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Creating Debian packages from Cabal package

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1 Packaging a Cabal library package with haskell-devscripts for unstable

This is a little bit outdated. For up-to-date information about packaging for Debian, with the Debian Haskell Group, check: http://wiki.debian.org/Haskell/CollabMaint/PackageTemplate

This is the recommended way to package a Cabal library for Debian now. Example of how a package could be created, using:

  • $package as the package name
  • $version as the version of the package.
  • $maintainerName as the name of the maintainer
  • $maintainerEmail as the email of the maintainer
  • $packageShortDescription as the Cabal short description of the package
  • $packageLongDescription as the Cabal long description of the package
  1. wget http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/$package/$version/$package-$version.tar.gz -O haskell-${package}_$version.orig.tar.gz
  2. tar -zxf haskell-$package_$version.orig.tar.gz
  3. cd $package-$version
  4. mkdir debian
  5. cat << EOF > debian/control
    Source: haskell-$package
    Section: libdevel
    Priority: optional
    Maintainer: $maintainerName <$maintainerEmail>
    Standards-Version: 3.8.1
    Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 5), cdbs, dpatch, haskell-devscripts (>= 0.6.15+nmu1), ghc6, ghc6-prof
    Build-Depends-Indep: ghc6-doc, haddock, hscolour
    Homepage: http://hackage.haskell.org/cgi-bin/$package/package/$package
    
    Package: libghc6-$package-dev
    Architecture: any
    Depends: ${haskell:Depends}, ${shlibs:Depends}, ${misc:Depends}
    Suggests: libghc6-$package-doc (= ${binary:Version}), libghc6-$package-prof (= ${binary:Version})
    Description: $packageShortDescription
     This package provides a library for the Haskell programming language.
     See http://www.haskell.org/ for more information on Haskell.
     .
     $packageLongDescription
    
    Package: libghc6-$package-prof
    Architecture: any
    Depends: libghc6-$package-dev (= ${binary:Version}), ${haskell:Depends}, ${shlibs:Depends}, ${misc:Depends}
    Description: $packageShortDescription; profiling libraries
     This package provides a library for the Haskell programming language,
     compiled for profiling.
     See http://www.haskell.org/ for more information on Haskell.
     .
     $packageLongDescription
    
    Package: libghc6-$package-doc
    Section: doc
    Architecture: all
    Depends: ${misc:Depends}
    Recommends: ghc6-doc (>= 6.8.2)
    Suggests: libghc6-$package-dev (= ${binary:Version})
    Description: $packageShortDescription; documentation
     This package provides the documentation for a library for the Haskell
     programming language.
     See http://www.haskell.org/ for more information on Haskell.
     .
     $packageLongDescription
    EOF
    1. echo 5 > debian/compat
    2. Create debian/copyright with your favorite editor:
    Debianised by ...
    Author ...
    Copyright: BSD ... /usr/share/common-licenses/BSD ...
    EOF
  6. cat << EOF > debian/rules
    #!/usr/bin/make -f
    
    include /usr/share/cdbs/1/rules/debhelper.mk
    include /usr/share/cdbs/1/class/hlibrary.mk
    EOF
  7. cat << EOF > debian/watch
    version=3
    http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/$package/([\d\.]+)/$package-([\d\.]+).tar.gz
    EOF
  8. dch --create -D unstable --package haskell-$package --newversion $version-1
  9. debuild -us -uc

2 Packaging a Cabal library package in 10 easy steps

This process requires the haskell-utils package.

Here is an example on was created a new Debian package out of an Haskell Cabal library package: mtl.

  1. wget http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/mtl/1.0/mtl-1.0.tar.gz -O haskell-mtl_1.0.1.orig.tar.gz
  2. tar -zxf haskell-mtl_1.0.1.orig.tar.gz
  3. cd mtl-1.0
  4. mkdir -p debian/varfiles
  5. Create debian/varfiles/varfile with your favorite editor:
        maintainer="Ian Lynagh (wibble) <igloo@debian.org>"
        short_description="Haskell monad transformer library for GHC"
        long_description=" MTL is a monad transformer library, inspired by the paper \"Functional
        Programming with Overloading and Higher-Order Polymorphism\",
        by Mark P Jones (<http://www.cse.ogi.edu/~mpj/>), Advanced School
        of Functional Programming, 1995."
        c_dev_libs=""
        extra_build_deps=""
    (Pay attention to the leading space in long_description. It's necessary due to the format of Debian's control file.)
  6. Create debian/copyright with your favorite editor:
        Debianised by ...
        Author ...
        Copyright: BSD ... /usr/share/common-licenses/BSD ...
        EOF
  7. dch --create -D unstable --package haskell-mtl --newversion 1.0.1-1
  8. update-debian-haskell-files
  9. debian/rules update-generated-files
  10. debuild -us -uc

With luck the .cabal file will provide most of the text for steps 5 and 6.

When making future changes, apart from adding a changelog entry (use dch), only steps 9 and 10 need to be repeated.

Even if packaging Haskell libraries seems easy, the Debian Policy and the Developers Reference contains a lot of valuable informations on how to create a policy compliant Debian package.

Please subscribe to the debian-haskell mailling-list if you are interested in creating new Haskell packages for Debian.

3 Packaging a Cabal program package in N easy steps

TBD