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Make and run Perl Archives


(Please see pp for convenient ways to make self-contained executables, scripts or PAR archives from perl programs.)

To make a PAR distribution from a CPAN module distribution:

    % -p                 # make a PAR dist under the current path
    % -p Foo-0.01        # assume unpacked CPAN dist in Foo-0.01/

To manipulate a PAR distribution:

    % -i Foo-0.01-i386-freebsd-5.8.0.par # install
    % -i         # auto-appends archname + perlver
    % -i cpan://AUTRIJUS/PAR-0.74        # uses CPAN author directory
    % -u Foo-0.01-i386-freebsd-5.8.0.par # uninstall
    % -s Foo-0.01-i386-freebsd-5.8.0.par # sign
    % -v Foo-0.01-i386-freebsd-5.8.0.par # verify

To use from ./foo.par:

    % -A./foo.par -MHello
    % -A./foo -MHello    # the .par part is optional

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

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

Run or script/ from foo.par:

    % foo.par    # looks for '' by default,
                                # otherwise run ''

To make a self-containing script containing a PAR file :

    % -O./ foo.par
    % ./          # same as above

To embed the necessary non-core modules and shared objects for PAR's execution (like Zlib, IO, Cwd, etc), use the -b flag:

    % -b -O./ foo.par
    % ./          # runs anywhere with core modules installed

If you also wish to embed core modules along, use the -B flag instead:

    % -B -O./ foo.par
    % ./          # runs anywhere with the perl interpreter

This is particularly useful when making stand-alone binary executables; see pp for details.


This stand-alone command offers roughly the same feature as perl -MPAR, except that it takes the pre-loaded .par files via -Afoo.par instead of -MPAR=foo.par.

Additionally, it lets you convert a CPAN distribution to a PAR distribution, as well as manipulate such distributions.  For more information about PAR distributions, see PAR::Dist.

Binary PAR loader (parl)

If you have a C compiler, or a pre-built binary package of PAR is available for your platform, a binary version of will also be automatically installed as parl.  You can use it to run .par files:

    # runs script/ in archive, uses its lib/* as libraries
    % parl myapp.par     # runs or script/ in myapp.par
    % parl          # also runs normal perl scripts

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

    % parl myapp.par     # runs, with '' as @ARGV

Finally, the -O option makes a stand-alone binary executable from a PAR file:

    % parl -B -Omyapp myapp.par
    % ./myapp                   # run it anywhere without perl binaries

With the --par-options flag, generated binaries can act as parl to pack new binaries:

    % ./myapp --par-options -Omyap2 myapp.par   # identical to ./myapp
    % ./myapp --par-options -Omyap3 myap3.par   # now with different PAR

Stand-alone executable format

The format for the stand-alone executable is simply concatenating the following elements:

  • The executable itself

    Either in plain-text ( or native executable format (parl or parl.exe).

  • Any number of embedded files

    These are typically used for bootstrapping PAR's various XS dependencies. Each section contains:

    The magic string "FILE"

    Length of file name in pack('N') format plus 9

    8 bytes of hex-encoded CRC32 of file content

    A single slash ("/")

    The file name (without path)

    File length in pack('N') format

    The file's content (not compressed)

  • One PAR file

    This is just a zip file beginning with the magic string "PK\003\004".

  • Ending section

    The pre-computed cache name.  A pack('Z40') string of the value of -T (--tempcache) or the hash of the file, followed by \0CACHE.  The hash of the file is calculated with Digest::SHA.

    A pack('N') number of the total length of FILE and PAR sections, followed by a 8-bytes magic string: "\\012".

See Also

PAR, PAR::Dist, parl, pp


Audrey Tang <>, Steffen Mueller <>

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2024-03-18 perl v5.38.2 User Contributed Perl Documentation