Version 7 (modified by judahj, 10 years ago) (diff)

Correct the configure options so ghc can find the correct readline version.

Building on MacOS X

Get the latest development tools

Certain versions of Apple's Xcode tools are known to cause problems when building ghc 6.6. You should download the latest Xcode from the Apple Developer Connection website. Downloading requires that you sign up for a free membership in the Apple Developer Connection.

Once upon a time Apple distributed updates to Xcode by using their Software Update service but not anymore. You must download the development tools manually.

Successful builds have been reported using Xcode 2.4 and 2.4.1 on Intel and PowerPC Macs. Xcode 2.2.1 is known not to work out of the box on Intel Macs.

Getting Readline to work

Thanks to Paul R Brown for the following instructions.

Building GHC 6.6 out of the box on MacOS X will leave you with a GHCi binary that has no readline support. This is because MacOS X comes NetBSD's libedit and Apple has made /usr/lib/libreadline.dylib a symlink to libedit. libedit does not support all of the libreadline API that GHC requires, so the GHC configure script decides not to use it.

To get readline working, you first need to install GNU readline:

cd ~/work
mkdir gnu-readline
cd !$
curl -O
tar xzvf readline-5.2.tar.gz
cd readline-5.2
make && sudo make install

Now you have to tell the GHC build about readline:

cd ~/work
mkdir ghc
cd !$
curl -O
curl -O
tar xjvf ghc-6.6-src.tar.bz2
tar xjvf ghc-6.6-src-extralibs.tar.bz2
cd ghc-6.6
./configure --with-readline-includes=/usr/local/include \
make -j && sudo make install

(-j tells make to spawn lots of processes building in parallel, it will probably save some time especially if you have a multi-core machine).

Building the distrbution

The following instructions are from Audrey Tang

Install the 6.4.1 bindist, download both source tarballs from and extract both;

cd into ghc-6.6; sh configure; make; make install.

Then create mk/ with one line:


then "make binary-dist", and tar the ghc-6.6/ directory produced.

Building using MacPorts

ghc 6.6 can be built from source using MacPorts on Intel and PowerPC Macs. Follow the instructions on the MacPorts website for installing the infrastructure and port files, then type

> sudo port install ghc

to build and install ghc. Dependencies will be built and installed automatically. There is no need to follow the instructions above for installing readline; this is handled by MacPorts dependency mechanism. If you want to see how the build is progressing, type

> sudo port -dv install ghc

The "-dv" flags indicate verbose debugging output. Using these can also help diagnose build problems.

If the build is interrupted or fails for some reason you must clean up before trying again. Do

> sudo port clean ghc

before restarting.

A nice feature of MacPorts is that you can put its installation directory tree anywhere. This allows installations without administrator privileges.