GHC Alpha port?

Simon Marlow
Fri, 29 Jun 2001 16:03:14 +0100

> A few users at our site have asked about running GHC on Alpha
> machines.  In addition to following the instructions at
> I'm also personally curious about what work would involved in making
> GHC work again on Alphas.  Could someone give an overview?

Sure: the first thing to do is to get GHC running "unregisterised" on
your platform.  This means building an unregisterised set of .hc files
with GHC on a supported platform, shipping these to the Alpha and
bootstrapping using them.  A couple of people did this recently for
MacOS/X (using GHC 4.08.X), so you should be able to get more detailed
instructions from the mailing list archives.

There will also be some porting effort involved in getting 64-bit
support going again.  There are sure to be some accidental 32-bit
dependencies in the RTS, but they won't be fatal - the RTS was designed
to be word-size independent, it just hasn't been used on a 64-bit
platform up to now.

Once you have an unregisterised build working (& bootstrapped), you can
start trying to get the mangler going for full registerised support.
The mangler has Alpha support, but it is old and bound to be rotten to
some extent.

One other thing: you'll probably be better off starting from 4.08.2,
because 5.00 has some problems with hc-bootstrapping at the moment.

We'll be happy to help out if you get into difficulties.... good luck!