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5. Installing pre-supposed utilities

Here are the gory details about some utility programs you may need; perl and gcc are the only important ones. (PVM is important if you're going for Parallel Haskell.) The configure script will tell you if you are missing something.


You have to have Perl to proceed! Perl is a language quite good for doing shell-scripty tasks that involve lots of text processing. It is pretty easy to install.

Perl 5 is the current version; GHC is Perl 4 friendly though. For Win32 platforms, Perl 5 is recommended, we even strongly suggest you pick up a port of Perl 5 for cygwin32, as the common Hip/ActiveWare port of Perl is not Cool Enough for our purposes.

Perl should be put somewhere so that it can be invoked by the #! script-invoking mechanism. (I believe /usr/bin/perl is preferred; we use /usr/local/bin/perl at Glasgow.) The full pathname should be less than 32 characters long.

GNU C (gcc):

The current version is 2.7.2.

If your GCC dies with ``internal error'' on some GHC source file, please let us know, so we can report it and get things improved. (Exception: on iX86 boxes---you may need to fiddle with GHC's -monly-N-regs option; ask if confused...)

EGCS (the Enhanced GNU Compiler Suite) may or may not work, we haven't tested it fully yet.

PVM version 3:

PVM is the Parallel Virtual Machine on which Parallel Haskell programs run. (You only need this if you plan to run Parallel Haskell. Concurent Haskell, which runs concurrent threads on a uniprocessor doesn't need it.) Underneath PVM, you can have (for example) a network of workstations (slow) or a multiprocessor box (faster).

The current version of PVM is 3.3.11; we use 3.3.7. It is readily available on the net; I think I got it from, in netlib.

A PVM installation is slightly quirky, but easy to do. Just follow the Readme instructions.

xargs on Solaris2:

The GHC libraries are put together with something like:

find bunch-of-dirs -name '*.o' -print | xargs ar q ...
Unfortunately the Solaris xargs (the shell-script equivalent of map) only ``bites off'' the .o files a few at a time---with near-infinite rebuilding of the symbol table in the .a file.

The best solution is to install a sane xargs from the GNU findutils distribution. You can unpack, build, and install the GNU version in the time the Solaris xargs mangles just one GHC library.


GNU Autoconf is used to build the configure script from in a source distribution. If you modify, you'll need autoconf to regenerate configure.

bash (Parallel Haskell only):

Sadly, the gr2ps script, used to convert ``parallelism profiles'' to PostScript, is written in Bash (GNU's Bourne Again shell). This bug will be fixed (someday).


This is a quite-a-bit-better-than-Lex lexer. Used to build GHC's lexer, and a couple of utilities in glafp-utils. On our machines, the version in /bin doesn't work; you need the GNU version. Find out by saying flex --version (our current version is 2.5.3, but maybe earlier ones will work). If it doesn't know about the --version flag, it ain't the right flex.


If you mess with the Haskell parser, you'll need a Yacc that can cope. The unbundled /usr/lang/yacc is OK; the GNU bison is OK; Berkeley yacc, byacc, is not OK.


You need a working sed if you are going to build from sources. The build-configuration stuff needs it. GNU sed version 2.0.4 is no good! It has a bug in it that is tickled by the build-configuration. 2.0.5 is ok. Others are probably ok too (assuming we don't create too elaborate configure scripts..)

One fptools projects is worth a quick note at this point, because it is useful for all the others:

5.1 Tools for building the Documentation

The following additional tools are required if you want to format the documentation that comes with the fptools projects:


All our documentation is written in SGML, using the LinuxDoc DTD that comes with the SGML-Tools, which is the most shrink-wrapped SGML suite that we could find. Should unpack and build painlessly on most architectures, and you can use it to generate HTML, Info, LaTeX (and hence DVI and Postscript), Groff, and plain text output from any LinuxDoc source file (including this manual). Sources are available from The SGML-Tools Web Page.


A decent TeX distribution is required if you want to produce printable documentation. We recomment teTeX, which includes just about everything you need.

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