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CPAN install difficulties on CentOS 4.4

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I just finished install some modules (i.e. Archive::Tar Compress::Zlib
and its dependencies)

because in order to install any other module it needed the above two.

So here's my question, why doesn't cpan come installed with these base
packages so that basic installations can be made from the cpan
interface instead of having to manually install modules?

Is it a setting during install, was there an init script I didn't run?

Any input is greatly appreciated,

If I'm posting this in the wrong group, please let me know.

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