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Raku Module Management



$ git clone https://github.com/ugexe/zef.git
$ cd zef
$ raku -I. bin/zef install .


To install via rakubrew, please use the following command:

$ rakubrew build-zef


zef --help
zef --version

# install the CSV::Parser distribution
zef install CSV::Parser

# search for distribution names matching `CSV`
zef search CSV

# detailed information for a matching distribution
zef info CSV::Parser

# list all available distributions
zef list

# list reverse dependencies of an identity
zef rdepends HTTP::UserAgent

# test project in current directory
zef test .

# fetch a specific module only
zef fetch CSV::Parser

# fetch a module, then shell into its local path
zef look CSV::Parser

# smoke test modules from all repositories
zef smoke

# run Build.rakumod if one exists in given path
zef build .

# update Repository package lists
zef update

# upgrade all distributions (BETA)
zef upgrade

# upgrade specific distribution (BETA)
zef upgrade CSV::Parser

# lookup module info by name/path/sha1
zef --sha1 locate 9FA0AC28824EE9E5A9C0F99951CA870148AE378E

# launch browser to named support urls from meta data
zef browse zef bugtracker

More CLI

install [*@identities]

Note: The install process does not install anything until all phases have completed. So, if the user requested to install A, and A required module B: both would be downloaded, potentially built, tested, and installed -- but only if both passed all their tests. For example: if module A failed its tests, then module B would not be installed (even if it passed its own tests) unless forced.

[@identities] can take the form of a file path (starting with . or /), URLs, paths, or identities:

zef install CSV::Parser
zef install "CSV::Parser:auth<tony-o>:ver<0.1.2>"
zef install "CSV::Parser:ver<0.1.2>"

zef install ./Raku-Net--HTTP

zef -v install https://github.com/ugexe/zef.git
zef -v install https://github.com/ugexe/zef/archive/main.tar.gz
zef -v install https://github.com/ugexe/zef.git@v0.1.22

A request may contain any number and combination of these. Paths and URLs will be resolved first so they are available to fulfill any dependencies of other requested identities.


# Install to a custom locations
--install-to=<id> # site/home/vendor/perl, or
-to=<id>          # inst#/home/some/path/custom

# Install all transitive and direct dependencies
# even if they are already installed globally (BETA)

# Load a specific Zef config file

# Install only the dependency chains of the requested distributions

# Ignore errors occuring during the corresponding phase

# or set the default to all unset --force-* flags to True

# Set the timeout for corresponding phases

# or set the default to all unset --*-timeout flags to 0

# Number of simultaneous distributions/jobs to process for the corresponding phases

# Disable precompilation during installation

# Do everything except the actual installations

# Build/Test/Install each dependency serially before proceeding to Build/Test/Install the next

# Disable testing

# Disable build phase

# Disable fetching dependencies

# Force a refresh for all module index indexes

# Force a refresh for a specific ecosystem module index

# Skip refreshing all module index indexes

# Skip refreshing for a specific ecosystem module index

ENV Options

# Number of simultaneous distributions/jobs to process for the corresponding phases (see: --[phase]-degree options)

# Set the timeout for corresponding phases (see: --[phase]-timeout options)

# Set default --install-to target

# Path to config file (see: --config-path option)

# Override DefaultCUR from the config file

# Override StoreDir from the config file

# Override TempDir from the config file

uninstall [*@identities]

Uninstall the specified distributions


Update the package indexes for all Repository backends

Note: Some Repository backends, like the default Ecosystems, have an auto-update option in resources/config.json that can be enabled. This should be the number of hours until it should auto update based on the file system last modified time of the ecosystem json file location.

upgrade [*@identities] BETA

Upgrade specified identities. If no identities are provided, zef attempts to upgrade all installed distributions.

search [$identity]

How these are handled depends on the Repository engine used, which by default is Zef::Repository::Ecosystems<fez> and Zef::Repository::Ecosystems<rea>

$ zef -v search URI
===> Found 4 results
ID|From                              |Package             |Description
2 |Zef::Repository::Ecosystems<fez> |URI:ver<0.1.1>    |A URI impleme...
3 |Zef::Repository::Ecosystems<rea> |URI:ver<0.1.1>    |A URI impleme...
4 |Zef::Repository::Ecosystems<rea> |URI:ver<0.000.001>|A URI impleme...

info [$identity]

View meta information of a distribution

$ zef info Distribution::Common::Remote -v
- Info for: Distribution::Common::Remote
- Identity: Distribution::Common::Remote:ver<0.1.0>:auth<github:ugexe>:api<0>
- Recommended By: Zef::Repository::Ecosystems<rea>
- Installed: No
Description:     Create an installable Distribution from common remote sources
License:     Artistic-2.0
Source-url:  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/raku/REA/main/archive/D/Distribution%3A%3ACommon%3A%3ARemote/Distribution%3A%3ACommon%3A%3ARemote%3Aver%3C0.1.0%3E%3Aauth%3Cgithub%3Augexe%3E.tar.gz
Provides: 2 modules
Module                              |Path-Name
Distribution::IO::Remote::Github    |lib/Distribution/IO/Remote/Github.rakumod
#   bugtracker: https://github.com/ugexe/Raku-Distribution--Common--Remote/issues
#   source: https://github.com/ugexe/Raku-Distribution--Common--Remote.git
Depends: 2 items
ID|Identity            |Installed?
1 |Distribution::Common|✓
2 |Test                |✓


# Extra details (eg, list dependencies and which ones are installed)

list [*@from]

List known available distributions

$ zef --installed list
===> Found via /home/foo/.rakubrew/moar/install/share/perl6/site
===> Found via /home/foo/.rakubrew/moar/install/share/perl6

Note that not every Repository may provide such a list, and such lists may only be a subset. For example: We may not be able to get a list of every distribution on cpan, but we *can* get the $x most recent additions (we use 100 for now).

[@from] allows you to show results from specific repositories only:

zef --installed list perl   # Only list modules installed by rakudo itself

zef list fez               # Only show available modules from the repository
zef list rea               # with a name field matching the arguments to `list`
zef list p6c               # (be sure the repository is enabled in config)
zef list cpan --cpan       # (or enabled via a cli flag)

Otherwise results from all enabled repositories will be returned.


# Only list installed distributions

# Additionally list the modules of discovered distributions

depends [$identity]

List direct and transitive dependencies to the first successful build graph for $identity

$ zef depends Cro::SSL

rdepends [$identity]

List available distributions that directly depend on $identity

$ zef rdepends Net::HTTP

fetch [*@identities]

Fetches candidates for given identities

test [*@paths]

Run tests on each distribution located at [@paths]

build [*@paths]

Run the build step for each distribution located in the given [@paths]

Set the env variable ZEF_BUILDPM_DEBUG=1 or use the --debug flag for additional debugging information.

If you want to create a build hook you have two options:

look [$identity]

Fetches the requested distribution and any dependencies (if requested), changes the directory to that of the fetched distribution, and then stops program execution. This allows you modify or look at the source code before manually continuing the install via zef install .

Note that the path to any dependencies that needed to be fetched will be set in env at RAKULIB, so you should be able to run any build scripts, tests, or complete a manual install without having to specify their locations.

browse $identity [bugtracker | homepage | source]


# disables launching a browser window (just shows url)

Output the url and launch a browser to open it.

# also opens browser
$ zef browse Net::HTTP bugtracker

# only outputs the url
$ zef browse Net::HTTP bugtracker --/open

locate [$identity, $name-path, $sha1-id]


# The argument is a sha1-id (otherwise assumed to be an identity or name-path)

Lookup a locally installed module by $identity, $name-path, or $sha1-id

$ zef --sha1 locate A9948E7371E0EB9AFDF1EEEB07B52A1B75537C31
===> From Distribution: zef:ver<*>:auth<github:ugexe>:api<>
lib/Zef/CLI.rakumod => ~/rakudo/install/share/perl6/site/sources/A9948E7371E0EB9AFDF1EEEB07B52A1B75537C31

$ zef locate Zef::CLI
===> From Distribution: zef:ver<*>:auth<github:ugexe>:api<>
lib/Zef/CLI.rakumod => ~/rakudo/install/share/perl6/site/sources/A9948E7371E0EB9AFDF1EEEB07B52A1B75537C31

$ zef locate lib/Zef/CLI.rakumod
===> From Distribution: zef:ver<*>:auth<github:ugexe>:api<>
Zef::CLI => ~/rakudo/install/share/perl6/site/sources/A9948E7371E0EB9AFDF1EEEB07B52A1B75537C31

nuke [StoreDir | TempDir]

Deletes all paths in the specific configuration directory

nuke [site | home]

Deletes all paths that are rooted in the prefix of the matching CompUnit::Repository name

# uninstall all modules
$ zef nuke site home

Output Verbosity

You can control the logging level using the following flags:

# More/less detailed output
--error, --warn, --info (default), --verbose (-v), --debug

Global Configuration

Finding the configuration file

You can always see the configuration file that will be used by running:

$ zef --help

In most cases the default configuration combined with command line options should be enough for most users.

If you are most users (e.g. not: power users, packagers, zef plugin developers) you hopefully don't care about this section!

How the configuration file is chosen

The configuration file will be chosen at runtime from one of two (technically four) locations.

First, and the most precise way, is to specify the config file by passing --config-path="..." to any zef command.

Second, third, and fourth we look at the path pointed to by %?RESOURCES<config.json>. This will point to $zef-dir/resources/config.json, where $zef-dir will be either:

To summarize:

Configuration fields

Basic Settings

Phases / Plugins Settings

These consist of an array of hashes that describe how to instantiate some class that fulfills the appropriate interface from Zef.rakumod (Repository Fetcher Extractor Builder Tester Reporter)

The descriptions follow this format:

    "short-name" : "fez",
    "enabled" : 1,
    "module" : "Zef::Repository::Ecosystems",
    "options" : { }

and are instantiated via


See the configuration file in resources/config.json for a little more information on how plugins are invoked.

You can see debug output related to chosing and loading plugins by setting the env variable ZEF_PLUGIN_DEBUG=1


Proxy support?

All the default fetching plugins have proxy support, but you'll need to refer to the backend program's (wget, curl, git, etc) docs. You may need to set an ENV variable, or you may need to add a command line option for that specific plugin in resources/config.json

Custom installation locations?

Pass a path to the -to / --install-to option and prefix the path with inst# (unless you know what you're doing)

$ zef -to="inst#/home/raku/custom" install Text::Table::Simple
===> Searching for: Text::Table::Simple
===> Testing: Text::Table::Simple:ver<0.0.3>:auth<github:ugexe>
===> Testing [OK] for Text::Table::Simple:ver<0.0.3>:auth<github:ugexe>
===> Installing: Text::Table::Simple:ver<0.0.3>:auth<github:ugexe>

To make the custom location discoverable:

# Set the RAKULIB env:
$ RAKULIB="inst#/home/raku/custom" raku -e "use Text::Table::Simple; say 'ok'"

# or simply include it as needed
$ raku -Iinst#/home/raku/custom -e "use Text::Table::Simple; say 'ok'"