5. What machines the Glasgow tools run on

The main question is whether or not the Haskell compiler (GHC) runs on your platform.

A “platform” is a architecture/manufacturer/operating-system combination, such as sparc-sun-solaris2. Other common ones are alpha-dec-osf2, hppa1.1-hp-hpux9, i386-unknown-linux, i386-unknown-solaris2, i386-unknown-freebsd, i386-unknown-cygwin32, m68k-sun-sunos4, mips-sgi-irix5, sparc-sun-sunos4, sparc-sun-solaris2, powerpc-ibm-aix.

Some libraries may only work on a limited number of platforms; for example, a sockets library is of no use unless the operating system supports the underlying BSDisms.

5.1. What platforms the Haskell compiler (GHC) runs on

The GHC hierarchy of Porting Goodness: (a) Best is a native-code generator; (b) next best is a “registerised” port; (c) the bare minimum is an “unregisterised” port. (“Unregisterised” is so terrible that we won't say more about it).

We use Sparcs running Solaris 2.7 and x86 boxes running FreeBSD and Linux, so those are the best supported platforms, unsurprisingly.

Here's everything that's known about GHC ports. We identify platforms by their “canonical” CPU/Manufacturer/OS triple.


The OSF port is currently working (as of GHC version 5.02.1) and well supported. The native code generator is currently non-working. Other operating systems will require some minor porting.


Probably works with minor tweaks, hasn't been tested for a while.


Fully supported (at least for Solaris 2.7), including native-code generator.

hppa1.1-hp-hpux (HP-PA boxes running HPUX 9.x)

A registerised port is available for version 4.08, but GHC hasn't been built on that platform since (as far as we know). No native-code generator.

i386-unknown-linux (PCs running Linux, ELF binary format)

GHC works registerised and has a native code generator. You must have GCC 2.7.x or later. NOTE about glibc versions: GHC binaries built on a system running glibc 2.0 won't work on a system running glibc 2.1, and vice versa. In general, don't expect compatibility between glibc versions, even if the shared library version hasn't changed.

i386-unknown-freebsd (PCs running FreeBSD 2.2 or higher)

GHC works registerised. Pre-built packages are available in the native package format, so if you just need binaries you're better off just installing the package (it might even be on your installation CD!).

i386-unknown-openbsd (PCs running OpenBSD)

Supported, with native code generator. Packages are available through the ports system in the native package format.

i386-unknown-netbsd (PCs running NetBSD and OpenBSD)

Will require some minor porting effort, but should work registerised.

i386-unknown-mingw32 (PCs running Windows)

Fully supported under Win9x, WinNT, Win2k, and WinXP. Includes a native code generator. Building from source requires a recent Cygwin distribution to be installed.


GHC currently works unregisterised. A registerised port is in progress.


Port has worked in the past, but hasn't been tested for some time (and will certainly have rotted in various ways). As usual, we don't have access to machines and there hasn't been an overwhelming demand for this port, but feel free to get in touch.


Port currently doesn't work, needs some minimal porting effort. As usual, we don't have access to machines and there hasn't been an overwhelming demand for this port, but feel free to get in touch.


Supported registerised. No native code generator.


Not supported (yet).

Various other systems have had GHC ported to them in the distant past, including various Motorola 68k boxes. The 68k support still remains, but porting to one of these systems will certainly be a non-trivial task.

5.2. What machines the other tools run on

Unless you hear otherwise, the other tools work if GHC works.