This tutorial is intended for users that want to maintain Perl modules on a FreeBSD Unix system.

FreeBSD has its own binary package system. It allows for easy installation and management of system software. With this package system you can also manage the installation of Perl modules.

Search For Module

First you'll want to search the package system to see if the Perl module you want to install exists. Note that not all modules have binary packages. If there is no package for your module in the repository than you will need to use another method of installation such as CPAN or CPANM.

To search the package repository for your module type the following:

[steve@blackbox] pkg search event-cron

The search results gives us the full name of the package in the repository, which matched "p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1 using our search of "event-cron". Knowing the full name of a package is important, particularly if there are multiple versions of a package.

For instance, if we wanted to install perl5 we would be given the following search results by search for "perl5":

[steve@blackbox] pkg search perl5
perl5-5.20.3_8                 Practical Extraction and Report Language
perl5-devel-          Practical Extraction and Report Language
perl5.18-5.18.4_17             Practical Extraction and Report Language
perl5.22-5.22.1_4              Practical Extraction and Report Language

Now that we have all the different package names for each version, we can tell the system the exact package to install. If we wanted to install perl5.20 for example, we would enter this command to install that specific version of perl5:

[steve@blackbox] sudo pkg install perl5-5.20.3_8

Install Module

Going back to our original example, since the package for our module exists (p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1) and we now have its full name, let's install it. You will want to run this using sudo so the install process can write the package files using root permissions:

[steve@blackbox] sudo pkg install p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
Fetching meta.txz: 100%    944 B   0.9kB/s    00:01
Fetching packagesite.txz: 100%    5 MiB   1.4MB/s    00:04
Processing entries: 100%
FreeBSD repository update completed. 24579 packages processed.
The following 4 package(s) will be affected (of 0 checked):

New packages to be INSTALLED:
        p5-DateTime-Event-Cron: 0.08_1
        p5-Set-Crontab: 1.03_1
        p5-DateTime-Set: 0.34_1
        p5-Set-Infinite: 0.65_1

The process will require 296 KiB more space.
100 KiB to be downloaded.

Proceed with this action? [y/N]: y
Fetching p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1.txz: 100%   11 KiB  11.1kB/s    00:01
Fetching p5-Set-Crontab-1.03_1.txz: 100%    5 KiB   4.9kB/s    00:01
Fetching p5-DateTime-Set-0.34_1.txz: 100%   46 KiB  47.6kB/s    00:01
Fetching p5-Set-Infinite-0.65_1.txz: 100%   38 KiB  39.2kB/s    00:01
Checking integrity... done (0 conflicting)
[1/4] Installing p5-Set-Infinite-0.65_1...
[1/4] Extracting p5-Set-Infinite-0.65_1: 100%
[2/4] Installing p5-Set-Crontab-1.03_1...
[2/4] Extracting p5-Set-Crontab-1.03_1: 100%
[3/4] Installing p5-DateTime-Set-0.34_1...
[3/4] Extracting p5-DateTime-Set-0.34_1: 100%
[4/4] Installing p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1...
[4/4] Extracting p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1: 100%

The first thing this process does is update the FreeBSD repository catalogue, in case there have been any changes since its last update. Next, it provides information about all the packages it intends to install. As you can see, any dependencies that the module requires will also be installed automatically. Finally, it confirms that you want to proceed with the installation.

Additional Commands

Once the installation is done there are additional commands available to help manage the installed module package.

View Module Details

To view information about your installed module type the following:

[steve@blackbox] pkg info p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1
Name           : p5-DateTime-Event-Cron
Version        : 0.08_1
Installed on   : Thu Sep 24 11:34:30 2015 EDT
Origin         : devel/p5-DateTime-Event-Cron
Architecture   : freebsd:10:x86:64
Prefix         : /usr/local
Categories     : devel perl5
Licenses       :
Maintainer     :
WWW            :
Comment        : DateTime extension for generating recurrence sets from crontab
Annotations    :
    repo_type      : binary
    repository     : FreeBSD
Flat size      : 27.4KiB
Description    :
DateTime::Event::Cron generated DateTime events or DateTime::Set objects based
on crontab-style entries.


View Module File Locations

To view the locations of all of the files installed for the module package type:

[steve@blackbox] pkg info -l p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1

Update Module

To apply updates to your installed module simply type the following:

[steve@blackbox] sudo pkg update p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
FreeBSD repository is up-to-date.
All repositories are up-to-date.
Checking integrity... done (0 conflicting)
Your packages are up to date.

In this case, there are no updates to be applied.

Delete Module

To delete the module package altogether type the following (remember again to use sudo):

[steve@blackbox] sudo pkg delete p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1
Checking integrity... done (0 conflicting)
Deinstallation has been requested for the following 1 packages (of 0 packages in the universe):

Installed packages to be REMOVED:

The operation will free 27 KiB.

Proceed with deinstalling packages? [y/N]: y
[1/1] Deinstalling p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1...
[1/1] Deleting files for p5-DateTime-Event-Cron-0.08_1: 100%

The package has been removed from the system.


There you have it. A simply and effective way to manage your Perl modules on a FreeBSD system using binary packages.