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Rakudobrew has been renamed to Rakubrew. Head over to for the current version.


Rakudobrew helps to build one or more versions of Rakudo and quickly switch between them. It's a perlbrew and plenv look alike and supports both flavours of commands.

Rakudobrew can work by modifying $PATH in place (which is a more down to the metal) as well as with shims (which enables advanced features, such as local versions).


  • On *nix do:
git clone ~/.rakudobrew
export PATH=~/.rakudobrew/bin:$PATH
# or fish shell: set -U fish_user_paths ~/.rakudobrew/bin/ $fish_user_paths
rakudobrew init # Instructions for permanent installation.
  • On Windows CMD do:
git clone %USERPROFILE%\rakudobrew
SET PATH=%USERPROFILE%\rakudobrew\bin;%PATH%
rakudobrew init # Instructions for permanent installation.
  • On Windows PowerShell do:
git clone $Env:USERPROFILE\rakudobrew
$Env:PATH = "$Env:USERPROFILE\rakudobrew\bin;$Env:PATH"
rakudobrew init # Instructions for permanent installation.

Windows notes

Rakudobrew requires Perl 5 and Git to be installed. You can download and install these from

If you want to use the Microsoft compiler cl, you have to make sure the compiler is on your PATH and you have the environment variables cl requires set. This happens automatically when using the Native Tools Command Prompt but has to be done manually when using a normal terminal (or PowerShell). The script vcvars32.bat (which is in the same folder as cl) can set these variables up automatically for you.

On PowerShell this requires some additional trickery as described on StackOverflow:

It might be necessary to use an Administrative console to work around a problem with permissions that go wrong during the build process.

Bootstrapping a Perl 6 implementation

  • Run something like:
$ rakudobrew build moar

to build the latest Rakudo release (in this case, on the MoarVM backend).

  • Once that's build switch to it (substitute the version rakudobrew just built):
$ rakudobrew switch moar-2019.03.1
  • To install zef (the Perl 6 module manager), do:
$ rakudobrew build-zef

global vs shell vs local

The global version is the one that is active when none of the overrides of shell and local are triggered.

The shell version changes the active Rakudo version just in the current shell. Closing the current shell also looses the shell version.

The local version is specific to a folder. When CWD is in that folder or a sub folder that version of Rakudo is used. Only works in shim mode. To unset a local version one must delete the .PL6ENV_VERSION file in the respective folder.


Rakudo brew has two modes of operation: env and shim.

In env mode rakudobrew modifies the $PATH variable as needed when switching between versions. This is neat because one then runs the executables directly. This is the default mode on *nix.

In shim mode rakudobrew generates wrapper scripts called shims for all executables it can find in all the different Rakudo installations. These shims forward to the actual executable when called. This mechanism allows for some advanced features, such as local versions. When installing a module that adds scripts one must make rakudobrew aware of these new scripts. This is done with

$ rakudobrew rehash

In env mode this is not necessary.

Registering external versions

To add a Rakudo installation to rakudobrew that was created without rakudobrew one should do:

$ rakudobrew register name-of-version /path/to/rakudo/install/directory

Upgrading your Perl 6 implementation

$ rakudobrew build moar

Upgrading rakudobrew itself

$ rakudobrew self-upgrade

Uninstall rakudobrew and its Perl 6(s)

To remove rakudobrew and any Perl 6 implementations it's installed on your system, just remove or rename the ~/.rakudobrew directory.

Specifying custom git path

In case git is not in any standard PATH on your system, you can specify a custom path to the git binary using a GIT_BINARY environment variable:

$ GIT_BINARY="%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\GitHub\PORTAB~1\bin\git.exe" rakudobrew build all

Specifying a git protocol

By default, rakudobrew will use the git protocol when it clones repositories. To override this setting, use the GIT_PROTOCOL environment variable.

$ GIT_PROTOCOL=ssh rakudobrew list-available
# uses

$ GIT_PROTOCOL=https rakudobrew list-available
# uses

Command-line switches

version or current

Show the currently active Rakudo version.

versions or list

List all installed Rakudo installations.

global [version] or switch [version]

Show or set the globally configured Rakudo version.

shell [--unset|version]

Show, set or unset the shell version.

`local [version]

Show or set the local version.

nuke [version] or unregister [version]

Removes an installed or registered version. Versions built by rakudobrew are actually deleted, registered versions are only unregistered but not deleted.


Regenerate all shims. Newly installed scripts will not work unless this is called. This is only necessary in shim mode.


List all Rakudo versions that can be installed.

build [jvm|moar|moar-blead|all] [tag|branch|sha-1] [--configure-opts=]

Build a Rakudo version. The arguments are:

  • The backend.
    • moar-blead is the moar and nqp backends at the master branch.
    • all will build all backends.
  • The version to build. Call list-available to see a list of available versions. When left empty the latest release is built. It is also possible to specify a commit sha or branch to build.
  • Configure options.

triple [rakudo-ver [nqp-ver [moar-ver]]]

Build a specific set of Rakudo, NQP and MoarVM commits.

register <name> <path>

Register an externaly built / installed Rakudo version with Rakudobrew.


Install Zef into the current Rakudo version.

exec <command> [command-args]

Explicitly call an executable. You normally shouldn't need to do this.

rakudobrew which <command>

Show the full path to the executable.

whence [--path] <command>

List all versions that contain the given command. when --path is given the path of the executables is given instead.

mode [env|shim]

Show or set the mode of operation.


Upgrade Rakudobrew itself.


Show installation instructions.

test [version|all]

Run Rakudo tests in the current or given version.


Perl 6 installation manager







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