[Haskell-cafe] Packaging Haskell Environment for Mac App

Andrew Gibiansky andrew.gibiansky at gmail.com
Thu May 1 21:22:56 UTC 2014

Hey all,

[This is an xpost from Reddit, where the
not to be showing up for some reason...]

I'd like to package the Haskell Platform and GHC (for GHC API) together in
one bundle in order to distribute it with a Mac app. (Specifically, I am
working on a Mac app for IHaskell <https://github.com/gibiansky/IHaskell>,
so beginners can download that to immediately get started playing with

Does anyone have any experience with this? What's the easiest way to do
this? My list of dependencies is fairly long:

   - Haskell Platform (well, all packages in it)
   - A few other packages installed via cabal
   - A native library (libzmq); cabal packages depend on it
   - Functioning Python > 2.6ish
   - GHC API

My current best idea is to package this all in a Virtualbox VM. I need to
run a server that my Mac app client can use, so mount shared folders in the
VM so that the VM can read/write to disk and expose some ports from the VM.
If this is the best solution, what Linux distro would you suggest to use in
the VM? I'd want something very lightweight.

I've also considered using Docker somehow, as IHaskell is already packaged
with a Dockerfile. However, I'm not sure how I'd package docker so that its
all doable via a single Mac app install.

Ideas? Suggestions?

Thanks! I know this isn't *directly* related to Haskell, but I'm hoping
someone here has experience packaging Haskell applications.

-- Andrew Gibiansky
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