/Perl 5.26



Module::Load - runtime require of both modules and files


use Module::Load;

my $module = 'Data::Dumper';

load Data::Dumper;     # loads that module, but not import any functions
                       # -> cannot use 'Dumper' function

load 'Data::Dumper';   # ditto
load $module           # tritto

autoload Data::Dumper; # loads that module and imports the default functions
                       # -> can use 'Dumper' function

my $script = 'some/script.pl'
load $script;
load 'some/script.pl';  # use quotes because of punctuations

load thing;             # try 'thing' first, then 'thing.pm'

load CGI, ':all';       # like 'use CGI qw[:standard]'


Module::Load eliminates the need to know whether you are trying to require either a file or a module.

If you consult perldoc -f require you will see that require will behave differently when given a bareword or a string.

In the case of a string, require assumes you are wanting to load a file. But in the case of a bareword, it assumes you mean a module.

This gives nasty overhead when you are trying to dynamically require modules at runtime, since you will need to change the module notation (Acme::Comment ) to a file notation fitting the particular platform you are on.

Module::Load eliminates the need for this overhead and will just DWYM.

Difference between load and autoload

Module::Load imports the two functions - load and autoload

autoload imports the default functions automatically, but load do not import any functions.

autoload is usable under BEGIN{};.

Both the functions can import the functions that are specified.

Following codes are same.

load File::Spec::Functions, qw/splitpath/;

autoload File::Spec::Functions, qw/splitpath/;


  • load

    Loads a specified module.

    See Rules for detailed loading rule.

  • autoload

    Loads a specified module and imports the default functions.

    Except importing the functions, 'autoload' is same as 'load'.

  • load_remote

    Loads a specified module to the specified package.

    use Module::Load 'load_remote';
    my $pkg = 'Other::Package';
    load_remote $pkg, 'Data::Dumper'; # load a module to 'Other::Package'
                                      # but do not import 'Dumper' function

    A module for loading must be quoted.

    Except specifing the package and quoting module name, 'load_remote' is same as 'load'.

  • autoload_remote

    Loads a specified module and imports the default functions to the specified package.

    use Module::Load 'autoload_remote';
    my $pkg = 'Other::Package';
    autoload_remote $pkg, 'Data::Dumper'; # load a module to 'Other::Package'
                                          # and imports 'Dumper' function

    A module for loading must be quoted.

    Except specifing the package and quoting module name, 'autoload_remote' is same as 'load_remote'.


All functions have the following rules to decide what it thinks you want:

  • If the argument has any characters in it other than those matching \w , : or ', it must be a file

  • If the argument matches only [\w:'], it must be a module

  • If the argument matches only \w , it could either be a module or a file. We will try to find file.pm first in @INC and if that fails, we will try to find file in @INC. If both fail, we die with the respective error messages.


'load' and 'autoload' are imported by default, but 'load_remote' and 'autoload_remote' are not imported.

To use 'load_remote' or 'autoload_remote', specify at 'use'.

  • "load","autoload","load_remote","autoload_remote"

    Imports the selected functions.

    # imports 'load' and 'autoload' (default)
    use Module::Load;
    # imports 'autoload' only
    use Module::Load 'autoload';
    # imports 'autoload' and 'autoload_remote', but don't import 'load';
    use Module::Load qw/autoload autoload_remote/;
  • 'all'

    Imports all the functions.

    use Module::Load 'all'; # imports load, autoload, load_remote, autoload_remote
  • '','none',undef

    Not import any functions (load and autoload are not imported).

    use Module::Load '';
    use Module::Load 'none';
    use Module::Load undef;


Because of a bug in perl (#19213), at least in version 5.6.1, we have to hardcode the path separator for a require on Win32 to be /, like on Unix rather than the Win32 \ . Otherwise perl will not read its own %INC accurately double load files if they are required again, or in the worst case, core dump.

Module::Load cannot do implicit imports, only explicit imports. (in other words, you always have to specify explicitly what you wish to import from a module, even if the functions are in that modules' @EXPORT )


Thanks to Jonas B. Nielsen for making explicit imports work.


Please report bugs or other issues to <[email protected]<gt>.


This module by Jos Boumans <[email protected]>.

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

© 1993–2016 Larry Wall and others
Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 1 or later, or the Artistic License.
The Perl logo is a trademark of the Perl Foundation.