--prefix and --copy-prefix in Cabal

Ross Paterson ross at soi.city.ac.uk
Tue Jan 25 05:18:22 EST 2005

On Sun, Jan 23, 2005 at 02:11:28PM +0200, Krasimir Angelov wrote:
> There are two options for prefixes: --prefix and --copy-prefix. In my
> opinion they have the same meaning and I wonder whether we need to
> have two different options for configure and copy commands. Any
> thoughts?

The typical procedure for building a Linux binary distribution is to
build an image of part of the directory tree on the target system in
a subdirectory of the build system.  So the place you install to on
the build machine (copy-prefix) may differ from the place the files
will end up (prefix).  For example, you might want to install


with the latter having the former name compiled in.  Of course you
don't want to clobber those on the build machine.  So the builder
might create files

	/tmp/build.1234/usr/bin/foo (referring to /usr/share/foo/datafile)

so they can move into /tmp/build.1234 to create a tar file that an
installer can unpack in the root directory of the target machine.
Here we'd have --prefix=/usr --copy-prefix=/tmp/build.1234/usr.

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