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Perl 5 version 8.8 documentation
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ExtUtils::Command - utilities to replace common UNIX commands in Makefiles etc.


  1. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e cat files... > destination
  2. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e mv source... destination
  3. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e cp source... destination
  4. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e touch files...
  5. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e rm_f files...
  6. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e rm_rf directories...
  7. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e mkpath directories...
  8. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e eqtime source destination
  9. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e test_f file
  10. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e chmod mode files...
  11. ...


The module is used to replace common UNIX commands. In all cases the functions work from @ARGV rather than taking arguments. This makes them easier to deal with in Makefiles.

  1. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e some_command some files to work on


  1. perl -MExtUtils::Command -e 'some_command qw(some files to work on)'

For that use Shell::Command.

Filenames with * and ? will be glob expanded.

  • cat
    1. cat file ...

    Concatenates all files mentioned on command line to STDOUT.

  • eqtime
    1. eqtime source destination

    Sets modified time of destination to that of source.

  • rm_rf
    1. rm_rf files or directories ...

    Removes files and directories - recursively (even if readonly)

  • rm_f
    1. rm_f file ...

    Removes files (even if readonly)

  • touch
    1. touch file ...

    Makes files exist, with current timestamp

  • mv
    1. mv source_file destination_file
    2. mv source_file source_file destination_dir

    Moves source to destination. Multiple sources are allowed if destination is an existing directory.

    Returns true if all moves succeeded, false otherwise.

  • cp
    1. cp source_file destination_file
    2. cp source_file source_file destination_dir

    Copies sources to the destination. Multiple sources are allowed if destination is an existing directory.

    Returns true if all copies succeeded, false otherwise.

  • chmod
    1. chmod mode files ...

    Sets UNIX like permissions 'mode' on all the files. e.g. 0666

  • mkpath
    1. mkpath directory ...

    Creates directories, including any parent directories.

  • test_f
    1. test_f file

    Tests if a file exists

  • dos2unix
    1. dos2unix files or dirs ...

    Converts DOS and OS/2 linefeeds to Unix style recursively.


Shell::Command which is these same functions but take arguments normally.


Nick Ing-Simmons

Currently maintained by Michael G Schwern .