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Minimum GHC Installer Build Status

MinGHC is dead. Please use Stack.

We recommend you download and use Stack instead of using MinGHC - it's what all the MinGHC authors do. The MinGHC approach to installing both GHC and MSYS has been adopted by Stack and Stack provides some additional benefits:

  • Easier to upgrade to newer GHC versions
  • Support for working with multiple GHC versions without switching environments
  • Simple upgrade procedure for Stack itself
  • Isolated environment that avoids contaminating your PATH variable

For more information on using Stack, please read the Stack guide.

One note: when using Stack, you need to make a few changes to how you call some tools outside of a project:

  • stack ghc -- ... to compile files
  • stack runghc -- ... to interpret files
  • stack exec -- ... to run arbitrary commands

Legacy MinGHC installers

This project provides a Windows installer with:

  • GHC, so you can write Haskell code.
  • Stack, a modern build tool for Haskell.
  • MSYS, so packages with configure scripts (notably network) compile.
  • Cabal, an older but still commonly used Haskell build tool.

It does not provide all the packages included with the Haskell Platform, but it does provide an environment where you can install those packages. Some require installing c libraries.

Using the Legacy Installer

You may wish to also check the Github latest releases page.

To use MinGHC, download and run the installer. There are two options you may wish to modify:

  • "Add programs to PATH" - select this if you want to make this version of GHC the standard one you use for general development. It will modify your %PATH% environment variable so the MinGHC installed copies of ghc and cabal are used by default.
  • "Add switcher to PATH" - select this if you want to use a different GHC normally, but occasionally switch to this version. After installation, type minghc-7.8.3 at a command prompt to temporarily add the MinGHC copies of ghc and cabal.


  • The network library doesn't work well with Cygwin. Hence, it is not recommended that you use cabal install in a Cygwin terminal. Use Command Prompt (cmd.exe) or Windows PowerShell instead.

Older installer links


Before stack, there were two ways to get GHC on Windows, straight from the GHC distribution and using the Haskell Platform. The GHC distribution is hard to unpack (.xv files are not Windows friendly), doesn't setup the %PATH%, lacks Cabal and cannot build the network library on its own. The Haskell Platform is easy to install and comes with more libraries, but still won't build the network library and usually lags the GHC release by months. This installer is the GHC distribution with all the issues above fixed.


Users of MinGHC installers do not need to build it themselves. Below are instructions for anyone who wants to contribute to future installers.

System Dependencies

You need NSIS installed:

  • Download NSIS 3.0b2, install it, and place the installation directory on your PATH.
  • Patch NSIS with the large strings build for 3.0b2 found among its special builds. (The patch is applied by copying the files in the patch archive over top the NSIS installation.)

Building Installers

Creating installers requires a two-step process: 1) build the installer-generation script and then 2) run the script to create installers.

  1. To build the installer-generation script, run stack build.
  2. To execute the installer generator, run stack exec minghc-generate.

By default, the installer generator will create an installer for the most recent GHC release (32-bit). You can build installers for other official releases by providing a version number and possibly --arch64 to use 64-bit GHC.

For example, the following will build an older release as 64-bit.

> stack exec minghc-generate -- 7.8.4 --arch64

The resulting installer can be found in the .build directory.

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