The [Perl programming] Authors Upload Server


  1. Status of this document
  2. Uploading
  3. Registering as a developer
  4. Visit PAUSE
  5. Your duties, the basics, traps
  6. Before you upload
  7. PAUSE vs. CPAN vs. search engines
  8. Taking over
  10. $VERSION
  11. Developer Releases
  12. Indexer
  13. Related services on PAUSE
  14. Other useful links
  15. Software used to run PAUSE

Status of this document

This document is mirrored on CPAN as CPAN/modules/04pause.html.


A server dedicated to collect the work of perl authors is a [Perl programming] Authors Upload Server (PAUSE). PAUSE provides personal directories and enables their owners to upload their work into that directory themselves.

Important: make sure the filename you choose contains a version number. For security reasons you will never be able to upload a file with identical name again. This strict requirement does have one exception: documentation files may be overwritten. There's a simple regular expression that draws the line between docu and code: /(readme|\.html|\.txt|\.[xy]ml|\.json|\.[pr]df|\.pod)(\.gz|\.bz2)?$/i. Filenames matching this regexp can be uploaded as often as you like. By the way: it is highly appreciated if your packages come tarred and gzipped with a Makefile.PL (or Build.PL), so they can be installed in a standard way.

Use one of the many CPAN Mirrors to download from.

Registering as a developer

Registered developers have a unique username and a home directory in the authors/id/ tree of CPAN. The write access to that directory is password protected.

If you have written a module, script, or documentation you would like to contribute to the archive, visit Registration (Non-SSL version) and fill in the form. You will be notified by email about your registration. Please allow three weeks for proceeding, which should be the maximum during vacation time. Normally we hope to register you within a week. The resulting email traffic will run through and will be archived at isn't a mailing list, just an alias for the maintainers of the Perl 5 modules database. Please do not try to subscribe. Visit the archive instead.


As soon as you have a password (see registering) you are enabled to use some forms to interact with the PAUSE database (Non-SSL version). You can add files to your home directory, edit your name, email, and homepage address, delete your files, change your password on PAUSE, etc.

If you haven't got a password yet or have forgotten it, please visit (Non-SSL version) for further instructions.

Please, whenever you exchange email with the maintainers of PAUSE, mention either your userid or the name you used when you registered.

Your duties, the basics, traps

We trust that you have read the perlmodinstall, perlmodlib, perlmodstyle, and perlnewmod manpages and that you regularly check out uploads to CPAN and that you have been watching CPAN activities for a while to have an impression of how things fit together. It usually boils down to (slogan shamelessly stolen and adapted from sudo(1)):
  1. Think, better even talk before you upload
  2. Respect the namespace of others

Before you upload

Before uploading a new module to CPAN, please carefully consider:

Choosing a good name is important if you want people to find your module on CPAN and understand (from the name alone) what it does.

Likewise, there are so many modules already on CPAN that it's a good idea to be sure that your module is doing something new or at least different (and hopefully better) than something already on CPAN. Search for similar modules on or

If you have never uploaded a module to CPAN before (and even if you have), you are strongly encouraged to get feedback on PrePAN.

PrePAN is a site dedicated to discussing ideas for CPAN modules with other Perl developers and is a great resource for new (and experienced) Perl developers. You can also consider discussing your ideas in other local community groups or online community sites like Perl Monks.

Also: think carefully and honestly whether your module would be better off if it were integrated into an already existing module. Sometimes it is for the best to put aside personal glory and join a collaborative effort: Perl itself is a good example of this. Contact the author of an existing module and ask whether your new features would fit into his framework. Even if you in the end decide to release the module as your very own, you really should know your 'competition', that is, know all the similar modules and the features they offer. Maybe you can learn from them, maybe you can help the users of your module better by giving them an overview about similar modules.

PAUSE vs. CPAN vs. search engines

Authors upload new modules to PAUSE, which is responsible for inspecting, validating and indexing uploads. PAUSE unwraps the upload and scans the source code (namely all *.pm files) for package declarations. In order for a module to be indexed, the submitting author must be the owner or an authorized maintainer for every package namespace found (unless the namespace is new, in which case the uploading author becomes the owner of it).

After a module is uploaded to PAUSE, it propagates to and dozens of other CPAN mirrors around the world. PAUSE also creates a number of index files used by CPAN clients like CPAN(.pm), CPANPLUS and cpanminus:


CPAN search engines like and use these indexes and other heuristics to allow Perl developers to find modules that interest them.

If you have questions about these, be sure to send them to the right place:

Taking over

So there's a module on CPAN that has a critical bug, lacks some features, or is generally under-maintained and you would like to step in?

It's great that you want to help out and we, the PAUSE admins, really don't want to create any unnecessary barrier to getting involved with an existing module (or distribution) on CPAN. There are, however, some precautions we have to take. The following paragraphs outline the reason for these precautions and the steps you have to take. Please read them carefully.

The majority of modules on CPAN has active maintainers. If the maintainer didn't answer the ticket you created in the request tracker, maybe she doesn't know about the CPAN ticketing system yet? Or she's just very busy this week and will get back to you in due time. The best way of helping out is to talk to the current maintainer about what you can do. Getting the PAUSE admins involved is only a last resort!

In some circumstances, we can grant co-maintenance permissions to you or others if the current maintainer of a module has entirely disappeared. You have to understand that is not a decision we make lightly. We are essentially giving write access to somebody else's work to third parties without explicit consent from the missing author. Since almost all code on CPAN has a free license, this is likely unproblematic from a legal point of view, but any violation of a contributor's trust in the PAUSE/CPAN mechanisms is a serious blow against the work of everybody who contributes to CPAN. For this reason, we try to tread very lightly, make the least possible use of the administrative privileges and attempt to protect voluntary contributors like yourself or the author of the module at hand from any unnecessary burden.

You have to realize that the author has probably invested a signficiant amount of time into writing the code in the first place and then gone through the additional work of making it available to others via CPAN free of charge. Therefore, it is crucial to be very polite when asking him or her for co-maintenance permissions. Politeness, however, does not suffice. Particularly when maintaining a module for which you received co-maintenance permissions from the admins (as opposed to being appointed by the author himself), you are *required* to respect the work and design of the author. A common fallacy is that people think they are much better programmers than their predecessors and that entitles them to judge others code quality and refactor everything. Whether or not your style is "better" is entirely irrelevant as it is not your code. Do not be arrogant, be respectful and tread lightly!

If you published your code to CPAN, then went on a hiking vacation (or to hospital) for a couple of weeks only to see that somebody took over, completely changed the design, and generally wreaked havoc, you would probably be rightfully upset and lose the good will that made you contribute in the first place. In order to prevent from happening, please go through the following steps and remember to be respectful all along:

  1. Use the request tracker to submit a bug report. If the module's documentation lists another request tracker, try that instead.
  2. Try to reach the author via mail. At the very least, try, any mail address the author listed on his page, and any mail address that's listed in his or her module documentation. If there's even a mailing list, don't forget that either.
  3. Search the web for other ways of contacting the author. Send more mail.
  4. Try posting in public places such as your journal, or other forums about your looking for the author.
  5. Wait for *at least* several weeks. Remember, the author might be on vacation, ill, or simply busy.
  6. Always keep in the picture. Send us a copy of your mails to the author. After a reasonable period of waiting, send another mail to the list explaining how you tried to contact the author and pointing at the proof thereof. Do not forget to include your PAUSE ID and that of the original module author in this mail.

Usually, after all this hassle, we are reasonably quick at assigning co-maintenance permissions, but don't hold your breath, we're only human after all. Most requests won't even get here as many authors who moved on and don't maintain their modules any more are very happy to see them taken care of and will assign (primary or) co-maintenance permissions after you've tracked them down and asked nicely.

Good luck and thanks for stepping up.


Do not upload the READMEs that are integrated in your distribution files. PAUSE is designed to take care of unwrapping your file with tar or zip, registering all the modules it finds in there, and placing the readme file (i.e. a file with the name README in the top level directory of your package) into your directory. PAUSE will change the name of the file to package-name.readme. It should do so within a few hours after your upload.


Please make sure all your *.pm files contain a $VERSION variable that conforms to the CPAN rules, i.e. the complete computation of $VERSION must take place on the one first line within the module that assigns to it. You can test if this is the case by running

perl -MExtUtils::MakeMaker -le 'print MM->parse_version(shift)' 'file'

on the filenames in question. The CPAN indexer will run this code within a Safe compartment, so maybe even if the above command succeeds, PAUSE may fail if you're doing file IO or other potentially dangerous things within that line.

Before you decide which style of versioning you prefer, you might want to read the version manpage.

Developer Releases

The automatic integration of your work into several indexes and directory trees is not always what you desire. Often you want to release code for testing out the next release. Code that propagates through CPAN but is not in a stable state. Something between two versions.

If you want to do that simply choose a filename that matches /\d\.\d+_\d/ or contains TRIAL. Please choose a sequence that is easy to comprehend. People have adopted different conventions:

# 1.92 release and bug fixes

# dev releases towards 1.93

This allows two separate development tracks between 1.92 and 1.93.

Other people do odd and even, with all odd majors always being dev releases:


PAUSE will leave the underscore distributions alone: no readme will be extracted, no index will be updated, no symlinks will be created. Of course many users on the CPAN will take note of the developer releases. Cpan testers will test them and bug chasers will probably file bug reports in RT.


Any distribution that arrives at PAUSE is checked for package names contained in the distribution. A package name that arrives for the first time is automatically assigned either to the author who submitted it or to user perl if the distribution file is a perl distribution. A package name that has already been used before must be submitted by its author, otherwise PAUSE will trigger a warning to the administrator. That way PAUSE will prevent accidental usage of a package namespace by more than one author.

Be prepared that very soon after your upload your module will be tested on dozens of architectures by the never tired cpantesters. This helpful lot will send their findings to their mailing list and collect the results in a database. If they find problems, they try to diagnose or even solve them and inform you about their findings. So be prepared to get mail from them before you have closed the buffer in your editor.

Module::Build is an effort to overcome many deficiencies in MakeMaker and CPAN. One idea in that context is the storage of module-metadata in a file META.yml, that is being integrated into the module-tarball. PAUSE is supposed to follow this emerging standard. The current code base of the PAUSE indexer supports META.yml by extracting it and storing it in a separate file that is called package-name.meta in the same directory. The PAUSE indexer honours the contents of the no_index and the provides fields. All other fields are currently ignored.

Related services on PAUSE

Two documents are available about authors. 00whois.html is a list of authors, mailing lists and mailing list archives in HTML format,

And 01mailrc.txt.gz is a smaller list intended to be used as a .mailrc file. Both files are maintained automatically.

When new files arrive on the PAUSE, an Upload Scanner program scans the new files and categorizes them according to their contents. It tries to detect namespace clashes and to keep track of version numbers.

The document 01modules.index.html lists only the most recent distribution files that contain the latest of any given module that is available on CPAN. A second version of this document is also available that is sorted by modification date. Both are maintained by the scanner automatically.

The listing 02packages.details.txt is also produced automatically. It is intended for programs but sometimes is a valuable information for humans too. It simply lists the current version number and the distribution file for all packages found on CPAN.

There are also two symlink trees of modules maintained automatically. One is based on the basenames of the packages involved: by-module and the other one divides the modules by the chapters of the Module List: by-category.

Other useful links

You have forgotten how you're supposed to package your software? Maybe the perlnewmod manpage can help you.

A real FAQ is about how to adopt or take over a module from somebody else? perlfaq7 has the full answer (as of rev. 393).

You wanted to ask questions about authoring? Maybe the module authors mailinglist or the Perl Monks will give you a lead.

You wanted to include proper tests in your package? A myriad of general purpose and custom tailored testing modules are discussed on the QA mailing list.


The PAUSE source code is kept in a git repository at git:// view it at

Thanks to all of you for your great contributions!

Contact or Andreas König for any questions.
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