Using PPM

What is PPM?

PPM is the package management utility for ActivePerl. It simplifies the task of locating, installing, upgrading and removing Perl packages. The PPM client accesses PPM repositories (collections of packages) on the internet or on a local network. It is also used to update previously installed packages with the latest versions and to remove unused packages from your system.


PPM is installed automatically with ActivePerl.

To use PPM, your computer must be connected to the internet, have access to a PPM repository on a local hard drive or network share, or have access to a mounted ActiveState ActiveDVD.

If you connect to the internet via firewall or proxy, you may need to set the http_proxy environment variable. See PPM, Proxies and Firewalls for more information.

Access to the Solaris PPM repository requires an ActivePerl Business Edition license.


To launch PPM's graphical user interface, run ppm without any command line arguments:


The interface should look something like this:

When launched, PPM automatically synchronizes its local database with the installed perl packages (including those installed manually or via the CPAN shell). The interface is temporarily locked while this synchronization takes place.

Hovering the mouse pointer over icons in the toolbar displays tool tips describing what each button does. These buttons are:

Use the Filter text field to limit the packages displayed in the Package List pane to those matching the text entered (case insensitive substring match).


Click the magnifying glass icon to select which package meta-data to match against:

The Package List pane can display the following columns of package information:

The Status tab displays messages about the current status of the PPM client, marked actions, and information about the actions being run.

The Details tab displays package information and, for installed packages, a list of all installed files.

The PPM Command Line

All PPM operations and configuration can also be performed at the command line. See the ppm man page or 'ppm help' for more information.

Finding, Installing, Removing and Upgrading Packages

Find a package.

To find a package in the repository:

As text is entered in the Filter field, the list of packages is automatically updated as the substring match becomes more precise. Click the magnifying glass icon to filter on different meta-data (e.g. Author).

Alternatively, just start typing the name of the package. The Package List will highlight the fb