more on GHC 6.4 Debian packages

Wolfgang Jeltsch wolfgang at
Thu Jul 28 16:56:40 EDT 2005

Am Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2005 20:46 schrieb Iavor Diatchki:
> Hello,
> On 7/28/05, Wolfgang Jeltsch <wolfgang at> wrote:
> > Am Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2005 16:58 schrieb Ian Lynagh:
> [...]

> > > There are 6.4 packages in unstable. They aren't installable in
> > > unstable, but I think they should be installable on a stable system.
> >
> > The unstable packages aren't installable on unstable but on stable? 
> > That's cool. :-)  I will try to install them on stable.
> I am relatively new to the Debian distribution so appologies if my
> question is silly (I don't understand the above statement).

Debian has always the so-called distributions unstable, testing and stable.  
The package ghc6 from stable contains GHC 6.2.2 while the package ghc6 from 
unstable contains GHC 6.4.  The package ghc6 from unstable isn't installable 
under Debian unstable but under Debian stable.

> What do I need to do to use the "official" ghc 6.4 Debian packages?

You may go to, download the ghc6 package from 
unstable manually (and possibly also ghc6-doc, ghc6-libsrc, etc.) and install 
it (them) via dpkg -i.  I cannot tell you whether the unstable packages work 
under testing.

> I am using the "testing" distribution, which appears to have something
> called ghc-cvs and ghc 6.2 but not ghc 6.4.

I didn't know about ghc-cvs so far.  The idea of ghc-cvs looks a bit ugly.  
Why would the Debian project want to have an unstable GHC version in stable?  
In addition I wonder why ghc-cvs from stable is one year old.

> What I did at the moment was to convert the ghc rpm into a debian package
> using a tool called 'alien', and this worked without problems.

Before doing this, I would always try to get packages specifically made for 

> I am confused as to why ghc 6.4 is considered less stable then ghc-cvs
> which presumably is changing more or less all the time.

That's related to the problem, I pointed out above.  Even the ghc-cvs in 
stable should normally be more unstable than an official release of GHC in 
unstable.  However, once it is in stable, ghc-cvs doesn't change its version 
anymore.  That's the intention behind stable.  (Well, Debian uses the term 
"stable" more to attest that version numbers don't change than to attest that 
the software runs stable, I think.)

> -Iavor

Best regards,

More information about the Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list