Cannot build GHC using the Newcomers guide

Matthew Pickering matthewtpickering at
Thu Jan 26 17:28:52 UTC 2017

I think the intention is that if you are already using stack to manage
your GHC installations then it is desirable to use their managed
version of GHC rather than have to install another version.

It seems to me that the solution that Harendra suggests is the easiest
for anyone with this setup.

Fwiw, the easiest way I found to setup a clean development environment
for GHC was to use the nix ghcHEAD derviation.

   nix-shell '<nixpkgs>' -A haskell.compiler.ghcHEAD

but of course, this only works if you are using nix!


On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:18 PM, Phyx <lonetiger at> wrote:
> Can I ask a silly question. I can't seem to find where stack is recommended
> for ghc development on the newcomers page, but why is it? I don't want to
> start another flame war but I can't imagine any scenario where this is
> useful. As far as I understand the whole benefit of stack is the curated
> packages.
> Which are moot here since almost everything you need is in the tree aside
> from Happy and Alex. Seems to me this is just overcomplicating a very simple
> process.
> Not to mention if you have to go through stack - - exec etc all for
> interactions with the build artifacts it would get old quickly. Also it
> doesn't seem reliable especially if stack is modifying the environment and
> or flags passed to the compiler.
> Let me reiterate, I have nothing against stack, I just don't see the
> benefits here. Ideally you'd want your environment as simple and vanilla as
> possible and *totally* in your control IMHO.
> What am I missing here?
> Thanks,
> Tamar
> On Thu, 26 Jan 2017, 14:21 Harendra Kumar, <harendra.kumar at> wrote:
>> I use "export PATH=`stack path --bin-path`" to make the stack installed
>> ghc available in the PATH before building ghc. And that's all.
>> Setting the PATH works better because we do not get any extra env
>> variables set by stack in the environment and we do not go through the stack
>> wrapper, so it may be a little bit faster as well. The GHC_PACKAGE_PATH
>> variable set by the stack command is especially troublesome in some cases.
>> You can try "stack exec env" to check all vars that stack puts in your
>> environment.
>> -harendra
>> On 26 January 2017 at 15:52, Marius Ghita <mhitza at> wrote:
>>> Following is a list of steps that I ran and their output linked:
>>>  - clone repo
>>>  - configuration
>>>  - boot
>>>  - configure
>>>  - make FAILS
>>> I'm using a 'stack-ghc' executable, that's only a shell wrapper to run
>>> ghc from stack (since I don't have a globally installed ghc) (source
>>> ), and I
>>> also have 'ghc-pkg' wrapped in the same way with
>>> a stack-ghc-pkg script (source
>>> )
>>> --
>>> Google+:
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>>> ghc-devs at
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