Test::Signature(3) Automated SIGNATURE testing


# This is actually the t/0-signature.t file from this distribution.
use Test::More tests => 1;
use Test::Signature;


"Test::Signature" verifies that the "Module::Signature" generated signature of a module is correct.


"Module::Signature" allows you to verify that a distribution has not been tampered with. "Test::Signature" lets that be tested as part of the distribution's test suite.

By default, if "Module::Signature" is not installed then it will just say so and not fail the test. That can be overridden though.

IMPORTANT: This is not a substitute for the users verifying the distribution themselves. By the time this module is run, the users will have already run your Makefile.PL or Build.PL scripts which could have been compromised.

This module is more for ensuring you've updated your signature appropriately before distributing, and for preventing accidental errors during transmission or packaging.


"signature_ok" is exported by default. "signature_force_ok" must be explicitly exported.


This will test that the "Module::Signature" generated signature is valid for the distribution. It can be given two optional parameters. The first is a name for the test. The default is "Valid signature". The second is whether a lack of "Module::Signature" should be regarded as a failure. The default is 0 meaning 'no'.

    # Test with defaults
    # Test with custom name
    signature_ok( "Is the signature valid?" );
    # Test with custom name and force C<Module::Signature> to exist
    signature_ok( "Is the signature valid?", 1 );
    # Test without custom name, but forcing
    signature_ok( undef, 1 );


This is equivalent to calling "signature_ok( $name, 1 )" but is more readable.

    # These are equivalent:
    signature_force_ok( "Is our signature valid?" );
    signature_ok( "Is our signature valid?", 1);
    # These are equivalent:
    signature_ok( undef, 1 );



It is imperative that your MANIFEST and MANIFEST.SKIP files be accurate and complete. If you are using "ExtUtils::MakeMaker" and you do not have a MANIFEST.SKIP file, then don't worry about the rest of this. If you do have a MANIFEST.SKIP file, or you use "Module::Build", you must read this.

Since the test is run at "make test" time, the distribution has been made. Thus your MANIFEST.SKIP file should have the entries listed below.

If you're using "ExtUtils::MakeMaker", you should have, at least:


These entries are part of the default set provided by "ExtUtils::Manifest", which is ignored if you provide your own MANIFEST.SKIP file.

If you are using "Module::Build", there is no default MANIFEST.SKIP so you must provide your own. It must, minimally, contain:


If you don't have the correct entries, "Module::Signature" will complain that you have:

    ==> MISMATCHED content between MANIFEST and distribution files! <==

You should note this during normal development testing anyway.

Use with Test::Prereq

"Test::Prereq" tends to get a bit particular about modules. If you're using the force option with "Test::Signature" then you will have to specify that you expect "Module::Signature" as a prerequisite. "Test::Signature" will not have it as a prerequisite since that would defeat the point of having the force variant.

If you are using "ExtUtils::MakeMaker" you should have a line like the following in your Makefile.PL:

    'PREREQ_PM' => {
        'Test::Signature'   => '1.04',
        'Module::Signature' => '0.22',
        'Test::More'        => '0.47',

If using "Module::Build", your Build.PL should have:

    build_requires => {
        'Test::Signature'   => '1.04',
        'Module::Signature' => '0.22',
        'Test::More'        => '0.47',

If you just want the default behaviour of testing the signature if and only if the user already has "Module::Signature" installed, then you will need something like the following code. The example uses "Module::Build" format but it should be trivial for you to translate to "ExtUtils::MakeMaker".

    #!/usr/bin/perl -w
    use strict;
    use Module::Build 0.18;
    my @extra_build;
    eval { require Module::Signature };
    if ([email protected] or $Test::Prereq::VERSION)
        push @extra_build, "Module::Signature" => '0.22'
    my $m = Module::Build->new(
        dist_name => 'WWW-Yahoo-Groups',
        dist_version => '1.7.7',
        license => 'perl',
        requires => {
            # various modules
            'perl'             => '5.6.0',
        build_requires => {
            'Test::More'          => 0.47,
            'Test::Prereq'        => 0.19,
            'Test::Prereq::Build' => 0.04,
            'Test::Signature'     => 1.04,

If you have any questions on using this module with "Test::Prereq", just email me (address below).

Use with Module::Install

"Module::Install" is a module to assist in the bundling of build prerequisite modules in packages. Well, among other things.

"Test::Signature" is a perfect candidate for such a module. As it's a module aimed purely at those writing modules rather than those using them.

Here's a good way to use it:

Make a test file (say, t/00sig.t) that contains the following:

    use lib 'inc';
    use Test::More tests => 1;
    use Test::Signature;

In your Makefile.PL (or Build.PL if appropriate) add:

    include 'Test::Signature';

And that's it! You don't have to specify it as a prerequisite or anything like that because "Module::Install" will include it in your distribution. And you don't have to worry about size because "Module::Install" strips out all this waffling POD.


Arthur Bergman for suggesting the module.

Audrey Tang for writing Module::Signature, and making some suggestions.

Tels suggested testing network connectivity to Audrey; Audrey added that to "Module::Signature" 0.16 and I (Iain Truskett) added it to this module (as of 1.03).


Please report bugs at <[email protected]> or via the web interface at <http://rt.cpan.org>


Audrey Tang <[email protected]> Original author: Iain Truskett <[email protected]>, now passed away.


Copyright 2002, 2003 by Iain Truskett. Copyright 2003, 2007 by Audrey Tang <[email protected]>.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.