building GHC for Slackware/Salix

tim.beech tim.beech at
Sun Dec 9 15:53:32 CET 2012

I'm making a GHC package for Salix 14 (which is backwards-compatible with
Slackware, so this will be a Slackware package, too).

The main thing I'd be grateful for advice on is the overall approach I'm
taking to the package. Others I've seen (such as the Arch package) just
assume GHC is already present.

My build script unpacks the binary distribution for "unknown linux" and
builds GHC against that. (Both are version 7.4.2.) I have avoided
installing anything else (such as the Haskell Platform) so as to keep as
close as possible to the ideal of a package as a transparent,
reproducible process that only depends on the source. As far as I can
tell from the build prerequisites

the only consequence is that documentation is only created as html, not
pdf and ps as well.

Though everything seems to work ok, the build as it stands fails three tests:

Unexpected failures:
lib/Time T5430 [bad stdout] (normal)
perf/compiler parsing001 [stat not good enough] (normal)
simplCore/should_compile spec-inline [stderr mismatch] (optasm)

That is after running the fast version of the test suite, which the
documentation says should pass 100%.

My second question is, do these results suggest anything as to where the
problem may lie, and how important it is?

When I then installed the new package and built the Haskell Platform
against it (using the build script at, although
the installation nonetheless appeared to be succesful, the build script
failed at the very end where it tries to do

ghc-pkg recache

When I did this manually, I discovered root permissions were needed. Is
that normal?

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