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utilities to write and check a MANIFEST file

ExtUtils::Manifest - utilities to write and check a MANIFEST file


ExtUtils::Manifest - utilities to write and check a MANIFEST file


    require ExtUtils::Manifest;










mkmanifest() writes all files in and below the current directory to a file named in the global variable $ExtUtils::Manifest::MANIFEST (which defaults to MANIFEST) in the current directory. It works similar to

    find . -print

but in doing so checks each line in an existing MANIFEST file and includes any comments that are found in the existing MANIFEST file in the new one. Anything between white space and an end of line within a MANIFEST file is considered to be a comment. Filenames and comments are separated by one or more TAB characters in the output. All files that match any regular expression in a file MANIFEST.SKIP (if such a file exists) are ignored.

manicheck() checks if all the files within a MANIFEST in the current directory really do exist. If MANIFEST and the tree below the current directory are in sync it exits silently, returning an empty list. Otherwise it returns a list of files which are listed in the MANIFEST but missing from the directory, and by default also outputs these names to STDERR.

filecheck() finds files below the current directory that are not mentioned in the MANIFEST file. An optional file MANIFEST.SKIP will be consulted. Any file matching a regular expression in such a file will not be reported as missing in the MANIFEST file. The list of any extraneous files found is returned, and by default also reported to STDERR.

fullcheck() does both a manicheck() and a filecheck(), returning references to two arrays, the first for files manicheck() found to be missing, the seond for unexpeced files found by filecheck().

skipcheck() lists all the files that are skipped due to your MANIFEST.SKIP file.

manifind() returns a hash reference. The keys of the hash are the files found below the current directory.

maniread($file) reads a named MANIFEST file (defaults to MANIFEST in the current directory) and returns a HASH reference with files being the keys and comments being the values of the HASH. Blank lines and lines which start with # in the MANIFEST file are discarded.

manicopy($read,$target,$how) copies the files that are the keys in the HASH %$read to the named target directory. The HASH reference $read is typically returned by the maniread() function. This function is useful for producing a directory tree identical to the intended distribution tree. The third parameter $how can be used to specify a different methods of ``copying''. Valid values are cp, which actually copies the files, ln which creates hard links, and best which mostly links the files but copies any symbolic link to make a tree without any symbolic link. Best is the default.


The file MANIFEST.SKIP may contain regular expressions of files that should be ignored by mkmanifest() and filecheck(). The regular expressions should appear one on each line. Blank lines and lines which start with # are skipped. Use \# if you need a regular expression to start with a sharp character. A typical example:

    # Version control files and dirs.




    # Makemaker generated files and dirs.





    # Temp, old and emacs backup files.





If no MANIFEST.SKIP file is found, a default set of skips will be used, similar to the example above. If you want nothing skipped, simply make an empty MANIFEST.SKIP file.


&mkmanifest, &manicheck, &filecheck, &fullcheck, &maniread, and &manicopy are exportable.


$ExtUtils::Manifest::MANIFEST defaults to MANIFEST. Changing it results in both a different MANIFEST and a different MANIFEST.SKIP file. This is useful if you want to maintain different distributions for different audiences (say a user version and a developer version including RCS).

$ExtUtils::Manifest::Quiet defaults to 0. If set to a true value, all functions act silently.

$ExtUtils::Manifest::Debug defaults to 0. If set to a true value, or if PERL_MM_MANIFEST_DEBUG is true, debugging output will be produced.


All diagnostic output is sent to STDERR.

Not in MANIFEST: file
is reported if a file is found which is not in MANIFEST.

Skipping file
is reported if a file is skipped due to an entry in MANIFEST.SKIP.

No such file: file
is reported if a file mentioned in a MANIFEST file does not exist.

is reported if MANIFEST could not be opened.

Added to MANIFEST: file
is reported by mkmanifest() if $Verbose is set and a file is added to MANIFEST. $Verbose is set to 1 by default.


Turns on debugging


the ExtUtils::MakeMaker manpage which has handy targets for most of the functionality.


Andreas Koenig <>