Cabal home page
cabal-install package provides a command line tool called
cabal. The tool uses the
Cabal library and provides a convenient user interface to the Cabal/Hackage package build and distribution system. It can build and install both local and remote packages, including dependencies.
cabal-install package requires a number of other packages, most of which come with a standard ghc installation. It requires the
network package, which is sometimes packaged separately by Linux distributions, for example on debian or ubuntu it is in "libghc6-network-dev".
It requires three other Haskell packages that are not always installed:
All of these are available from Hackage.
Note that on some Unix systems you may need to install an additional zlib development package using your system package manager. This is because the Haskell zlib package uses the system zlib C library and header files.
In future, cabal-install will be part of the Haskell Platform so will not need to be installed separately. In the mean time however you have to install it manually. Since it is just an ordinary Cabal package it can be built in the standard way, but to make it a bit easier we have partly automated the process:
As a convenience for users on Unix systems there is a bootstrap.sh script which will download and install each of the dependencies in turn.
It will download and install the above three dependencies. The script will install the library packages into
$HOME/.cabal/ and the
cabal program will be installed into
You then have two choices:
cabalprogram elsewhere and edit the
$HOME/.cabal/configfile and set the
symlink-bindirentry to point to an alternative location where that is on your
$PATH, eg a
For Windows users we provide a pre-compiled cabal.exe program. Just download it and put it somewhere on your
There are two sets of commands: commands for working with a local project build tree and ones for working with distributed released packages from hackage.
For a list of the full set of commands and the flags for each command see
$ cabal --help
The commands for local project build trees are almost exactly the same as the
runghc Setup command line interface that many people are already familiar with. In particular there are the commands
cabal configure cabal build cabal haddock cabal clean cabal sdist
install command is somewhat different. It is an all-in-one operation. If you run
$ cabal install
in your build tree it will configure, build and install. It takes all the flags that
configure takes such as
In addition, if any dependencies are not installed it will download and install them. If can also rebuild packages to ensure a consistent set of dependencies.
$ cabal update
This command gets the latest list of packages from the hackage server. Currently this command has to be run manually occasionally, in particular if you want to install a newly released package.
$ cabal install xmonad
This is the eponymous command. It installs one or more named packages (and all their dependencies) from hackage.
By default it installs the latest available version however you can optionally specify exact versions or version ranges. For example
cabal install alex-2.2 or
cabal install parsec < 3.
$ cabal upgrade xmonad
This is a variation on the
install command. Both mean to install the latest version, the only difference is in the treatment of dependencies. The
install command tries to use existing installed versions of dependent packages while the
upgrade command tries to upgrade all the dependencies too.
$ cabal list xml
This does a search of the installed and available packages. It does a case-insensitive substring match on the package name.