RakuDist Update – Raku Modules Custom Installation.

Custom installation

I continue to play with RakuDist API searching for useful cases for Raku modules authors.

With RakuDist/Sparrow6 one can easily customize an installation and testing process.

Why would people need it? For various reasons:

  • A module requires external libraries not satisfied by zef install
  • A module requires external services – e.g. databases servers running and so on
  • A module requires extra configuration files which are hard to deliver by standard distribution means

To address all the needs RakuDist provides a handy functionality called custom scenarios.

Custom scenarios

Just drop a .rakudist folder into your Raku module source code, with some custom scenario inside:


Say, you need an installation of an sqlite library as your module relies on it:

cat .rakudist/sparrowfile

package-install "sqlite-dev";

That is it. Now commit and push changes to git:

git add .rakudist && git commit -m "my custom scenario" && git push

Now you may test your distribution hosted on GitHub through API:

POST os=$os project=$author/$project /rakudist/api/run/:github

For example to test Teddy::Bear module:

curl \
-d os=alpine \
-d project=melezhik/rakudist-teddy-bear \

Once you’ve packed .rakudist/ folder in a CPAN distribution, you can test it as well:

POST os=$os  /rakudist/api/run/$module

For example:

curl \
-d os=alpine \


More examples

1. Custom tasks/scripts

Sparrow6 DSL allows to write scenarios of any complexity and if it still is not enough one could add custom tasks written on many languages to extend the functionality:

cat .rakudist/tasks/hello-world/task.bash

# your Bash code here

And then inside Sparrow scenario just:

cat .rakudist/sparrowfile

task-run "tasks/hello-world";

2. Raku dependencies not declared in META6.json file

Sometimes developers might be not ready to include dependencies in meta6 file for various reasons. For example, when a dependent module itself is not released yet, or if the dependency fails and needs to be installed as --/test exclusively, here is depends.raku for the rescue:

Just create .rakudist/depends.raku file declaring Raku dependencies in simple format:

OpenSSL notest

Here we want to install OpenSSLwithout unit tests and Math::Libgsl::Constants from GitHub sources.

3. Existing modules examples

I’ve recently made a PR to Math::Libgsl::Permutation and to PR to Archive::Libarchive::Raw to support RakuDist test against various OS systems. These modules rely on external libraries gsl and libarchive and so need to be tested against platforms. RakuDist comes very handy in such case.


RakuDist keeps growing, but is still in quite experimental phase, to see the project potential, I would like to have a feedback from Raku modules authors. Thanks.

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