Where should cabal install to by default?

Roman Leshchinskiy rl at cse.unsw.edu.au
Mon Aug 4 02:44:54 EDT 2008

On 04/08/2008, at 06:19, Duncan Coutts wrote:

> And many new users don't know what a path is or how to change one.
> I'd like to avoid new users seeing:
> $ cabal install xmonad
> cabal: this didn't do what you expected, to fix it change the foo
> setting in your bar file.
> It's not friendly.
> Actually at the moment it's worse though:
> $ cabal install xmonad
> [.. lots of build output .. ]
> $ xmonad
> bash: xmonad: command not found
> # user gives up, assuming cabal is borked

I don't think it's realistic to expect that things will magically work  
for people who don't know what they are doing. In fact, I can't  
imagine that there are a lot of people who would use cabal-install and  
not know about paths. IMO, the goal should rather be to make  
installation simple for those who do know what they are doing and also  
to prevent users from shooting themselves in the foot as much as  

That said, I would prefer installs to be global by default and to go  
into the same directory/tree in which cabal-install itself lives.  
Also, I don't think cabal-install itself should somehow invoke sudo.  
IMO, local installs shouldn't have a default location; rather, the  
user would be required to specify one in the prefs file or when  
invoking cabal-install.


More information about the Libraries mailing list