Bootstrapping cabal-install

After installing GHC 6.10.1, you probably want to get cabal-install installed as quickly as possible, so you can grab all that Haskell library goodness from Hackage with the minimum of fuss.  Once the Haskell Platform is available, this will be much easier, but until then we have to bootstrap cabal-install using just Cabal.

After a release I find myself doing this on multiple machines, so today I made a little script to automate it, and I thought I’d share it.  Obviously it’s just a quick hack, only works with GHC 6.10.1, has no error-checking etc., but it does work on both Windows and Unix.  Enjoy!

Update: Duncan Coutts pointed out to me that there’s a Windows cabal.exe binary available.


set -e

for i in $TMPDIR /tmp c:/temp; do
  if test -d $i; then

cd $dir
tar xzf zlib-
cd zlib-
ghc --make Setup
./Setup configure --user
./Setup build
./Setup register --inplace --user

cd $dir
tar xzf HTTP-3001.1.4.tar.gz
cd HTTP-3001.1.4
ghc --make Setup
./Setup configure --user
./Setup build
./Setup register --inplace --user

cd $dir
tar xzf cabal-install-0.6.0.tar.gz
cd cabal-install-0.6.0
ghc --make Setup
./Setup configure --user
./Setup build

# Don't need these libs any more...
ghc-pkg unregister zlib-
ghc-pkg unregister HTTP-3001.1.4

# Now use cabal-install to install itself and its dependencies
./dist/build/cabal/cabal update
./dist/build/cabal/cabal install cabal-install

# Clean up...
cd $dir
rm -rf zlib-*
rm -rf HTTP-3001.1.4*
rm -rf cabal-install-0.6.0*

echo "ALL DONE!"

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7 Responses to Bootstrapping cabal-install

  1. Since I hadn’t gotten around to fixing my previous fumbled attempt to install cabal-install, I went ahead and pulled the script here and I have to say, *fantastic*!

    Just one thing to note, whatever version of ghc-pkg was on my machine didn’t like the `ghc-pkg unregister …’ lines, but rather `ghc-pkg unregister –user …’ was required.

    It could just be me using ghc 6.8.2 from the Ubuntu package however?

    — Lorenz

  2. Pingback: A Plea For “cabal install” | Alson Kemp

  3. patrikja says:

    This script was very useful, but I also needed an older version of ghc (to see why Agda more often runs out of memory when compiled with ghc-6.10). I’ve made a version of this script to install cabal-install on ghc-6.8.2.

  4. Pingback: More cabal-install bootstrapping « Polytypic

  5. Alexy says:

    I’ve tried this on Mac OSX Leopard, and got:

    Linking dist/build/cabal/cabal …
    ld: in /private/var/folders/mw/mwJSf7ErEa4w8nWyKyyqD++++TY/-Tmp-/zlib-, archive has no table of contents

    — where can I stick ranlib after some ar happening here in zlib?

  6. simonmar says:

    Cabal ought to be doing that. Maybe you need to upgrade Cabal first?

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