GHCup makes it easy to install specific versions of GHC on GNU/Linux, macOS (aka Darwin), FreeBSD and Windows and can also bootstrap a fresh Haskell developer environment from scratch. It follows the UNIX philosophy of do one thing and do it well. Similar in scope to rustup, pyenv and jenv.

How to install

The following commands will download the ghcup binary into ~/.ghcup/bin (or C:\ghcup\bin on windows) and then run it to interactively install the Haskell Toolchain. These commands should be run as non-root/non-admin user.

For Linux, macOS, FreeBSD or Windows Subsystem 2 for Linux, run this in a terminal:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

For Windows, run this in a PowerShell session:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force;[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor 3072; try { Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock ([ScriptBlock]::Create((Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing))) -ArgumentList $true } catch { Write-Error $_ }

There's also a youtube video explaining installation on windows.

If you want to know what these scripts do, check out the source code at the repository. Advanced users may want to perform a manual installation and GPG verify the binaries.

Which versions get installed?

GHCup has two main channels for every tool: recommended and latest. By default, it installs recommended.

latest follows the latest release of every tool, while recommended is at the discretion of the GHCup maintainers and based on community adoption (hackage libraries, tools like HLS, stackage support, etc.) and known bugs.

Also see tags and shortcuts for more information.

System requirements

Linux Debian

The following distro packages are required: build-essential curl libffi-dev libffi6 libgmp-dev libgmp10 libncurses-dev libncurses5 libtinfo5

Linux Ubuntu

The following distro packages are required: build-essential curl libffi-dev libffi6 libgmp-dev libgmp10 libncurses-dev libncurses5 libtinfo5

Linux Fedora

The following distro packages are required: gcc gcc-c++ gmp gmp-devel make ncurses ncurses-compat-libs xz perl

Linux Mageia

The following distro packages are required: curl gcc gcc-c++ gmp libffi-devel libffi7 libgmp-devel libgmp10 make libncurses-devel libncurses5 xz perl

Linux CentOS

The following distro packages are required: gcc gcc-c++ gmp gmp-devel make ncurses ncurses-compat-libs xz perl

Linux Alpine

The following distro packages are required: binutils-gold curl gcc g++ gmp-dev libc-dev libffi-dev make musl-dev ncurses-dev perl tar xz

Linux VoidLinux

The following distro packages are required: gcc gmp curl coreutils xz ncurses make ncurses-libtinfo-libs perl tar

Linux (generic)

You need the following packages: curl g++ gcc gmp make ncurses realpath xz-utils. Consult your distro documentation on the exact names of those packages.


On OS X, in the course of running ghcup you will be given a dialog box to install the command line tools. Accept and the requirements will be installed for you. You will then need to run the command again. On Darwin M1 you might also need a working llvm installed (e.g. via brew) and have the toolchain exposed in PATH.


The following distro packages are required: curl gcc gmp gmake ncurses perl5 libffi libiconv

Notice that only FreeBSD 13.x is supported. If the installation fails, complaining about, you will need to install FreeBSD 12 compat package first, for example, pkg install misc/compat12x.


On Windows, msys2 should already have been set up during the installation, so most users should just proceed. If you are installing manually, make sure to have a working mingw64 toolchain and shell.

Next steps

  1. Follow the First steps guide on how to build a "Hello world" program, use ghc, run an interactive REPL and create a Haskell project
  2. To understand the difference and overlap of stack and cabal, read on here
  3. To learn Haskell proper check out the links at How to learn Haskell proper
  4. To learn more about Haskell Toolchain management, check out the ghcup user guide


On linux, just run ghcup nuke, then make sure any ghcup added lines in your ~/.bashrc (or similar) are removed.

On windows, right click on the Uninstall Haskell.ps1 PowerShell script on your Desktop and select Run with PowerShell.

Supported tools

GHCup supports the following tools, which are also known as the Haskell Toolchain:

Show all supported GHC versions
GHC VersionTags
9.6.1latest, base-
9.2.5recommended, base-
Show all supported cabal-install versions
Cabal VersionTags
Show all supported HLS versions
HLS VersionTags
Show all supported Stack versions
Stack VersionTags
2.9.3latest, recommended

Supported platforms

This list may not be exhaustive and specifies support for bindists only.

Platform Architecture ghcup GHC cabal HLS stack
Windows 7 amd64
Windows 10 amd64
Windows Server 2016 amd64
Windows Server 2019 amd64
Windows Server 2022 amd64
Windows WSL1 amd64
Windows WSL2 amd64
MacOS >=10.13 amd64
MacOS <10.13 amd64
MacOS aarch64 ⚠️
FreeBSD amd64 ⚠️ ⚠️
Linux generic x86
Linux generic amd64
Linux generic aarch64 ⚠️ ⚠️
Linux generic armv7 ⚠️ ⚠️

Windows 7

May or may not work, several issues:


Unsupported. GHC may or may not work. Upgrade to WSL2.

MacOS <10.13

Not supported. Would require separate binaries, since >=10.13 binaries are incompatible. Please upgrade.

MacOS aarch64

HLS bindists are still experimental. Stack has only unofficial binaries for this platform. There are various issues with GHC itself.


Lacks some upstream bindists and may need compat libs (such as misc/compat12x). HLS bindists are experimental. Only latest FreeBSD is generally supported.

Linux ARMv7/AARCH64

Lower availability of bindists. Stack and HLS binaries are experimental.

Manual installation


Download the binary for your platform at and place it into your PATH anywhere.

If you want to GPG verify the binaries, import the following keys first: 7D1E8AFD1D4A16D71FADA2F2CCC85C0E40C06A8C and FE5AB6C91FEA597C3B31180B73EDE9E8CFBAEF01.

Then adjust your PATH in ~/.bashrc (or similar, depending on your shell) like so:

export PATH="$HOME/.cabal/bin:$HOME/.ghcup/bin:$PATH"


  1. Install ghcup binary
    • choose a base directory for installation, e.g. C:\ that has sufficient space
    • then create the directory, e.g. C:\ghcup\bin
    • download the binary:
    • place it as ghcup.exe into e.g. C:\ghcup\bin
  2. Install MSYS2
    • download and execute it
    • remember the installation destination you choose (default is C:\msys64)
    • finish the installation
  3. Add environment variables and update Path
    • open search bar and type in "Edit the system environment variables", then open it
    • click on "Environment Variables..." at the near bottom
    • in the upper half, select Path variable and double click on it
    • in the new window, click "New", type in C:\ghcup\bin (depending on step 1.) and press enter
    • click "OK" at the bottom
    • in the upper half, click on "New..."
    • enter GHCUP_MSYS2 under "Variable name" and the installation destination from step 2. under "Variable value"
    • click "OK" at the bottom
    • in the upper half, click on "New..."
    • enter GHCUP_INSTALL_BASE_PREFIX under "Variable name" and based on the installation destination from step 1. enter the device directory (default C:\)
    • click "OK" at the bottom
    • in the upper half, click on "New..."
    • enter CABAL_DIR under "Variable name" and based on the installation destination from step 1. enter the device directory + cabal subdir (default C:\cabal)
    • click "OK" at the bottom
    • click "OK" at the bottom
    • click "OK" at the bottom
  4. Install tools
    • open powershell
    • run ghcup install ghc --set recommended
    • run ghcup install cabal latest
    • run ghcup install stack latest
    • run ghcup install hls latest
    • run cabal update
  5. Update msys2
    • run ghcup run -m -- pacman --noconfirm -Syuu
    • run ghcup run -m -- pacman --noconfirm -Syuu
    • run ghcup run -m -- pacman --noconfirm -S --needed curl autoconf mingw-w64-x86_64-pkgconf
    • run ghcup run -m -- pacman --noconfirm -S ca-certificates
  6. Update cabal config
    • go to e.g. C:\cabal (based on device you picked in 1.)
    • open file config
    • uncomment extra-include-dirs (the --) and add the value (depending on installation destination you chose in 2.), e.g. C:\msys64\mingw64\include... so the final line should be extra-include-dirs: C:\msys64\mingw64\include
    • uncomment extra-lib-dirs and do the same, adding C:\msys64\mingw64\lib
    • uncomment extra-prog-path and set it to C:\ghcup\bin, C:\cabal\bin, C:\msys64\mingw64\bin, C:\msys64\usr\bin, depending on your install destinations from 1. and 2.
  7. Set up msys2 shell
    • run ghcup run -m -- sed -i -e 's/db_home:.*$/db_home: windows/' /etc/nsswitch.conf to make the HOME in your msys2 shell match the one from windows
    • make a desktop shortcut from C:\msys64\msys2_shell.cmd, which will allow you to start a proper msys2 shell
    • run ghcup run -m -- sed -i -e 's/#MSYS2_PATH_TYPE=.*/MSYS2_PATH_TYPE=inherit/' /c/msys64/msys2.ini
    • run ghcup run -m -- sed -i -e 's/rem set MSYS2_PATH_TYPE=inherit/set MSYS2_PATH_TYPE=inherit/' /c/msys64/msys2_shell.cmd

All set. You can run cabal init now in an empty directory to start a project.

Vim integration

See ghcup.vim.

VSCode integration

The developers of the Haskell Language Server offer an extension tightly integrated with the Haskell Language Server. To get started:

  1. Install GHCup. During installation, opt in to install the Haskell Language Server (HLS).
  2. Install the extension (from VSCode: Ctrl + P and then ext install haskell.haskell).
  3. Make sure your project uses the GHC version installed from GHCup (otherwise HLS is likely to fail on launch):

On Linux, some users have reported an issue when VSCode is not launched from a terminal ("cannot find ghc version"). A solution is to let HLS know about your GHCup on $PATH.

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