Version 58 (modified by igloo, 3 years ago) (diff)


Video: Getting and Building, layout of the source tree, how to set up (23'43")

Getting the GHC Sources

There are two ways to get sources to GHC: download a source distribution, or get the sources directly from our repository using git.

Source distributions

A source distribution is a file like ghc-6.12.2-src.tar.bz2, which contains a complete snapshot of the source tree for a particular version of GHC. Source distributions for all versions of GHC are available from the download page.

In addition to fixed releases of GHC, source distributions are also made each night from the current source repository, for both the HEAD and STABLE branches. To download these snapshots, head over to the download page.

Source distributions are easier to build, because we also include the output from running certain external tools like Happy, so you don't need to install these tools. See Building/Preparation for details.

Getting a GHC repository using git

The first thing to do is install git.

A source tree consists of more than one repository: at the top level there is the main GHC repository, and certain subdirectories contain separate git repositories (the full list of git repositories relating to GHC is at Repositories). To get a complete repository tree using git:

  $ git clone
  $ cd ghc
  $ chmod +x sync-all
  $ ./sync-all --testsuite get

Making a local clone

You can make a local clone of a GHC tree with

 $ git clone ~/ghc ~/ghc-branch

where ~/ghc is the repository you want to branch and ~/ghc-branch is where you want to put the branch. Then use sync-all as before to branch the rest of the repositories. You can then use sync-all -r <path> to push and pull patches between your two local repository trees.

Getting a branch

The above instructions will get the HEAD - the main trunk of GHC development. There are also branches, from which stable releases are made. The active branches are listed on Repositories.

To get a branch, add the branch name after For example, to get the ghc-7.2 branch, you would first say

  $ git clone

and then use sync-all as above to get the rest of the repositories.

Pulling new patches

The sync-all script makes it easy to pull new patches. For example, sync-all pull will pull all new patches from the original repository into the repository tree in the current directory.


Note, on Windows you may have to change git's line-ending behaviour first:

git config --global core.autocrlf false

since this is a global setting, you probably want to change it back after cloning ghc, and then set it locally for the GHC repo(s).