GHC compile times (was Re: GHC 6.4.3 is stalled)

Malcolm Wallace Malcolm.Wallace at
Wed Jul 26 06:38:32 EDT 2006

Joel Reymont <joelr1 at> wrote:

> Thanks for the tip! I'm _really_ interested in why it takes 55 min on 
> Linux and 3+ hours on Mac Intel, though. Any clues?

Building a compiler generally reads/touches/creates a very large number
of files.  So one possibility is the relative efficiency of the OS
filesystem implementation.  Apple's HFS+ is reputed to be fairly slow,
as are the Microsoft filesystems (VFAT, NTFS), at least compared to the
various unix-derived filesystems (UFS, ext2 etc).

I recall from a few years back that building nhc98 took twice as long
under Windows as under linux, on the very same machine, with the same
versions of boot-compilers.  The only major variable I could think of
at the time was VFAT vs ext2.


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