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Catalyst::Manual::Installation - Catalyst Installation


How to install Catalyst.


One of the frequent problems reported by new users of Catalyst is that it can be extremely time-consuming and difficult to install.

One of the great strengths of Perl as a programming language is its use of CPAN, the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, an enormous global repository containing over 10,000 free modules. For almost any basic task--and a very large number of non-basic ones--there is a module on CPAN that will help you. Catalyst has taken advantage of this, and uses a very large number of CPAN modules, rather than reinventing the wheel over and over again. On the one hand, Catalyst gains power and flexibility through this re-use of existing code. On the other hand, Catalyst's reliance on CPAN can complicate initial installations, especially in shared-hosting environments where you, the user, do not have easy control over what versions of other modules are installed.

It is worth stressing that the difficulties found in installing Catalyst are caused not by anything intrinsic to Catalyst itself, but rather by the interrelated dependencies of a large number of required modules.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of methods that can dramatically ease this undertaking. Note that for many of these, you will probably need to install additional Catalyst-related modules (especially plugins) to do the things you want. As of version 5.70, Catalyst has split into two packages, Catalyst::Runtime, which includes the core elements necessary to deploy a Catalyst application, and Catalyst::Devel, which includes the Helpers and other things necessary or useful for developing Catalyst applications. In a purely deployment environment you can omit Catalyst::Devel.

  • Matt Trout's cat-install script

    Available at, cat-install can be a quick and painless way to get Catalyst up and running on your system. Just download the script from the link above and type perl cat-install. This script automates the process of installing Catalyst itself and its dependencies, with bits of overriding so that the process does not require user interaction. cat-install installs Catalyst and its dependencies using the CPAN module, so that modules are installed the same way you would probably install them normally--it just makes it easier. This is a recommended solution for installation.

  • Chris Laco's CatInABox

    CatInABox is a complete version of Catalyst that is installed locally on your system, so that you don't need to go through the effort of doing a full install. Simply download the tarball from and unpack it on your machine. Depending on your OS platform, either run start.bat or to set your bin/PERLLIB paths. This tarball contains everything needed to try out Catalyst including Catalyst itself, Template Toolkit, several Authentication modules, StackTrace, and a few other plugins.

    A special Win32 version is available upon request that contains many more plugins and pre-compiled modules, including DBIx::Class, DBI, SQLite, and Session support. If you are interested in this version, please send e-mail to

  • Pre-Built VMWare Images

    Under the VMWare community program, work is ongoing to develop a number of VMWare images where an entire Catalyst development environment has already been installed, complete with database engines and a full complement of Catalyst plugins.

  • Frank Speiser's Amazon EC2 Catalyst SDK

    There are currently two flavors of publicly available Amazon Machine Images (AMI) that contain all the dependencies you'd need to get a Catalyst development environment,with all the trimmings, up and running within minutes.

    Once you obtain an Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing account available here:, you can literally get a Catalyst development instance up and running in less than 5 minutes.

    The current AMIs that are available are here in abbreviated form:

      IMAGE   ami-bdbe5ad4    developer-tools/Debian-Etch_Catalyst_DBIC_TT.manifest.xml 
      IMAGE   ami-9fbe5af6    developer-tools/Fedora8-Catalyst_DBIC_TT.manifest.xml

    You can run the instances according to the Amazon documentation, as follows:

      ec2-run-instances <ami here> -k gsg-keypair

    Refer to the Amazon EC2 documentation from the "Amazon Web Services" section of the web site for further assistance.

    You can currently choose between ready-made SDKs on Fedora8 and Debian Etch. Both machine images include Catalyst, DBIx::Class, Template::Toolkit, Moose, the mysql and postgresql databases, as well as subversion source control. The Debian Etch machine instance also includes svk and git.

    Just run the installation instructions contained in this manual and go.


In addition to the "all-in-one" approaches mentioned above, there are a variety of other installation techniques:

  • CPAN

    The traditional way to install Catalyst is directly from CPAN using the Task::Catalyst bundle and Catalyst::Devel:

        $ perl -MCPAN -e 'install Task::Catalyst'
        $ perl -MCPAN -e 'install Catalyst::Devel'

    Unless you have a particularly complete set of Perl modules already installed, be prepared for a large number of nested dependencies.

  • Gentoo Linux

    For users of Gentoo, see for automated installations. In short, simply mount the portage overlay and type emerge catalystframework.

  • FreeBSD

    FreeBSD users can get up and running quickly by typing cd /usr/ports/www/p5-Catalyst-Devel && make install, or portinstall p5-Catalyst-Devel if portinstall is installed on your system.

  • Windows ActivePerl

    Windows users can take advantage of the PPM tool that comes with ActivePerl to jumpstart their Catalyst environment. Directions are available at

  • Subversion Repository

    Catalyst uses Subversion for version control. To checkout the latest:

        $ svn co

NOTE: Although all of the above methods can be used to install a base Catalyst system, only the VMWare image is likely to have all of the plugins and modules you need to use Catalyst properly. When you start the script/ development server, it will tell you about any modules that are missing. To add them, type something along the lines of the following (Catalyst::Model::DBIC::Schema is used here as a representative example):

    # perl -MCPAN -e 'install Catalyst::Model::DBIC::Schema'