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The Glasgow Haskell Compiler
This is the source tree for GHC, a compiler and interactive
environment for the Haskell functional programming language.
For more information, visit GHC's web site:
Information for developers of GHC can be found here:
Getting the Source
There are two ways to get a source tree:
1. Download source tarballs
The GHC source distribution comes in two parts:
You only need the first one, which contains GHC itself and
the "boot" libraries.
The extralibs package contains a bunch of optional libraries. If
you want, you can unpack this over the top of your source tree, and
these extra libraries will be built and installed automatically.
Make sure you unpack the extralibs package before running configure
(see below).
If you don't build extralibs now, you can add them later by building
and installing individual packages using Cabal.
2. Get the source from darcs
First get the GHC darcs repository:
$ darcs get
Then run the darcs-all script in that repository
to get the other repositories:
$ cd ghc
$ chmod +x darcs-all
$ ./darcs-all get
This grabs the "boot" packages by default. To get the full set of
packages, instead say
$ ./darcs-all --extra get
This also downloads the libraries that are normally bundled in the
"extralibs" package (see above).
Building & Installing
NB. you need GHC installed in order to build GHC, because the compiler
is itself written in Haskell. It is possible to build GHC using just
a C compiler, but we don't recommend this as the normal route. If you
*really* want to do it this way, then see the Building Guide (link
You also need a few other tools installed: Happy [4], Alex [5], and
Haddock [6] (for building library documentation), and a good DocBook
XML toolchain if you want to build the compiler documentation.
Quick start: the following gives you a default build:
$ sh boot
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install
The "sh boot" step is only necessary if this is a tree checked out
from darcs. For source distributions downloaded from GHC's web site,
this step has already been performed.
These steps give you the default build, which includes everything
optimised and built in various ways (eg. profiling libs are built).
It can take a long time. To customise the build, see the file
For full information on building GHC, see the GHC Building Guide [3].
[1] GHC Home Page
[2] GHC Developer's Wiki
[3] Building Guide
[4] Happy
[5] Alex
[6] Haddock
Please see
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