Does GHC 7.8 make targeting bare metal ARM any easier?

Jeremy Shaw jeremy at
Wed Mar 20 02:07:40 CET 2013

There have been at least a couple projects, such as hOp and HaLVM
which attempt to run GHC on the bare metal or something similar.

Both these projects required a substantial set of patches against GHC
to remove dependencies things like POSIX/libc. Due to the highly
invasive nature, they are also highly prone to bitrot.

With GHC 7.8, I believe we will be able to cross-compile to the
Raspberry Pi platform. But, what really appeals to me is going that
extra step and avoiding the OS entirely and running on the bare metal.
Obviously, you give up a lot -- such as drivers, network stacks, etc.
But, there is also a lot of potential to do neat things, and not have
to worry about properly shutting down an embedded linux box.

Also, since the raspberry pi is a very limited, uniform platform,
(compared to general purpose PCs) it is feasible to create network
drivers, etc, because only one chipset needs to be supported.
(Ignoring issues regarding binary blobs, undocumented chipsets, usb
WIFI, etc).

I'm wondering if things are any easier with cross-compilation support
improving. My thought is that less of GHC needs to be tweaked?

- jeremy

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