in reply to Installing CPAN on a Windows system

Is it really necessary to install Cygwin ? That's an 'orrible step to have to take. Strawberry Perl manages to include CPAN (but no Cygwin), and I expect the same should be achievable with ActivePerl. Mind you, I don't use the CPAN module, so I can't speak with any authority re how to get it working. (I still download, extract, and manually run that lovely old mantra.)

I would also never advise anyone to use the free versions of the Microsoft Compilers with ActiveState perl for 2 reasons:

1) It requires multiple downloads from obscure and ever-changing locations;
2) It uses a different C runtime to ActivePerl - eg you'll never successfully build Win32::SharedFileOpen using the free MS compiler with ActivePerl because of that runtime discrepancy. (That is, however, the only example I have where the difference in runtime library is a problem.)

Instead, with ActivePerl, my advice would be to use the MinGW compiler (, which does use the same C runtime, and dmake ( - given that ActivePerl now (as of build 815, I think) works seamlessly with that compiler and make utility.

For older versions of ActivePerl one can still use the MinGW compiler and dmake seamlessly by first also installing ExtUtils::FakeConfig and then setting the environment variable perl5opt to -MConfig_m . Doing so gives excellent milage, and is my preferred modus operandii when using the MinGW compiler with ActivePerl.

Two things deter me from giving Strawberry Perl my whole hearted support:

1) It doesn't have a ppm utility;
2) The MinGW compiler they package doesn't include the g77 fortran compiler;

Both of those issues are fairly easily addressed - and when they are addressed (which will hopefully happen) it will see the end of long-winded rants like this from me. I'll simply be able to recommend Strawberry Perl and leave it at that.

I have one other observation regarding the StrawberryPerl v ActivePerl consideration:

If ActiveState were to decide to (optionally) include MinGW (including g77) and dmake, along with the CPAN bundle, then they would surpass the offering that Strawberry Perl currently provides. That's why I think it's important that Strawberry Perl offers a PPM utility, and includes the g77 fortran compiler. Then, if ActiveState does provide the option I've just mentioned, Strawberry Perl will at least be on an equal footing. And, of course, if ActiveState don't offer the option, then Strawberry Perl is clearly in the lead.

Anyway, ++ to you GrandFather for what you provided here :-)

  • Comment on Re: Installing CPAN on a Windows system

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Re^2: Installing CPAN on a Windows system
by xdg (Monsignor) on Nov 14, 2006 at 01:22 UTC

    Perl::Dist::Strawberry -- branches/patches welcome. For repository access, email Adam Kennedy (adamk at cpan dot org).

    g77 is coming soon. Suggestions on the right way to provide free, unencumbered PPM support would be welcome -- just post a page about it at


    Code written by xdg and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.

      Good to see that g77 is on the way. As regards PPM, the latest version on CPAN (2.1.8 - though it still reports itself as being 2.1.6) works fine on Strawberry Perl. I can't see that it's encumbered in any way - but I've asked whether there are any licensing issues on ActiveState's PPM mailing list, just in case I missed something.

      It should just be a matter of building it and including it with the Strawberry distro (same as any other non-core module that is pre-built and included with the Strawberry distro). One thing I'm not sure about is the file ppm.bat, which is created (by running pl2bat.bat) during the building of the PPM module. Maybe it can't simply be included as a hardcoded file in the Strawberry distro - perhaps it needs to be created by running pl2bat.bat on the target machine during the Strawberry installation process. I've asked about that aspect, too, on the PPM mailing list. When I've got the answer (to both my queries) I'll post a page on as suggested.


Re^2: Installing CPAN on a Windows system
by Asim (Hermit) on Nov 13, 2006 at 17:14 UTC

    Cygwin is, I believe, just for the tools GrandFather notes in the post. I use on a system w/just the freebie NMAKE for "pure-Perl" modules, and uses the Perl modules to take the place of those command-line tools with little problem.

    ----Asim, known to some as Woodrow.

Re^2: Installing CPAN on a Windows system
by adamk (Chaplain) on Dec 10, 2006 at 10:02 UTC
    From the mouth of an ActiveState staff member.

    They are legally unable to bundle gcc, because the license clashes with some of the code in ActiveState.