I'm trying to install the File::Tail module using CPAN an older Solaris 10 (SunOS 5.10) box.

I get an error when trying to install the module, but I see no indication why this failed anywhere in the CPAN output. I only see a "NOT OK" message.

I have even tried doing a 'rm ~/.cpan', so that I can start from scratch.

How can I start debugging a problem like this?

cpan> force make File::Tail
Running make for module File::Tail
Running make for M/MG/MGRABNAR/File-Tail-0.99.3.tar.gz
Checksum for /.cpan/sources/authors/id/M/MG/MGRABNAR/File-Tail-0.99.3.tar.gz ok
x File-Tail-0.99.3, 0 bytes, 0 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/META.yml, 452 bytes, 1 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/t, 0 bytes, 0 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/t/20tail.t, 1931 bytes, 4 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/t/30name_change.t, 912 bytes, 2 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/t/10open.t, 1653 bytes, 4 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/select_demo, 1101 bytes, 3 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/Tail.pm.debug, 27991 bytes, 55 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/Changes, 4812 bytes, 10 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/logwatch, 1381 bytes, 3 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/MANIFEST, 198 bytes, 1 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/Tail.pm, 25308 bytes, 50 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/Makefile.PL, 2471 bytes, 5 tape blocks
x File-Tail-0.99.3/README, 2143 bytes, 5 tape blocks
Removing previously used /.cpan/build/File-Tail-0.99.3

  CPAN.pm: Going to build M/MG/MGRABNAR/File-Tail-0.99.3.tar.gz

File::Tail will be installed without debugging information.
This information isn't usefull unless you intend to tinker
with the code. To install with debugging enabled, use:
perl Makefile.PL LOGIT
Checking if your kit is complete...
Looks good
Writing Makefile for File::Tail
    -- NOT OK
  • 2
    Download the tarball and do it by hand so you can proper see where it is failling.
    – Prix
    Aug 6, 2010 at 23:33
  • 2
    cd /.cpan/build/File-Tail-0.99.3; make test what does it tells you ? if it does not work do cd /.cpan/build/File-Tail-0.99.3; perl Makefile.PL LOGIT
    – Prix
    Aug 7, 2010 at 1:18
  • 'make' was not in my PATH, so I appended my PATH. make test tells me All tests successful. Aug 13, 2010 at 20:59
  • In the end, I was able to do this from the command line outside of CPAN. Aug 13, 2010 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


Prix's recommendations are pretty solid, you should attempt to build it outside of CPAN. CPAN modules can be quite tedious at times.

If you cannot fix the module yourself, you might benefit from trying an earlier version. It's not unusual to encounter a newer version that introduces build issues.

You could potentially force the install if make test fails but this is not generally advised, as the module will likely be in some form of broken state. However, if the test is attempting to access the Internet on a server that has outgoing traffic filtering, it might make sense.


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