Please delete old releases from your CPAN directory

The Perl NOC have informed the PAUSE admins that the CPAN Master is starting to get tight on diskspace. This is only a temporary constraint — at some point there will be a lot more space, but for now we need to free up some space.

A lot of space is being taken up by old releases, long since superseded. Please delete these old releases if you have some, and the NOC will stop being alerted.

Remember: everything you've ever released to CPAN will always be available in your BackPAN author directory. My PAUSE id is NEILB, so my BackPAN directory is:

There are two ways you can clean up your CPAN directory:

  1. Use this script to clean it up. Originally written by RJBS, it was evolved by David Golden. It keeps all alphas later than a stable release, keeps up to 3 stable releases, and deletes everything else. David says "use at your own risk, of course".

  2. Log into PAUSE, click on Delete Files in the sidebar, click on the checkboxes next to all old releases, and hit the "Delete" button at the bottom of the page.

If you need any help, you can email modules at perl dot org, or drop into the #toolchain channel on

The NOC identified the authors with the biggest directories, and I wrote a script to identify the distributions where we can make the biggest savings, even across multiple authors. We're emailing these people directly.

Thanks for your help.


This post might reach a few hundred readers. Far from the number of CPAN authors. It won't even reach the majority of active CPAN authors.

Wouldn't it make sense to write a script that will go over the directories on PAUSE and send e-mails to the people who use the most disk space and/or who have many (e.g. more than 5) releases of the same distribution?

Agree with Gabor, that this should be done via direct mailing. And few more things:

  1. Most of the space occupied by files themselves. Guess there are no "obvious reasons" to use SSD for this. SSD is really cool for system and database, not for files stoarge (if funds are limited).

  2. Guess that such things should be handled by PAUSE rules and automatic scripts, e.g. no more than 10 revisions of the same module. Impossible to rely on every contributor.

Use ceph with ssd+platter disks?

This is the script I use, which fixes a few bugs in rjbs's original:

Leave a comment

About Neil Bowers

user-pic Perl hacker since 1992.