This is the documentation of version 1.50. You may want the documentation of the stable version (2.0) or of the well tested 2.1 development snapshot or our homepage.


Stand-alone access to builtin commands in makepp

?: -?A: -A, --args-file, --arguments-fileD: $DIRECTNAMEFLAGSH: -h, --helpI: -I, --include, --include-dirM: -M, $MAKEPPBUILTINFLAGS, --moduleV: -V, --version

makeppbuiltinmetaoption ... ] command -?|--help

mppbmetaoption ... ] command -?|--help

makeppbuiltinmetaoption ... ] commandoption ... ] [ argument ... ]

mppbmetaoption ... ] commandoption ... ] [ argument ... ]


ln makeppbuiltin command

command -?|--help

commandoption ... ] [ argument ... ]

This command allows you to call the builtin commands makepp provides, from outside makepp as well. This could be necessary if you've installed things with Makeppfile targets that use &install, but there is no corresponding &uninstall target. Or you need a feature not usually found in the Unix counterparts like ln -r. That's what this command is for.

The commands get a simple additional --help option, which their builtin counterparts lack. This works by parsing the command's option declaration. It cannot however find out, what other arguments the command expects.

The metaoptions allow loading your own command or helper functions, but only if it comes from a module. Valid options are:

-A filename

Read the file and parse it as possibly quoted whitespace- and/or newline-separated options.


Print out a brief summary of the options.

-I directory

Add directory to Perl load path @INC.

-M module[=arg,...]

Load module and import any functions it exports.


Print out the version number.


If you like to call such a command more frequently, you can call it directly, by linking makeppbuiltin to the name of that command. The name of the builtin can occur anywhere within the file-name without directory. So any of the following links would invoke the builtin template command (but the last would need to be escaped from the Shell):



There are a few notable differences between the usual call within a Makeppfile rule, and a stand-alone call:


Builtin commands are not parsed by the Shell within makepp. There are subtle differences in how makepp quotes work, e.g. dollar signs are expanded by makepp even within single quotes, and need to be doubled to escape them. Various characters, like *, & or | are not special to makepp and need not be escaped.

Difference: To start the command stand-alone you are probably using a Shell. Here you must adapt such special cases to the syntactical requirements of the Shell.

Variables and Functions

Before makepp executes the rule actions, they will already have undergone expression expansion of makepp variables and functions.

Difference: When called from the Shell, you will instead get unprotected Shell variables and expressions expanded, before the comand is called.

Perl Code

Each Makeppfile lives in its own (anonymous) Perl package. Anything you do therein is available when running builtin commands. For example, you can set variables or define functions, and use them within the Perl code of those commands that accept it.

Difference: In stand-alone usage there is no such context. Everything you need, must be in the Perl code you pass the command, or in modules you use.


Makeppbuiltin looks at the following environment variables:


Any flags in this environment variable are interpreted as command line options before any explicit options. Quotes are interpreted like in makefiles.


This variable is used instead of $MAKEPPBUILTINFLAGS when makeppbuiltin is linked to directname as explained under DIRECT CALL.

Daniel Pfeiffer
Last modified: 2011-06-23