=%s", # %c is a platform independent version of ./configure
   # this is the default for install:
   alien_install_commands => [
     "make install",
   alien_isolate_dynamic => 1,


This is a subclass of Module::Build, that with Alien::Base allows for easy creation of Alien distributions. This module is used during the build step of your distribution. When properly configured it will

use pkg-config to find and use the system version of the library
download, build and install the library if the system does not provide it



 my $version = $abmb->alien_check_installed_version;

This function determines if the library is already installed as part of the operating system, and returns the version as a string. If it can't be detected then it should return empty list.

The default implementation relies on pkg-config, but you will probably want to override this with your own implementation if the package you are building does not use pkg-config.


 my $version = $amb->alien_check_built_version;

This function determines the version of the library after it has been built from source. This function only gets called if the operating system version can not be found and the package is successfully built.

The default implementation relies on pkg-config, and other huristics, but you will probably want to override this with your own implementation if the package you are building does not use pkg-config.

When this method is called, the current working directory will be the build root.

If you see an error message like this:

 Library looks like it installed, but no version was determined

After the package is built from source code then you probably need to provide an implementation for this method.


  my $dir = $amb->alien_extract_archive($filename);

This function unpacks the given archive and returns the directory containing the unpacked files.

The default implementation relies on Archive::Extract that is able to handle most common formats. In order to handle other formats or archives requiring some special treatment you may want to override this method.


  my %result = $amb->alien_do_system($cmd)

Similar to Module::Build::do_system, also sets the path and several environment variables in accordance to the object configuration (i.e. alien_bin_requires) and performs the interpolation of the patterns described in "COMMAND INTERPOLATION" in Alien::Base::ModuleBuild::API.

Returns a set of key value pairs including stdout, stderr, success and command.


The documentation for Module::Build is broken up into sections:

General Usage (Module::Build)

This is the landing document for Alien::Base::ModuleBuild's parent class. It describes basic usage and background information. Its main purpose is to assist the user who wants to learn how to invoke and control Module::Build scripts at the command line.

It also lists the extra documentation for its use. Users and authors of Alien:: modules should familiarize themselves with these documents. Module::Build::API is of particular importance to authors.

Alien-Specific Usage (Alien::Base::ModuleBuild)

This is the document you are currently reading.

Authoring Reference (Alien::Base::Authoring)

This document describes the structure and organization of Alien::Base based projects, beyond that contained in Module::Build::Authoring, and the relevant concepts needed by authors who are writing Build.PL scripts for a distribution or controlling Alien::Base::ModuleBuild processes programmatically.

Note that as it contains information both for the build and use phases of Alien::Base projects, it is located in the upper namespace.

API Reference (Alien::Base::ModuleBuild::API)

This is a reference to the Alien::Base::ModuleBuild API beyond that contained in Module::Build::API.




Original author: Joel Berger, <>

Current maintainer: Graham Ollis <> and the Alien::Base team


Copyright (C) 2012-2015 by Joel Berger

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