Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Weeder Hackage version Stackage version Linux build status Windows build status

Weeder has moved!

Weeder 2.0 is being developed at on different foundations. This repo is for historical reference only.

Most projects accumulate code over time. Weeder detects unused Haskell exports, allowing dead code to be removed (pulling up the weeds). Weeder piggy-backs off files generated by stack, so first obtain stack, then:

  • Install weeder by running stack install weeder --resolver=nightly.
  • Ensure your project has a stack.yaml file. If you don't normally build with stack then run stack init to generate one.
  • Make sure you have ghc-options: {"$locals": -ddump-to-file -ddump-hi} in your stack.yaml.
  • Run weeder . --build, which builds your project with stack and reports any weeds.

What does Weeder detect?

Weeder detects a bunch of weeds, including:

  • You export a function helper from module Foo.Bar, but nothing else in your package uses helper, and Foo.Bar is not an exposed-module. Therefore, the export of helper is a weed. Note that helper itself may or may not be a weed - once it is no longer exported -fwarn-unused-binds will tell you if it is entirely redundant.
  • Your package depends on another package but doesn't use anything from it - the dependency should usually be deleted. This functionality is quite like packunused, but implemented quite differently.
  • Your package has entries in the other-modules field that are either unused (and thus should be deleted), or are missing (and thus should be added). The stack tool warns about the latter already.
  • A source file is used between two different sections in a .cabal file - e.g. in both the library and the executable. Usually it's better to arrange for the executable to depend on the library, but sometimes that would unnecessarily pollute the interface. Useful to be aware of, and sometimes worth fixing, but not always.
  • A file has not been compiled despite being mentioned in the .cabal file. This situation can be because the file is unused, or the stack compilation was incomplete. I recommend compiling both benchmarks and tests to avoid this warning where possible - running weeder . --build will use a suitable command line.

Beware of conditional compilation (e.g. CPP and the Cabal flag mechanism), as these may mean that something is currently a weed, but in different configurations it is not.

I recommend fixing the warnings relating to other-modules and files not being compiled first, as these may cause other warnings to disappear.

What else should I use?

Weeder detects dead exports, which can be deleted. To get the most code deleted from removing an export, use:

  • GHC with -fwarn-unused-binds -fwarn-unused-imports, which finds unused definitions and unused imports in a module.
  • HLint, looking for "Redundant extension" hints, which finds unused extensions.
  • Unused, which works at the level of ctags information, so can be used if you don't want to use stack, can't compile your code, or want to detect unused code between projects.

Ignoring weeds

If you want your package to be detected as "weed free", but it has some weeds you know about but don't consider important, you can add a .weeder.yaml file adjacent to the stack.yaml with a list of exclusions. To generate an initial list of exclusions run weeder . --yaml > .weeder.yaml.

You may wish to generalise/simplify the .weeder.yaml by removing anything above or below the interesting part. As an example of the .weeder.yaml file from ghcid:

- message: Module reused between components
- message:
  - name: Weeds exported
  - identifier: withWaiterPoll

This configuration declares that I am not interested in the message about modules being reused between components (that's the way ghcid works, and I am aware of it). It also says that I am not concerned about withWaiterPoll being a weed - it's a simplified method of file change detection I use for debugging, so even though it's dead now, I sometimes do switch to it.

Running with Continuous Integration

Before running Weeder on your continuous integration (CI) server, you should first ensure there are no existing weeds. One way to achieve that is to ignore existing hints by running weeder . --yaml > .weeder.yaml and checking in the resulting .weeder.yaml.

On the CI you should then run weeder . (or weeder . --build to compile as well). To avoid the cost of compilation you may wish to fetch the latest Weeder binary release.

For the CI systems Travis, Appveyor and Azure Pipelines add the line:

curl -sSL | sh -s .

The arguments after -s are passed to weeder, so modify the final . if you want other arguments. This command works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

What about Cabal users?

Weeder requires the textual .hi file for each source file in the project. Stack generates that already, so it was easy to integrate in to. There's no reason that information couldn't be extracted by either passing flags to Cabal, or converting the .hi files afterwards. I welcome patches to do that integration.

What about false positives?

Weeder strives to avoid incorrectly warning about something that is required, if you find such an instance please report it on the issue tracker. Unfortunately there are some cases where there are still false positives, as GHC doesn't put enough information in the .hi files:

Data.Coerce If you use Data.Coerce.coerce the constructors for the data type must be in scope, but if they aren't used anywhere other than automatically by coerce then Weeder will report unused imports. You can ignore such warnings by adding - message: Unused import to your .weeder.yaml file.

Declaration QuasiQuotes If you use a declaration-level quasi-quote then weeder won't see the use of the quoting function, potentially leading to an unused import warning, and marking the quoting function as a weed. The only solution is to ignore the entries with a .weeder.yaml file.

Stack extra-deps Packages marked extra-deps in your stack.yaml will be weeded, due to a bug in stack. The only solution is to ignore the packages with a .weeder.yaml file.

Linking to C functions If a library provides C functions, and these are used directly from another library/executable, the library providing these functions may be marked as a redundant build-depends, see more details.