cabal-install and executable dependencies

John Lato jwlato at
Sun Aug 25 23:53:01 CEST 2013

This requested feature seems to overlap with the build-tools section,
however I don't think cabal will attempt to auto-install executables listed

I think build-depends and build-tools should be kept separate, but maybe if
an executable listed in build-tools isn't found, cabal could look for a
package with the same name on hackage and attempt to install that first?

On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 6:20 AM, harry <voldermort at> wrote:

> Herbert Valerio Riedel wrote
> > Are you proposing that each package listed in 'build-depends' should be
> > looked up for its executables (if it contains any), and check if those
> > are available as installed executable?
> Yes, although it might be worth having this as a separate
> (build-depends-executable?) section.
> >What should happen if the executable is not found?
> cabal will try to install it, the same as if a libarary was not found in
> the
> package database.
> >> If it's in cabal's bin but not the path, the user should be warned.
> >Why only warned? Shouldn't the dependency check rather fail then, as the
> >executable most likely won't be found?
> Yes, the installation should probably fail with a warning explaining what
> the problem is.
> >What if the executable found via $PATH differs from the one in
> >~/.cabal/bin (or the respective sandbox `bin` folder?); should then be
> >warned as well?
> Not suggesting that cabal check versions, just whether an executable by the
> specified name is on the path. Looking in .cabal/bin if it isn't there is
> just to help diagnose a misconfigured path variable.
> --
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