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PAR - Perl Archive Toolkit


This document describes version 0.90 of PAR, released November 25, 2005.


(If you want to make an executable that contains all module, scripts and data files, please consult the bundled pp utility instead.)

Following examples assume a foo.par file in Zip format; support for compressed tar (*.tgz/*.tbz2) format is under consideration.

To use Hello.pm from ./foo.par:

    % perl -MPAR=./foo.par -MHello
    % perl -MPAR=./foo -MHello          # the .par part is optional

Same thing, but search foo.par in the @INC;

    % perl -MPAR -Ifoo.par -MHello
    % perl -MPAR -Ifoo -MHello          # ditto

Following paths inside the PAR file are searched:

    /i386-freebsd/              # i.e. $Config{archname}
    /5.8.0/                     # i.e. $Config{version}
    /5.8.0/i386-freebsd/        # both of the above

PAR files may also (recursively) contain other PAR files. All files under following paths will be considered as PAR files and searched as well:

    /par/i386-freebsd/          # i.e. $Config{archname}
    /par/5.8.0/                 # i.e. $Config{version}
    /par/5.8.0/i386-freebsd/    # both of the above

Run script/test.pl or test.pl from foo.par:

    % perl -MPAR foo.par test.pl        # only when $0 ends in '.par'

However, if the .par archive contains either script/main.pl or main.pl, then it is used instead:

    % perl -MPAR foo.par test.pl        # runs main.pl; @ARGV is 'test.pl'

Use in a program:

    use PAR 'foo.par';
    use Hello; # reads within foo.par

    # PAR::read_file() returns a file inside any loaded PARs
    my $conf = PAR::read_file('data/MyConfig.yaml');

    # PAR::par_handle() returns an Archive::Zip handle
    my $zip = PAR::par_handle('foo.par')
    my $src = $zip->memberNamed('lib/Hello.pm')->contents;

You can also use wildcard characters:

    use PAR '/home/foo/*.par';  # loads all PAR files in that directory


This module lets you easily bundle a typical blib/ tree into a zip file, called a Perl Archive, or PAR.

It supports loading XS modules by overriding DynaLoader bootstrapping methods; it writes shared object file to a temporary file at the time it is needed.

To generate a .par file, all you have to do is compress the modules under arch/ and lib/, e.g.:

    % perl Makefile.PL
    % make
    % cd blib
    % zip -r mymodule.par arch/ lib/

Afterward, you can just use mymodule.par anywhere in your @INC, use PAR, and it will Just Work.

For convenience, you can set the PERL5OPT environment variable to -MPAR to enable PAR processing globally (the overhead is small if not used); setting it to -MPAR=/path/to/mylib.par will load a specific PAR file. Alternatively, consider using the par.pl utility bundled with this module, or using the self-contained parl utility on machines without PAR.pm installed.

Note that self-containing scripts and executables created with par.pl and pp may also be used as .par archives:

    % pp -o packed.exe source.pl        # generate packed.exe
    % perl -MPAR=packed.exe other.pl    # this also works
    % perl -MPAR -Ipacked.exe other.pl  # ditto

Please see "SYNOPSIS" for most typical use cases.


Settings in META.yml packed inside the PAR file may affect PAR's operation. For example, pp provides the -C (--clean) option to control the default behavior of temporary file creation.

Currently, pp-generated PAR files may attach four PAR-specific attributes in META.yml:

      clean: 0          # default value of PAR_CLEAN
      signature: ''     # key ID of the SIGNATURE file
      verbatim: 0       # was packed prerequisite's PODs preserved?
      version: x.xx     # PAR.pm version that generated this PAR

User-defined environment variables, like PAR_CLEAN, always overrides the ones set in META.yml. The algorithm for generating caching/temporary directory is as follows:

  • If PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP is specified, use it as the cache directory for extracted libraries, and do not clean it up after execution.

  • If PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP is not set, but PAR_CLEAN is specified, set PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP to TEMP\par-USER\temp-PID\, cleaning it after execution.

  • If both are not set, use TEMP\par-USER\temp-MTIME\ as the PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP, reusing any existing files inside. MTIME is the last-modified timestamp of the program.


PAR::Tutorial, PAR::FAQ

par.pl, parl, pp

Archive::Zip, "require" in perlfunc

ex::lib::zip, Acme::use::strict::with::pride


Nicholas Clark for pointing out the mad source filter hook within the (also mad) coderef @INC hook, as well as (even madder) tricks one can play with PerlIO to avoid source filtering.

Ton Hospel for convincing me to ditch the Filter::Simple implementation.

Uri Guttman for suggesting read_file and par_handle interfaces.

Antti Lankila for making me implement the self-contained executable options via par.pl -O.

See the AUTHORS file in the distribution for a list of people who have sent helpful patches, ideas or comments.


Autrijus Tang <autrijus@autrijus.org>

http://par.perl.org/ is the official PAR website. You can write to the mailing list at <par@perl.org>, or send an empty mail to <par-subscribe@perl.org> to participate in the discussion.

Please submit bug reports to <bug-par@rt.cpan.org>.


Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Autrijus Tang <autrijus@autrijus.org>.

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

See http://www.perl.com/perl/misc/Artistic.html