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release_managers_guide - Releasing a new version of perl 5.x

Note that things change at each release, so there may be new things not covered here, or tools may need updating.


If you are preparing to do a release, you can run the Porting/make-rmg-checklist script to generate a new version of this document that starts with a checklist for your release.

This script is run as:

    perl Porting/make-rmg-checklist \
        --type [BLEAD-POINT or MAINT or ...] > /tmp/rmg.pod

You can also pass the --html flag to generate an HTML document instead of POD.

    perl Porting/make-rmg-checklist --html \
        --type [BLEAD-POINT or MAINT or ...] > /tmp/rmg.html


This document describes the series of tasks required - some automatic, some manual - to produce a perl release of some description, be that a release candidate, or final, numbered release of maint or blead.

The release process has traditionally been executed by the current pumpking. Blead releases from 5.11.0 forward are made each month on the 20th by a non-pumpking release engineer. The release engineer roster and schedule can be found in Porting/release_schedule.pod.

This document both helps as a check-list for the release engineer and is a base for ideas on how the various tasks could be automated or distributed.

The checklist of a typical release cycle is as follows:

    (5.10.1 is released, and post-release actions have been done)

    ...time passes...

    a few weeks before the release, a number of steps are performed,
        including bumping the version to 5.10.2

    ...a few weeks pass...

    perl-5.10.2-RC1 is released

    perl-5.10.2 is released

    post-release actions are performed, including creating new

    ... the cycle continues ...


Some of the tasks described below apply to all four types of release of Perl. (blead, RC, final release of maint, final release of blead). Some of these tasks apply only to a subset of these release types. If a step does not apply to a given type of release, you will see a notation to that effect at the beginning of the step.

Release types

Release Candidate (RC)

A release candidate is an attempt to produce a tarball that is a close as possible to the final release. Indeed, unless critical faults are found during the RC testing, the final release will be identical to the RC barring a few minor fixups (updating the release date in perlhist.pod, removing the RC status from patchlevel.h, etc). If faults are found, then the fixes should be put into a new release candidate, never directly into a final release.

Stable/Maint release (MAINT).

A release with an even version number, and subversion number > 0, such as 5.14.1 or 5.14.2.

At this point you should have a working release candidate with few or no changes since.

It's essentially the same procedure as for making a release candidate, but with a whole bunch of extra post-release steps.

Note that for a maint release there are two versions of this guide to consider: the one in the maint branch, and the one in blead. Which one to use is a fine judgement. The blead one will be most up-to-date, while it might describe some steps or new tools that aren't applicable to older maint branches. It is probably best to review both versions of this document, but to most closely follow the steps in the maint version.

A blead point release (BLEAD-POINT)

A release with an odd version number, such as 5.15.0 or 5.15.1.

This isn't for production, so it has less stability requirements than for other release types, and isn't preceded by RC releases. Other than that, it is similar to a MAINT release.

Blead final release (BLEAD-FINAL)

A release with an even version number, and subversion number == 0, such as 5.14.0. That is to say, it's the big new release once per year.

It's essentially the same procedure as for making a release candidate, but with a whole bunch of extra post-release steps, even more than for MAINT.


Before you can make an official release of perl, there are a few hoops you need to jump through:

PAUSE account with pumpkin status

Make sure you have a PAUSE account suitable for uploading a perl release. If you don't have a PAUSE account, then request one:

Check that your account is allowed to upload perl distros: go to and check that your PAUSE ID is listed there. If not, ask Andreas König to add your ID to the list of people allowed to upload something called perl. You can find Andreas' email address at: update access

Make sure you have permission to close tickets on so you can respond to bug report as necessary during your stint. If you don't, make an account (if you don't have one) and contact the pumpking with your username to get ticket-closing permission.

git checkout and commit bit

You will need a working git installation, checkout of the perl git repository and perl commit bit. For information about working with perl and git, see pod/perlgit.pod.

If you are not yet a perl committer, you won't be able to make a release. Have a chat with whichever evil perl porter tried to talk you into the idea in the first place to figure out the best way to resolve the issue.

web-based file share

You will need to be able to share tarballs with #p5p members for pre-release testing, and you may wish to upload to PAUSE via URL. Make sure you have a way of sharing files, such as a web server or file-sharing service.

Porters have access to the "dromedary" server (, which has a public_html directory to share files with. (

If you use Dropbox, you can append "raw=1" as a parameter to their usual sharing link to allow direct download (albeit with redirects).

git clone of

For updating the web pages, either a Github account or sweet-talking somebody with a Github account into obedience is needed. This is only needed on the day of the release or shortly afterwards.

Quotation for release announcement epigraph

You will need a quotation to use as an epigraph to your release announcement.

Install the previous version of perl

During the testing phase of the release you have created, you will be asked to compare the installed files with a previous install. Save yourself some time on release day, and have a (clean) install of the previous version ready.

Building a release - advance actions

The work of building a release candidate for an even numbered release (BLEAD-FINAL) of perl generally starts several weeks before the first release candidate. Some of the following steps should be done regularly, but all must be done in the run up to a release.

dual-life CPAN module synchronisation

To see which core distro versions differ from the current CPAN versions:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/core-cpan-diff -x -a

However, this only checks whether the version recorded in Porting/ differs from the latest on CPAN. It doesn't tell you if the code itself has diverged from CPAN.

You can also run an actual diff of the contents of the modules, comparing core to CPAN, to ensure that there were no erroneous/extraneous changes that need to be dealt with. You do this by not passing the -x option:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/core-cpan-diff -a -o /tmp/corediffs

Passing -u cpan will probably be helpful, since it limits the search to distributions with 'cpan' upstream source. (It's OK for blead upstream to differ from CPAN because those dual-life releases usually come after perl is released.)

See also the -d and -v options for more detail (and the -u option as mentioned above). You'll probably want to use the -c cachedir option to avoid repeated CPAN downloads and may want to use -m file:///mirror/path if you made a local CPAN mirror. Note that a minicpan mirror won't actually work, but can provide a good first pass to quickly get a list of modules which definitely haven't changed, to avoid having to download absolutely everything.

For a BLEAD-POINT or BLEAD-FINAL release with 'cpan' upstream, if a CPAN release appears to be ahead of blead, then consider updating it (or asking the relevant porter to do so). (However, if this is a BLEAD-FINAL release or one of the last BLEAD-POINT releases before it and hence blead is in some kind of "code freeze" state (e.g. the sequence might be "contentious changes freeze", then "user-visible changes freeze" and finally "full code freeze") then any CPAN module updates must be subject to the same restrictions, so it may not be possible to update all modules until after the BLEAD-FINAL release.) If blead contains edits to a 'cpan' upstream module, this is naughty but sometimes unavoidable to keep blead tests passing. Make sure the affected file has a CUSTOMIZED entry in Porting/

If you are making a MAINT release, run core-cpan-diff on both blead and maint, then diff the two outputs. Compare this with what you expect, and if necessary, fix things up. For example, you might think that both blead and maint are synchronised with a particular CPAN module, but one might have some extra changes.

How to sync a CPAN module with a cpan/ distro

For entries with a non-simple FILES section, or with a MAP, you may have to take more steps than listed above.

Porting/sync-with-cpan is a script that automates most of the steps above; but see the comments at the beginning of the file. In particular, it has not yet been exercised on Windows, but will certainly require a set of Unix tools such as Cygwin, and steps that run make will need to run nmake instead.

dual-life CPAN module stability

Ensure dual-life CPAN modules are stable, which comes down to:

   for each module that fails its regression tests on $current
       did it fail identically on $previous?
       if yes, "SEP" (Somebody Else's Problem)
       else work out why it failed (a bisect is useful for this)

   attempt to group failure causes

   for each failure cause
       is that a regression?
       if yes, figure out how to fix it
           (more code? revert the code that broke it)
           (presumably) it's relying on something un-or-under-documented
           should the existing behaviour stay?
               yes - goto "regression"
               no - note it in perldelta as a significant bugfix
               (also, try to inform the module's author)

monitor smoke tests for failures

Similarly, monitor the smoking of core tests, and try to fix. See, and for a summary. See also which has the raw reports.

Similarly, monitor the smoking of perl for compiler warnings, and try to fix.

monitor CPAN testers for failures

For any release except a BLEAD-POINT: Examine the relevant analysis report(s) at to see how the impending release is performing compared to previous releases with regard to building and testing CPAN modules.

update perldelta

Get perldelta in a mostly finished state.

Read Porting/how_to_write_a_perldelta.pod, and try to make sure that every section it lists is, if necessary, populated and complete. Copy edit the whole document.

You won't be able to automatically fill in the "Updated Modules" section until after Module::CoreList is updated (as described below in "update Module::CoreList").

Bump the version number

Do not do this yet for a BLEAD-POINT release! You will do this at the end of the release process.

Increase the version number (e.g. from 5.12.0 to 5.12.1).

For a release candidate for a stable perl, this should happen a week or two before the first release candidate to allow sufficient time for testing and smoking with the target version built into the perl executable. For subsequent release candidates and the final release, it is not necessary to bump the version further.

There is a tool to semi-automate this process:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/bump-perl-version -i 5.10.0 5.10.1

Remember that this tool is largely just grepping for '5.10.0' or whatever, so it will generate false positives. Be careful not change text like "this was fixed in 5.10.0"!

Use git status and git diff to select changes you want to keep.

Be particularly careful with INSTALL, which contains a mixture of 5.10.0-type strings, some of which need bumping on every release, and some of which need to be left unchanged. See below in "update INSTALL" for more details.

For the first RC release leading up to a BLEAD-FINAL release, update the description of which releases are now "officially" supported in pod/perlpolicy.pod.

When doing a BLEAD-POINT or BLEAD-FINAL release, also make sure the PERL_API_* constants in patchlevel.h are in sync with the version you're releasing, unless you're absolutely sure the release you're about to make is 100% binary compatible to an earlier release. When releasing a MAINT perl version, the PERL_API_* constants MUST NOT be changed as we aim to guarantee binary compatibility in maint branches.

After editing, regenerate uconfig.h (this must be run on a system with a /bin/sh available):

 $ perl regen/

This might not cause any new changes.

You may also need to regen opcodes:

 $ ./perl -Ilib regen/

Test your changes:

 $ git clean -xdf   # careful if you don't have local files to keep!
 $ ./Configure -des -Dusedevel
 $ make
 $ make test

Do note that at this stage, porting tests will fail. They will continue to fail until you've updated Module::CoreList, as described below.

Commit your changes:

 $ git status
 $ git diff
 B<review the delta carefully>

 $ git commit -a -m 'Bump the perl version in various places for 5.x.y'

At this point you may want to compare the commit with a previous bump to see if they look similar. See commit f7cf42bb69 for an example of a previous version bump.

When the version number is bumped, you should also update Module::CoreList (as described below in "update Module::CoreList") to reflect the new version number.

update INSTALL

Review and update INSTALL to account for the change in version number. The lines in INSTALL about "is not binary compatible with" may require a correct choice of earlier version to declare incompatibility with. These are in the "Changes and Incompatibilities" and "Coexistence with earlier versions of perl 5" sections.

Be particularly careful with the section "Upgrading from 5.X.Y or earlier". The "X.Y" needs to be changed to the most recent version that we are not binary compatible with.

For MAINT and BLEAD-FINAL releases, this needs to refer to the last release in the previous development cycle (so for example, for a 5.14.x release, this would be 5.13.11).

For BLEAD-POINT releases, it needs to refer to the previous BLEAD-POINT release (so for 5.15.3 this would be 5.15.2). If the last release manager followed instructions, this should have already been done after the last blead release, so you may find nothing to do here.

Check copyright years

Check that the copyright years are up to date by running:

    $ ./perl t/porting/copyright.t --now

Remedy any test failures by editing README or perl.c accordingly (search for the "Copyright"). If updating perl.c, check if the file's own copyright date in the C comment at the top needs updating, as well as the one printed by -v.

Check more build configurations

Try running the full test suite against multiple Perl configurations. Here are some sets of Configure flags you can try:

If you have multiple compilers on your machine, you might also consider compiling with -Dcc=$other_compiler.

update perlport

perlport has a section currently named Supported Platforms that indicates which platforms are known to build in the current release. If necessary update the list and the indicated version number.

check a readonly build

Even before other prep work, follow the steps in "build the tarball" and test it locally. Because a perl source tarballs sets many files read-only, it could test differently than tests run from the repository. After you're sure permissions aren't a problem, delete the generated directory and tarballs.

Building a release - on the day

This section describes the actions required to make a release that are performed near to, or on the actual release day.

re-check earlier actions

Review all the actions in the previous section, "Building a release - advance actions" to ensure they are all done and up-to-date.

create a release branch

For BLEAD-POINT releases, making a release from a release branch avoids the need to freeze blead during the release. This is less important for BLEAD-FINAL, MAINT, and RC releases, since blead will already be frozen in those cases. Create the branch by running

    git checkout -b release-5.xx.yy

build a clean perl

Make sure you have a gitwise-clean perl directory (no modified files, unpushed commits etc):

    $ git status
    $ git clean -dxf

then configure and build perl so that you have a Makefile and porting tools:

    $ ./Configure -Dusedevel -des && make

Check module versions

For each Perl release since the previous release of the current branch, check for modules that have identical version numbers but different contents by running:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/ --tag=v5.X.YY

(This is done automatically by t/porting/cmp_version.t for the previous release of the current branch, but not for any releases from other branches.)

Any modules that fail will need a version bump, plus a nudge to the upstream maintainer for 'cpan' upstream modules.

update Module::CoreList

Bump Module::CoreList* $VERSIONs

If necessary, bump $Module::CoreList::VERSION (there's no need to do this for every RC; in RC1, bump the version to a new clean number that will appear in the final release, and leave as-is for the later RCs and final). It may also happen that Module::CoreList has been modified in blead, and hence has a new version number already. (But make sure it is not the same number as a CPAN release.)

$Module::CoreList::TieHashDelta::VERSION and $Module::CoreList::Utils::VERSION should always be equal to $Module::CoreList::VERSION. If necessary, bump those two versions to match before proceeding.

The files to modify are: dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/, dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/CoreList/ and dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/CoreList/

Update Module::CoreList with module version data for the new release.

Note that if this is a MAINT release, you should run the following actions from the maint branch, but commit the changes in blead and subsequently cherry-pick any releases since the last maint release and then your recent commit. XXX need a better example

[ Note that the procedure for handling Module::CoreList in maint branches is a bit complex, and the RMG currently don't describe a full and workable approach. The main issue is keeping Module::CoreList and its version number synchronised across all maint branches, blead and CPAN, while having to bump its version number for every RC release. See this brief p5p thread:

    Message-ID: <>

If you can devise a workable system, feel free to try it out, and to update the RMG accordingly!

DAPM May 2013 ] uses to verify information about dual-lived modules on CPAN. It can use a full, local CPAN mirror and/or fall back on HTTP::Tiny to fetch package metadata remotely.

(If you'd prefer to have a full CPAN mirror, see

Then change to your perl checkout, and if necessary,

    $ make

Then, If you have a local CPAN mirror, run:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/ ~/my-cpan-mirror

Otherwise, run:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/ cpan

This will chug for a while, possibly reporting various warnings about badly-indexed CPAN modules unrelated to the modules actually in core. Assuming all goes well, it will update dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/ and possibly dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/CoreList/

Check those files over carefully:

    $ git diff dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/
    $ git diff dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/CoreList/

Bump version in Module::CoreList Changes

Also edit Module::CoreList's new version number in its Changes file. This file is dist/Module-CoreList/Changes.

Add Module::CoreList version bump to perldelta

Add a perldelta entry for the new Module::CoreList version. You only need to do this if you want to add notes about the changes included with this version of Module::CoreList. Otherwise, its version bump will be automatically filled in below in "finalize perldelta".

Update %Module::CoreList::released

For any release except an RC: Update this version's entry in the %released hash with today's date.

Commit Module::CoreList changes

Finally, commit the new version of Module::CoreList: (unless this is for MAINT; in which case commit it to blead first, then cherry-pick it back).

    $ git commit -m 'Update Module::CoreList for 5.x.y' \
        dist/Module-CoreList/Changes \
        dist/Module-CoreList/lib/Module/ \

Rebuild and test

Build and test to get the changes into the currently built lib directory and to ensure all tests are passing.

finalize perldelta

Finalize the perldelta. In particular, fill in the Acknowledgements section, which can be generated with something like:

    $ perl Porting/ v5.15.0..HEAD

Fill in the "New/Updated Modules" sections now that Module::CoreList is updated:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/ \
        --mode=update pod/perldelta.pod

For a MAINT release use something like this instead:

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/ 5.020001 5.020002 \
        --mode=update pod/perldelta.pod

Ideally, also fill in a summary of the major changes to each module for which an entry has been added by

Re-read the perldelta to try to find any embarrassing typos and thinkos; remove any TODO or XXX flags; update the "Known Problems" section with any serious issues for which fixes are not going to happen now; and run through pod and spell checkers, e.g.

    $ podchecker -warnings -warnings pod/perldelta.pod
    $ spell pod/perldelta.pod

Also, you may want to generate and view an HTML version of it to check formatting, e.g.

    $ ./perl -Ilib ext/Pod-Html/bin/pod2html pod/perldelta.pod > \

Another good HTML preview option is

If you make changes, be sure to commit them.

remove stale perldeltas

For the first RC release that is ONLY for a BLEAD-FINAL, the perldeltas from the BLEAD-POINT releases since the previous BLEAD-FINAL should have now been consolidated into the current perldelta, and hence are now just useless clutter. They can be removed using:

    $ git rm <file1> <file2> ...

For example, for RC0 of 5.16.0:

    $ cd pod
    $ git rm perldelta515*.pod

add recent perldeltas

For the first RC for a MAINT release, copy in any recent perldeltas from blead that have been added since the last release on this branch. This should include any recent maint releases on branches older than your one, but not newer. For example if you're producing a 5.14.x release, copy any perldeltas from recent 5.10.x, 5.12.x etc maint releases, but not from 5.16.x or higher. Remember to

    $ git add <file1> <file2> ...

update and commit perldelta files

If you have added or removed any perldelta files via the previous two steps, then edit pod/perl.pod to add/remove them from its table of contents, then run Porting/ to propagate your changes there into all the other files that mention them (including MANIFEST). You'll need to git add the files that it changes.

Then build a clean perl and do a full test

    $ git status
    $ git clean -dxf
    $ ./Configure -Dusedevel -des
    $ make
    $ make test

Once all tests pass, commit your changes.

build a clean perl

If you skipped the previous step (adding/removing perldeltas), again, make sure you have a gitwise-clean perl directory (no modified files, unpushed commits etc):

    $ git status
    $ git clean -dxf

then configure and build perl so that you have a Makefile and porting tools:

    $ ./Configure -Dusedevel -des && make

synchronise from blead's perlhist.pod

For the first RC for a MAINT release, copy in the latest pod/perlhist.pod from blead; this will include details of newer releases in all branches. In theory, blead's version should be a strict superset of the one in this branch, but it's probably safest to diff them first to ensure that there's nothing in this branch that was forgotten from blead:

    $ diff pod/perlhist.pod ..../blead/pod/perlhist.pod
    $ cp  ..../blead/pod/perlhist.pod pod/
    $ git commit -m 'sync perlhist from blead' pod/perlhist.pod

update perlhist.pod

Add an entry to pod/perlhist.pod with the release date, e.g.:

    David    5.10.1       2009-Aug-06

List yourself in the left-hand column, and if this is the first release that you've ever done, make sure that your name is listed in the section entitled THE KEEPERS OF THE PUMPKIN.

If you're making a BLEAD-FINAL release, also update the "SELECTED RELEASE SIZES" section with the output of Porting/

Be sure to commit your changes:

    $ git commit -m 'add new release to perlhist' pod/perlhist.pod

update patchlevel.h

You MUST SKIP this step for a BLEAD-POINT release

Update patchlevel.h to add a -RC1-or-whatever string; or, if this is a final release, remove it. For example:

     static const char * const local_patches[] = {
    +        ,"RC1"

Be sure to commit your change:

    $ git commit -m 'bump version to RCnnn' patchlevel.h

run makemeta to update META files

    $ ./perl -Ilib Porting/makemeta

Be sure to commit any changes (if applicable):

    $ git status   # any changes?
    $ git commit -m 'Update META files' META.*

build, test and check a fresh perl

Build perl, then make sure it passes its own test suite, and installs:

    $ git clean -xdf
    $ ./Configure -des -Dprefix=/tmp/perl-5.x.y-pretest

    # or if it's an odd-numbered version:
    $ ./Configure -des -Dusedevel -Dprefix=/tmp/perl-5.x.y-pretest

    $ make test install

Check that the output of /tmp/perl-5.x.y-pretest/bin/perl -v and /tmp/perl-5.x.y-pretest/bin/perl -V are as expected, especially as regards version numbers, patch and/or RC levels, and @INC paths. Note that as they have been built from a git working directory, they will still identify themselves using git tags and commits. (Note that for an odd-numbered version, perl will install itself as perl5.x.y). perl -v will identify itself as:

 This is perl 5, version X, subversion Y (v5.X.Y (v5.X.Z-NNN-gdeadbeef))

where 5.X.Z is the latest tag, NNN the number of commits since this tag, and deadbeef commit of that tag.

Then delete the temporary installation.

create the release tag

Create the tag identifying this release (e.g.):

    $ git tag v5.11.0 -m "First release of the v5.11 series!"

It is VERY important that from this point forward, you not push your git changes to the Perl master repository. If anything goes wrong before you publish your newly-created tag, you can delete and recreate it. Once you push your tag, we're stuck with it and you'll need to use a new version number for your release.

build the tarball

Before you run the following, you might want to install 7-Zip (the p7zip-full package under Debian or the p7zip port on MacPorts) or the AdvanceCOMP suite (e.g. the advancecomp package under Debian, or the advancecomp port on macports - 7-Zip on Windows is the same code as AdvanceCOMP, so Windows users get the smallest files first time). These compress about 5% smaller than gzip and bzip2. Over the lifetime of your distribution this will save a lot of people a small amount of download time and disk space, which adds up.

In order to produce the xz tarball, XZ Utils are required. The xz utility is included with most modern UNIX-type operating systems and is available for Cygwin. A Windows port is available from

IMPORTANT: if you are on OS X, you must export COPYFILE_DISABLE=1 to prevent OS X resource files from being included in your tarball. After creating the tarball following the instructions below, inspect it to ensure you don't have files like ._foobar.

Create a tarball. Use the -s option to specify a suitable suffix for the tarball and directory name:

 $ cd root/of/perl/tree
 $ make distclean       # make sure distclean works
 $ git clean -xdf       # make sure perl and git agree on files
                        # git clean should not output anything!
 $ git status           # and there's nothing lying around

 $ perl Porting/makerel -bx -s RC1            # for a release candidate
 $ perl Porting/makerel -bx                   # for the release itself

This creates the directory ../perl-x.y.z-RC1 or similar, copies all the MANIFEST files into it, sets the correct permissions on them, then tars it up as ../perl-x.y.z-RC1.tar.gz. With -b, it also creates a tar.bz2 file. The -x also produces a tar.xz file.

If you're getting your tarball suffixed with -uncommitted and you're sure your changes were all committed, you can override the suffix with:

    $ perl Porting/makerel -b -s ''

XXX if we go for extra tags and branches stuff, then add the extra details here

Finally, clean up the temporary directory, e.g.

    $ rm -rf ../perl-x.y.z-RC1

test the tarball

Once you have a tarball it's time to test the tarball (not the repository).

Copy the tarball to a web server

Copy the tarballs (.gz and possibly .bz2 and .xz) to a web server somewhere you have access to.

Download the tarball to another machine and unpack it

Download the tarball to some other machine. For a release candidate, you really want to test your tarball on two or more different platforms and architectures.

Ask #p5p to test the tarball on different platforms

Once you've verified the tarball can be downloaded and unpacked, ask the #p5p IRC channel on for volunteers to test the tarballs on whatever platforms they can.

If you're not confident in the tarball, you can defer this step until after your own tarball testing, below.

Check that Configure works

Check that basic configuration and tests work on each test machine:

    $ ./Configure -des && make all test

    # Or for a development release:
    $ ./Configure -Dusedevel -des && make all test

Run the test harness and install

Check that the test harness and install work on each test machine:

 $ make distclean
 $ ./Configure -des -Dprefix=/install/path && make all test_harness install
 $ cd /install/path

Check perl -v and perl -V

Check that the output of perl -v and perl -V are as expected, especially as regards version numbers, patch and/or RC levels, and @INC paths.

Note that the results may be different without a .git/ directory, which is why you should test from the tarball.

Run the Installation Verification Procedure utility

    $ ./perl utils/perlivp
    All tests successful.

Compare the installed paths to the last release

Compare the pathnames of all installed files with those of the previous release (i.e. against the last installed tarball on this branch which you have previously verified using this same procedure). In particular, look for files in the wrong place, or files no longer included which should be. For example, suppose the about-to-be-released version is 5.10.1 and the previous is 5.10.0:

    cd installdir-5.10.0/
    find . -type f | perl -pe's/5\.10\.0/5.10.1/g' | sort > /tmp/f1
    cd installdir-5.10.1/
    find . -type f | sort > /tmp/f2
    diff -u /tmp/f[12]

Bootstrap the CPAN client

Bootstrap the CPAN client on the clean install:

    $ bin/cpan

    # Or, perhaps:
    $ bin/cpan5.xx.x

Install the Inline module with CPAN and test it

Try installing a popular CPAN module that's reasonably complex and that has dependencies; for example:

    CPAN> install Inline::C
    CPAN> quit

Check that your perl can run this:

    $ bin/perl -lwe "use Inline C => q[int f() { return 42;}]; print f"

Make sure that perlbug works

Test perlbug with the following:

    $ bin/perlbug
    Subject: test bug report
    Local perl administrator [yourself]:
    Editor [vi]:
    Category [core]:
    Severity [low]:
    (edit report)
    Action (Send/Display/Edit/Subject/Save to File): f
    Name of file to save message in [perlbug.rep]:
    Action (Send/Display/Edit/Subject/Save to File): q

and carefully examine the output (in perlbug.rep]), especially the "Locally applied patches" section. If everything appears okay, then delete the file, and try it again, this time actually submitting the bug report. Check that it shows up, then remember to close it!

monitor smokes

XXX This is probably irrelevant if working on a release branch, though MAINT or RC might want to push a smoke branch and wait.

Wait for the smoke tests to catch up with the commit which this release is based on (or at least the last commit of any consequence).

Then check that the smoke tests pass (particularly on Win32). If not, go back and fix things.

Note that for BLEAD-POINT releases this may not be practical. It takes a long time for the smokers to catch up, especially the Win32 smokers. This is why we have a RC cycle for MAINT and BLEAD-FINAL releases, but for BLEAD-POINT releases sometimes the best you can do is to plead with people on IRC to test stuff on their platforms, fire away, and then hope for the best.

upload to PAUSE

Once smoking is okay, upload it to PAUSE. This is the point of no return. If anything goes wrong after this point, you will need to re-prepare a new release with a new minor version or RC number.

(Login, then select 'Upload a file to CPAN')

If your workstation is not connected to a high-bandwidth, high-reliability connection to the Internet, you should probably use the "GET URL" feature (rather than "HTTP UPLOAD") to have PAUSE retrieve the new release from wherever you put it for testers to find it. This will eliminate anxious gnashing of teeth while you wait to see if your 15 megabyte HTTP upload successfully completes across your slow, twitchy cable modem.

You can make use of your home directory on dromedary for this purpose: maps to /home/USERNAME/public_html, where USERNAME is your login account on dromedary.

Remember: if your upload is partially successful, you may need to contact a PAUSE administrator or even bump the version of perl.

Upload the .gz, .xz, and .bz2 versions of the tarball.

Do not proceed any further until you are sure that your tarballs are on CPAN. Check your authors directory (the globally balanced "fast" mirror) to confirm that your uploads have been successful.

wait for indexing

You MUST SKIP this step for RC and BLEAD-POINT

Wait until you receive notification emails from the PAUSE indexer confirming that your uploads have been received. IMPORTANT -- you will probably get an email that indexing has failed, due to module permissions. This is considered normal.

disarm patchlevel.h

You MUST SKIP this step for BLEAD-POINT release

Disarm the patchlevel.h change; for example,

     static const char * const local_patches[] = {
    -        ,"RC1"

Be sure to commit your change:

    $ git commit -m 'disarm RCnnn bump' patchlevel.h

announce to p5p

Mail p5p to announce your new release, with a quote you prepared earlier.

Use the template at Porting/release_announcement_template.txt

Send a carbon copy to

merge release branch back to blead

Merge the (local) release branch back into master now, and delete it.

    git checkout blead
    git pull
    git merge release-5.xx.yy
    git push
    git branch -d release-5.xx.yy

Note: The merge will create a merge commit if other changes have been pushed to blead while you've been working on your release branch. Do NOT rebase your branch to avoid the merge commit (as you might normally do when merging a small branch into blead) since doing so will invalidate the tag that you created earlier.

publish the release tag

Now that you've shipped the new perl release to PAUSE and pushed your changes to the Perl master repository, it's time to publish the tag you created earlier too (e.g.):

    $ git push origin tag v5.11.0

update epigraphs.pod

Add your quote to Porting/epigraphs.pod and commit it. You can include the customary link to the release announcement even before your message reaches the web-visible archives by looking for the X-List-Archive header in your message after receiving it back via perl5-porters.

blog about your epigraph

If you have a blog, please consider writing an entry in your blog explaining why you chose that particular quote for your epigraph.

Release schedule

You MUST SKIP this step for RC

Tick the entry for your release in Porting/release_schedule.pod.

Module::CoreList nagging

You MUST SKIP this step for RC

Remind the current maintainer of Module::CoreList to push a new release to CPAN.

new perldelta

You MUST SKIP this step for RC

Create a new perldelta.

At this point you may want to compare the commit with a previous bump to see if they look similar. See commit ba03bc34a4 for an example of a previous version bump.

bump version

You MUST SKIP this step for RC and MAINT

If this was a BLEAD-FINAL release (i.e. the first release of a new maint series, 5.x.0 where x is even), then bump the version in the blead branch in git, e.g. 5.12.0 to 5.13.0.

First, add a new feature bundle to regen/, initially by just copying the exiting entry, and bump the file's $VERSION (after the __END__ marker); e.g.

         "5.14" => [qw(switch say state unicode_strings)],
    +    "5.15" => [qw(switch say state unicode_strings)],

Run regen/ to propagate the changes to lib/

Then follow the section "Bump the version number" to bump the version in the remaining files and test and commit.

If this was a BLEAD-POINT release, then just follow the section "Bump the version number".

After bumping the version, follow the section "update INSTALL" to ensure all version number references are correct.

(Note: The version is NOT bumped immediately after a MAINT release in order to avoid confusion and wasted time arising from bug reports relating to "intermediate versions" such as 5.20.1-and-a-bit: If the report is caused by a bug that gets fixed in 5.20.2 and this intermediate version already calls itself 5.20.2 then much time can be wasted in figuring out why there is a failure from something that "should have been fixed". If the bump is late then there is a much smaller window of time for such confusing bug reports to arise. (The opposite problem -- trying to figure out why there *is* a bug in something calling itself 5.20.1 when in fact the bug was introduced later -- shouldn't arise for MAINT releases since they should, in theory, only contain bug fixes but never regressions.))

clean build and test

Run a clean build and test to make sure nothing obvious is broken.

In particular, Porting/perldelta_template.pod is intentionally exempted from podchecker tests, to avoid false positives about placeholder text. However, once it's copied to pod/perldelta.pod the contents can now cause test failures. Problems should be resolved by doing one of the following:

  1. Replace placeholder text with correct text.
  2. If the problem is from a broken placeholder link, you can add it to the array @perldelta_ignore_links in t/porting/podcheck.t. Lines containing such links should be marked with XXX so that they get cleaned up before the next release.
  3. Following the instructions output by t/porting/podcheck.t on how to update its exceptions database.

push commits

Finally, push any commits done above.

    $ git push origin ....

create maint branch


If this was a BLEAD-FINAL release (i.e. the first release of a new maint series, 5.x.0 where x is even), then create a new maint branch based on the commit tagged as the current release.

Assuming you're using git 1.7.x or newer:

    $ git checkout -b maint-5.12 v5.12.0
    $ git push origin -u maint-5.12

make the maint branch available in the APC

Clone the new branch into /srv/gitcommon/branches on camel so the APC will receive its changes.

    $ git clone --branch maint-5.14 /gitroot/perl.git \
    ?  /srv/gitcommon/branches/perl-5.14.x
    $ chmod -R g=u /srv/gitcommon/branches/perl-5.14.x

And nag the sysadmins to make this directory available via rsync.

XXX Who are the sysadmins? Contact info?

copy perldelta.pod to blead

You MUST SKIP this step for RC, BLEAD-POINT

Copy the perldelta.pod for this release into blead; for example:

 $ cd ..../blead
 $ cp -i ../5.10.x/pod/perldelta.pod pod/perl5101delta.pod  #for example
 $ git add pod/perl5101delta.pod

Don't forget to set the NAME correctly in the new file (e.g. perl5101delta rather than perldelta).

Edit pod/perl.pod to add an entry for the file, e.g.:

    perl5101delta               Perl changes in version 5.10.1

Then rebuild various files:

    $ perl Porting/

Finally, commit and push:

    $ git commit -a -m 'add perlXXXdelta'
    $ git push origin ....

copy perlhist.pod entries to blead

Make sure any recent pod/perlhist.pod entries are copied to perlhist.pod on blead. e.g.

    5.8.9         2008-Dec-14

bump RT version number

Log into and check whether the new version is in the RT fields Perl Version and Fixed In. The easiest way to determine this is to open up any ticket for modification and check the drop downs next to the Perl Version and Fixed In labels.

Here, try this link:

If the new version is not listed there, send an email to perlbug-admin at requesting this.


You MUST RETIRE to your preferred PUB, CAFE or SEASIDE VILLA for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Thanks for releasing perl!

Building a release - the day after

update Module::CoreList

After a BLEAD-POINT release only

After Module::CoreList has shipped to CPAN by the maintainer, update Module::CoreList in the source so that it reflects the new blead version number:

check tarball availability

Check various website entries to make sure the that tarball has appeared and is properly indexed:


You MUST SKIP this step for a RC release

In your perlweb repository, link to the new release. For a new latest-maint release, edit docs/shared/tpl/stats.html. Otherwise, edit docs/dev/perl5/index.html.

Then make a pull request to Leo Lapworth. If this fails for some reason and you cannot cajole anybody else into submitting that change, you can mail Leo as last resort.

This repository can be found on github.

update release manager's guide

Go over your notes from the release (you did take some, right?) and update Porting/release_managers_guide.pod with any fixes or information that will make life easier for the next release manager.


Based on, plus a whole bunch of other sources, including private correspondence.

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