Painless installation of GHC toolchain
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ghcup makes it easy to install specific versions of ghc on GNU/Linux, and can also bootstrap a fresh Haskell developer environment from scratch. It follows the unix UNIX philosophy of do one thing and do it well.

Similar in scope to rustup, pyenv and jenv.

OS X users may prefer futurice and Ubuntu users may prefer hvr's ppa.

Table of Contents


Just place the ghcup shell script into your PATH anywhere.


( mkdir -p ~/.ghcup/bin && curl > ~/.ghcup/bin/ghcup && chmod +x ~/.ghcup/bin/ghcup) && echo "Success"

Then adjust your PATH in ~/.bashrc (or similar, depending on your shell) like so, for example:

export PATH="$HOME/.cabal/bin:$HOME/.ghcup/bin:$PATH"


See ghcup --help.

Common use cases are:

# install the last known "best" GHC version
ghcup install
# install a specific GHC version
ghcup install 8.2.2
# set the currently "active" GHC version
ghcup set 8.4.4
# install cabal-install
ghcup install-cabal
# update cabal-install
cabal new-install cabal-install

Generally this is meant to be used with cabal-install, which handles your haskell packages and can demand that a specific version of ghc is available, which ghcup can do.


Installs a specified GHC version into ~/.ghcup/ghc/<ver>, and places ghc-<ver> symlinks in ~/.ghcup/bin/.

Optionally, an unversioned ghc link can point to a default version of your choice.

This uses precompiled GHC binaries that have been compiled on fedora/debian by upstream GHC.

Alternatively, you can also tell it to compile from source (note that this might fail due to missing requirements).

In addition this script can also install cabal-install.

Known problems

Limited distributions supported

Currently only GNU/Linux distributions compatible with the upstream GHC binaries are supported.

Precompiled binaries

Since this uses precompiled binaries you may run into problems with ncurses and missing libtinfo, in case your distribution doesn't use the legacy way of building ncurses and has no compatibility symlinks in place.

Ask your distributor on how to solve this or try to compile from source via ghcup compile <version>.


Although this script can compile GHC for you, it's just a very thin wrapper around the build system. It makes no effort in trying to figure out whether you have the correct toolchain and the correct dependencies. Refer to the official docs on how to prepare your environment for building GHC.