Dist::Zilla - distribution builder; installer not included!


version 6.032


Dist::Zilla builds distributions of code to be uploaded to the CPAN. In this respect, it is like ExtUtils::MakeMaker, Module::Build, or Module::Install. Unlike those tools, however, it is not also a system for installing code that has been downloaded from the CPAN. Since it's only run by authors, and is meant to be run on a repository checkout rather than on published, released code, it can do much more than those tools, and is free to make much more ludicrous demands in terms of prerequisites.

If you have access to the web, you can learn more and find an interactive tutorial at If not, try Dist::Zilla::Tutorial.


This module should work on any version of perl still receiving updates from the Perl 5 Porters. This means it should work on any version of perl released in the last two to three years. (That is, if the most recently released version is v5.40, then this module should work on both v5.40 and v5.38.)

Although it may work on older versions of perl, no guarantee is made that the minimum required version will not be increased. The version may be increased for any reason, and there is no promise that patches will be accepted to lower the minimum required perl.



The name attribute (which is required) gives the name of the distribution to be built. This is usually the name of the distribution's main module, with the double colons (::) replaced with dashes. For example: Dist-Zilla.


This is the version of the distribution to be created.


This attribute sets the release status to one of the CPAN::META::Spec values: 'stable', 'testing' or 'unstable'.

If the $ENV{RELEASE_STATUS} environment variable exists, its value will be used as the release status.

For backwards compatibility, if $ENV{RELEASE_STATUS} does not exist and the $ENV{TRIAL} variable is true, the release status will be 'testing'.

Otherwise, the release status will be set from a ReleaseStatusProvider, if one has been configured.

For backwards compatibility, setting is_trial true in dist.ini is equivalent to using a ReleaseStatusProvider. If is_trial is false, it has no effect.

Only one ReleaseStatusProvider may be used.

If no providers are used, the release status defaults to 'stable' unless there is an "_" character in the version, in which case, it defaults to 'testing'.


This is a one-line summary of the distribution. If none is given, one will be looked for in the "main_module" of the dist.


This is the module where Dist::Zilla might look for various defaults, like the distribution abstract. By default, it's derived from the distribution name. If your distribution is Foo-Bar, and lib/Foo/ exists, that's the main_module. Otherwise, it's the shortest-named module in the distribution. This may change!

You can override the default by specifying the file path explicitly, ie:

main_module = lib/Foo/


This is the Software::License object for this dist's license and copyright.

It will be created automatically, if possible, with the copyright_holder and copyright_year attributes. If necessary, it will try to guess the license from the POD of the dist's main module.

A better option is to set the license name in the dist's config to something understandable, like Perl_5.


This is an arrayref of author strings, like this:

  'Ricardo Signes <>',
  'X. Ample, Jr <>',

This is likely to change at some point in the near future.


This is an arrayref of objects implementing Dist::Zilla::Role::File that will, if left in this arrayref, be built into the dist.

Non-core code should avoid altering this arrayref, but sometimes there is not other way to change the list of files. In the future, the representation used for storing files will be changed.


This is the root directory of the dist, as a Path::Tiny. It will nearly always be the current working directory in which dzil was run.


This attribute tells us whether or not the dist will be a trial release, i.e. whether it has release_status 'testing' or 'unstable'.

Do not set this directly, it will be derived from release_status.


This is an arrayref of plugins that have been plugged into this Dist::Zilla object.

Non-core code must not alter this arrayref. Public access to this attribute may go away in the future.


This is a hashref containing the metadata about this distribution that will be stored in META.yml or META.json. You should not alter the metadata in this hash; use a MetaProvider plugin instead.


This is a Dist::Zilla::Prereqs object, which is a thin layer atop CPAN::Meta::Prereqs, and describes the distribution's prerequisites.


This attribute stores a Log::Dispatchouli::Proxy object, used to log messages. By default, a proxy to the dist's Chrome is taken.

The following methods are delegated from the Dist::Zilla object to the logger:



Allows registration of prerequisites; delegates to "register_prereqs" in Dist::Zilla::Prereqs via our "prereqs" attribute.


my $plugin = $zilla->plugin_named( $plugin_name );


my $roles = $zilla->plugins_with( -SomeRole );

This method returns an arrayref containing all the Dist::Zilla object's plugins that perform the named role. If the given role name begins with a dash, the dash is replaced with "Dist::Zilla::Role::"


my $files = $zilla->find_files( $finder_name );

This method will look for a FileFinder-performing plugin with the given name and return the result of calling find_files on it. If no plugin can be found, an exception will be raised.


my $stash = $zilla->stash_named( $name );

This method will return the stash with the given name, or undef if none exists. It looks for a local stash (for this dist) first, then falls back to a global stash (from the user's global configuration).



I will try not to break things within any major release. Minor releases are not extensively tested before release. In major releases, anything goes, although I will try to publish a complete list of known breaking changes in any major release.

If Dist::Zilla was a tool, it would have yellow and black stripes and there would be no UL certification on it. It is nasty, brutish, and large.


There are usually people on in #distzilla, even if they're idling.

The Dist::Zilla website has several valuable resources for learning to use Dist::Zilla.



Ricardo SIGNES 😏 <>



This software is copyright (c) 2024 by Ricardo SIGNES.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.