Question about binary distributions

Moritz Angermann moritz.angermann at
Fri Aug 7 14:22:25 UTC 2020

Hi Mathieu,

you can! See; it's been one of the
design goals I had when I was hacking on hadrian. The whole configure
&& make install shenanigans were just too much.
Initially I wanted to drop that outright, but was convinced that
configure and make install is something distributions want (that
install into different locations) as well as some people who prefer to
into ghc into custom locations.

GHC has for a while now had relocatable support on our major
platforms, which means you don't even need that wrapper script anymore
as long as the bin and lib folder are next to each other and you
operating system can find the path of the executable. I'm told AIX
can't if the executable is a symlink.

I'm all for having "unpack and run" bindists with an optional
configure && make install phase for those who want it. As we are
moving over to hadrian as the primary build system I think this should
but might have regressed?


On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 9:50 PM Mathieu Boespflug <m at> wrote:
> Hi all,
> GHC currently has 3 tier-1 platforms: Linux, macOS and Windows. I'll focus the dicussion below on these three platforms. The binary distributions for Linux and macOS are designed to be unpacked, then the user types ./configure && make install. This is not the case for Windows.
> On all platforms it's possible to create "relocatable" installations, such that GHC doesn't really care where it's installed, and commands will still work if the install directory changes location on the filesystem. So my question is, why do we have a ./configure step on Linux and macOS? Why could we not have bindists for all platforms that work like the Windows one? I.e. a binary distribution that you just unpack, in any directory of your choice, without any configuration or installation step.
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