Version 3 (modified by igloo, 7 years ago) (diff)


Cross Compiling GHC

As of this moment (GHC 6.12) GHC does not support cross-compilation. There are reasons that we would like it to:

  • TakeoffGW is a distribution of Unix tools for Windows, built by cross-compiling on a Linux machine. They would like to be able to build and distribute GHC this way. It might be useful for us to be able to cross-compile a Windows GHC from Linux too.
  • We could build a 64-bit GHC on OS X, by cross-compiling using the 32-bit version.
  • We could port to Win64 (#1884) by cross-compiling using a 32-bit Windows GHC.
  • Other porting tasks might be easier, given a suitable cross-compilation toolchain.
Overall buildStage 1Compiler RTSStage 2Code RTS
Build platform Build Build (Build) Build (Build)
Host platform Host Build Host Host Target
Target platformTarget Host Target


Here is how it should work:

$ ./configure --build=<here> --host=<there> --target=<there>

note that we're cross-compiling from the build machine to the host machine. The target machine is the same as the host: the GHC that we're trying to create will generate binaries for host.

No doubt we'll also need to specify some additional configuration parameters to tell the build system where to find our cross-compilation tools. Perhaps something like

  • stage 1: runs on build, compiles for host
  • stage 2: runs on host, compiles for host

Things that probably need fixing

  • The configure script doesn't let you specify different build, host, and target right now
  • The build systme has no distinction between the gcc used to compile from build->build and build->host.
  • We can't build anything with stage2 when cross-compiling, e.g. Haddock and DPH must be disabled.