Status of GHC runtime dependency on GNU multi precision arithmetic library

Stefan O'Rear stefanor at
Wed Aug 15 14:33:09 EDT 2007

On Wed, Aug 15, 2007 at 06:41:53PM +0100, Brian Hulley wrote:
> Hi,
> I know this is a sensitive issue and I absolutely don't want to start any 
> kind of discussion about the merits or otherwise of LGPL, but I was 
> wondering if there are any plans to remove the GNU mp library from the 
> runtime so that it would be possible to distribute native executables 
> compiled with GHC without having to deal with the additional issues raised 
> by the current inclusion of this LGPL component in the runtime. (Afaik 
> everything else in ghc is under a BSD3 license.)

There is an interest in removing GMP, motivated partly by licensing but
also due to portabiltity concerns and the fact that the use of GHC's
memory manager in GMP prevents FFI code from using GMP safely.

> It's less of an issue on Linux where libgmp is dynamically linked but when 
> thinking about using Haskell ghc for creating Windows apps it is for me a 
> real problem, because it would mean I'd have to distribute the code for my 
> app as a library along with the code as an executable, thus doubling the 
> download size for my apps as well as having to include a license that has 
> to explain to a possibly non-technical user that although the program 
> includes code that is libre/gratis free the program is not itself free etc 
> etc...

Huh?  AFAIK the LGPL is only an issue for the commercial/proprietary
users of Haskell; gratis/libre works would continue to be gratis/libre
after linking with GMP.

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