I'm having no luck getting CPAN modules to install on my M1 Mac running Big Sur. They all seem to be trying to use /sw/bin/tar to untar the archives, but there is nothing there; tar is in /usr/bin/tar. Mac OS does not want me to create anything like /sw, so I can't create a link to it there or anything.

The two modules I'm trying right now are GD and Imager, no luck on either.

Who knows what additional problems I'll run into after this is solved, but right now I can't get past this point.

  • Which cpan are you running (what is the result of type cpan)?
    – nohillside
    Jan 20, 2022 at 18:52
  • cpan 1.64 under Perl 5.30.2 type cpan ==> "cpan is /usr/bin/cpan"
    – neilw
    Jan 20, 2022 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


The location of the tar binary used by cpan is defined in ~/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm (together with all other binaries required). It can be changed with any text editor (e.g. nano).

  • Thank you! Can't believe I didn't know that after all these years. Now I can move onto the next 20 errors.
    – neilw
    Jan 20, 2022 at 19:19

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