Rakudo Star

A user-friendly distribution of the Raku programming language.


If you cloned the git repository, you will need to run ./bin/rstar fetch first.

After downloading and extracting the tarball, run ./bin/rstar install. Follow any on-screen instructions as they appear. That is all!

If you happen to find any bugs, please refer to the Bugs, Feedback and Patches section later on in this document to find out how you can get help.

Advanced usage

This section is intended for maintainers of the Rakudo Star distribution.

The rstar utility

To help maintainers build the distribution tarball, and end-users to make effective use of the tarball, a utility has been created, called rstar. This utility depends on the bash shell being available. Run it with -h to see what it can do.

Depending on what action you're trying to run, additional dependencies may be required. If any of these are missing, rstar will throw an error about it.

Exit codes

  • 1 - die() was encountered. This is always a bug;
  • 2 - The program was invoked incorrectly;
  • 3 - Some required dependencies are missing.

Environment Variables

The rstar utility can be affected by environment variables. These may help out when debugging issues.

  • RSTAR_DEBUG - If set to a non-null value, additional debugging output will magically appear;
  • RSTAR_MESSY - If set to a non-null value, the tmp directory will not be cleaned when rstar exits.

Community Modules

One of Rakudo Star's main features is in supplying users with a number of popular community modules. This section details the mechanics of how these are included.

You should always prefer to use a pinned version of a module!


This file contains references to all community modules to be bundled with Rakudo Star. It is a space-separated format. The first column is the name of the module, the second the protocol to use, with the third column being the URL to fetch it from. Columns following the third have different meaning depending on the protocol.


The git protocol clones a single ref, with a depth of 1. Which ref is going to be cloned is specified in the 4th column of its modules.txt entry. After cloning, the .git directory is removed.


The http protocol is the most straightforward, it downloads a tarball (.tar.gz) and unpacks it. If a value is specified in the 4th column of the entry, this will be used as prefix, and will be stripped away when the extracted sources are moved into the src directory.

Quickstart to Releasing Rakudo Star

Your first step will be to prepare a new tarball.

rstar clean -s              # Clean up old sources
$EDITOR etc/fetch_core.txt  # Update values as necessary
$EDITOR etc/modules.txt     # Update values as necessary
git commit                  # Create a commit for this particular release
rstar fetch                 # Download new sources
rstar install               # Compile and install Rakudo Star
rstar test                  # Run tests
rstar dist                  # Create a new distribution tarball

Additionally, you should make a tag that represents the current release name.

Once you have a tarball, you should upload it to be available to others. Common places include:

  • rakudo.org (ask around in #raku-dev for someone to help you if needed);
  • Your personal website.

Next up, you will have to tell people of the new distribution tarball existing. There are several places to announce this at. The most "official" one would be the perl6-compiler@perl.org mailing list. The perl6-users@perl.org mailing list is also a good choice, as are public places such as Reddit.

Bugs, Feedback and Patches

Patches for this project can be sent through email to ~tyil/raku-devel@lists.sr.ht.

To report bugs or provide other feedback, email is an option, but IRC and Matrix are also available. For IRC, reach out to tyil on Libera. For Matrix, send a message to @tyil:matrix.org.


If you're reporting a bug, please include the full logs of rstar with RSTAR_DEBUG=1, and the output of rstar sysinfo in your message.

Code Contributions

Code patches can be sent through email. For help getting started with contributing in this fashion, check out git-send-email.

The rstar utility is written in bash. All additional features should be based on this. Using other utilities is accepted, but effort should be made to avoid introducing new utilities. Furthermore, all code should be linted against shellcheck and not produce any warnings.

Also, try to be generous with comments. Especially when introducing new utility functions, a little description of what it does and what problem it is intended to solve go a long way.


The main git repository lives at git.tyil.nl. This should be used as the reference to clone from.

Additionally, there are mirrors of this repository at other places. You can make use of these mirrors and the services they offer (such as issue tracking or web-based "merge requests"), but they are in no way guaranteed to be taken into account.

  • https://git.sr.ht/~tyil/rakudo-star
  • https://gitlab.com/tyil/rakudo-star


Copyright (C) 2021-2022

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program. If not, see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/.