sg has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:


After installing the latest ActivePerl 5.12.x, I tried the command cpan -h This immediately started the process of installing MinGW and dmake. This unexpected action was unnerving, and I killed the attempt. I do plan to install MinGW on my own, and tried to find out what MinGW cpan wanted to install, and about potential conflicts, duplication, etc. I might run into when I installed the regular MinGW.

The commands ppm search mingw and ppm search dmake provides links and but both links are broken.

I found two documentations for cpan (cpan - easily interact with CPAN from the command line and CPAN - query, download and build perl modules from CPAN sites) but neither documentation mentions MinGW and dmake and why a request for help immediately starts a download and install process.


  1. What is the MinGW- and dmake that cpan wants to install?
  2. Since I plan to install MinGW on my own, should I do so before running cpan or are the two MinGWs different?
  3. The MinGW I install will have make; will cpan still want to install dmake?
  4. Regarding the broken links provided by ppm, what is the proper links?