This section describes what files get installed where. You don't need to know it if you are simply installing GHC, but it is vital information if you are changing the implementation.
GHC is installed in two directory trees:
known as $(libdir), holds all the support files needed to run GHC. On Unix, this directory is usually something like /usr/lib/ghc/ghc-5.02.
known as $(bindir), holds executables that the user is expected to invoke. Notably, it contains ghc and ghci. On Unix, this directory can be anywhere, but is typically something like /usr/local/bin. On Windows, however, this directory must be $(libdir)/bin.
When GHC runs, it must know where its library directory is. It finds this out in one of two ways:
$(libdir) is passed to GHC using the -B flag. On Unix (but not Windows), the installed ghc is just a one-line shell script that invokes the real GHC, passing a suitable -B flag. [All the user-supplied flags follow, and a later -B flag overrides an earlier one, so a user-supplied one wins.]
On Windows (but not Unix), if no -B flag is given, GHC uses a system call to find the directory in which the running GHC executable lives, and derives $(libdir) from that. [Unix lacks such a system call.] That is why $(bindir) must be $(libdir)/bin.
The binary directory, $(bindir) contains user-visible executables, notably ghc and ghci. You should add it to your $PATH
On Unix, the user-invokable ghc invokes $(libdir)/ghc-version, passing a suitable -B flag to tell ghc-version where $(libdir) is. Similarly ghci, except the extra flag --interactive is passed.
On Win32, the user-invokable ghc binary is the Real Thing (no intervening shell scripts or .bat files). Reason: we sometimes invoke GHC with very long command lines, and cmd.exe (which executes .bat files) truncates them. Similarly ghci is a C wrapper program that invokes ghc --interactive (passing on all other arguments), not a .bat file.
The layout of the library directory, $(libdir) is almost identical on Windows and Unix, as follows. Differences between Windows and Unix are noted thus [Win32 only] and are commented below.
$(libdir)/ package.conf GHC package configuration ghc-usage.txt Message displayed by ghc ––help bin/ [Win32 only] User-visible binaries ghc.exe ghci.exe unlit Remove literate markup touchy.exe [Win32 only] perl.exe [Win32 only] gcc.exe [Win32 only] ghc-x.xx GHC executable [Unix only] ghc-split Asm code splitter ghc-asm Asm code mangler gcc-lib/ [Win32 only] Support files for gcc specs gcc configuration cpp0.exe gcc support binaries as.exe ld.exe crt0.o Standard ..etc.. binaries libmingw32.a Standard ..etc.. libraries *.h Include files imports/ GHC interface files std/*.hi 'std' library lang/*.hi 'lang' library ..etc.. include/ C header files StgMacros.h GHC-specific ..etc... header files mingw/*.h [Win32 only] Mingwin header files libHSrts.a GHC library archives libHSstd.a libHSlang.a ..etc.. HSstd1.o GHC library linkables HSstd2.o (used by ghci, which does HSlang.o not grok .a files yet)
$(libdir) also contains support binaries. These are not expected to be on the user's PATH, but and are invoked directly by GHC. In the Makefile system, this directory is also called $(libexecdir), but you are not free to change it. It must be the same as $(libdir).
We distribute gcc with the Win32 distribution of GHC, so that users don't need to install gcc, nor need to care about which version it is. All gcc's support files are kept in $(libdir)/gcc-lib/.
Similarly, we distribute perl and a touch replacement (touchy.exe) with the Win32 distribution of GHC.
The support programs ghc-split and ghc-asm are Perl scripts. The first line says #!/bin/perl; on Unix, the script is indeed invoked as a shell script, which invokes Perl; on Windows, GHC invokes $(libdir)/perl.exe directly, which treats the #!/bin/perl as a comment. Reason: on Windows we want to invoke the Perl distributed with GHC, rather than assume some installed one.