SPUG: cpan script not working -- behind a firewall or proxy?

Michael R. Wolf MichaelRWolf at att.net
Wed Feb 22 18:25:07 PST 2006

I'm teaching a class in Connecticut in community college training room that
has enough internet connectivity to view search.cpan.org in a browser and
click the download button to get a *.gz file that I can unwind myself and
issue the standard mantra: make && make test && make install.

But I don't like doing it by hand.  I much prefer the cpan script!!!!  It's
automagic.  And it chases dependencies for me.  And.... I'm LAZY!

How much work could it take to get my laziness to pay off??

When I run the cpan script, it goes into config mode, and initially seems to
succeed at getting some files, but then tells me that it did not succeed at
getting some files.  Were those new files that it couldn't download, or a
delayed message about a co-process that didn't really succeed at getting the
original files?  I'm betting on the later because it never shows me the pick
list of continents/countries/mirror-sites.

The local sysadmin told me that there's an HTTP proxy on
It seemed to be key in getting a browser to work.

Since I'm ignorant about proxy servers and ports, could someone share their
experience or point me to some documentation on how I can debug what's
missing so that I can configure the cpan script accordingly.

All this is in the service of my Perl evangelism.  I want to turn the class
on to CPAN, even though none of the Perl material I typically am required to
use even mentions CPAN.

Please help me help another class of Perl programmers.

Michael Wolf

Michael R. Wolf
    All mammals learn by playing!
        MichaelRWolf at att.net

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