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WxHaskell/Mac

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Contents

1 Installing on MacOS X

  1. Install the Developer Tools
  2. Install wxWidgets 2.9 by hand (HomeBrew makes this easy: brew install wxmac --devel; or on Lion, possibly brew install wxmac --use-llvm --devel)
  3. Check your path to make sure you are using your wxWidgets and not the default Mac one
  4. cabal install wx

2 Known working configurations

Date Arch OS/XCode GHC Haskell Platform wxWidgets wxHaskell
2012-04 Intel 64-bit Lion (10.7.3), Xcode 4.3 7.0.4 2011.3.0.0 2.9.3 (HomeBrew) 0.90
2012-04 Intel 64-bit Lion (10.7.3), XCode 4.3 7.4.1 2.9.3 (HomeBrew) 0.90 (see notes)

3 Notes

These notes tend to be a bit ephemeral and are thus dated to help you figure out if they may still apply or not.

  • 2012-04-14: On MacOS X Lion, to install wxWidgets 2.9 with HomeBrew, you may need to run brew install wxmac --use-llvm --devel
  • 2012-04-14: The recent XCode 4.3 moves some tools from /Developer to /Applications/XCode.app/Contents/Developer. I just made a symlink back for the old location until some dust settles from this.
  • 2012-04-14: With GHC 7.4.1, you may get some complaints from wxc 0.90 due to an old haskell98 import in Setup.hs. You can either just grab the darcs version of wxHaskell or wait for the next point release to come out.

4 Using wxHaskell on MacOS X platforms

Even though graphical applications on MacOS X look great, it is a still a developers nightmare to get them working :-). Furthermore, the MacOS X port of wxWidgets is the least mature and still has some quirks. This page describes how to circumvent some of the pitfalls.


  • Graphical applications generated with GHC do not work if executed directly ; they need to be upgraded into MacOS X applications. See cabal-macosx to automate this. It can be integrated with Cabal and/or used as a standalone `macosx-app` script.
  • Due to complicated MacOS X restrictions, graphical wxHaskell applications do not work directly when used from GHCi. Fortunately, Wolfgang Thaller has kindly provided an ingenious Haskell module that solves this problem. Just import the (compiled) module EnableGUI in your program and issue the following command to run main from your GHCi prompt:

    > enableGUI >> main

    Compiling and using enableGUI needs some command line flags:

    > ghc -XForeignFunctionInterface -c EnableGUI.hs
    > ghci -framework Carbon HelloWorld.hs
    GHCi, version 6.8.2: http://www.haskell.org/ghc/  :? for help
    Loading package base ... linking ... done.
    Loading object (framework) Carbon ... done
    final link ... done
    [2 of 2] Compiling Main             ( Main.hs, interpreted )
    Ok, modules loaded: Main, EnableGUI.
    *Main> enableGUI
    *Main> main
  • The dynamic link libraries used by wxHaskell can not always be found. If your application seems to start (the icon bounces) but terminates mysteriously, you need to set the dynamic link library search path to the wxHaskell library directory. For example:

    > setenv DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH /usr/local/wxhaskell/lib

    or

    > setenv DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH $HOME/.cabal/local/lib/wxhaskell-0.11.0/lib

5 Troubleshooting

See WxHaskell/Troubleshooting for help getting your wxhaskell applications running

  1. Why do I have to macosx-app my binaries?
    • 2009-04-01: we don't know for sure yet. macosx-app is just a shell script that runs Rez and also creates an application bundle. If you are a MacOS developer, especially a wxWidgets one, we would love some help answering this question.
    • 2009-11-24: Please see also Andy Gimblett's cabal-macosx project