Getting the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (post 5.02) to run on Windows platforms is a snap: the installer does everything you need.
To install GHC, use the following steps:
Download the installer from the GHC download page.
Run the installer.
On Windows, all of GHC's files are installed in a single directory.
You can override it, but by default this directory is
The executable binary for GHC will be installed in the
bin/ sub-directory of the installation directory.
If you want to invoke GHC from a command line, add this
$PATH environment variable.
When installation is complete, you should find GHCi and the GHC
documentation are available in your Start menu under
GHC needs a directory in which to create, and later delete, temporary files.
It uses the standard Windows procedure
find a suitable directory. This procedure returns:
The path in the environment variable TMP, if TMP is set.
Otherwise, the path in the environment variable TEMP, if TEMP is set.
Otherwise, there is a per-user default which varies
between versions of Windows. On NT and XP-ish versions, it might
c:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp.
The main point is that if you don't do anything GHC will work fine, but if you want to control where the directory is, you can do so by setting TMP or TEMP.
To test the fruits of your labour, try now to compile a simple Haskell program:
bash$ cat main.hs module Main(main) where main = putStrLn "Hello, world!" bash$ ghc -o main main.hs .. bash$ ./main Hello, world! bash$
You do not need the Cygwin toolchain, or anything else, to install and run GHC.
An installation of GHC requires about 365M of disk space. To run GHC comfortably, your machine should have at least 64M of memory.
Once GHC is installed, you can freely move the entire GHC tree just by copying
directory. (You will need to fix up
the links in "Start/All Programs/GHC/ghc-
if you do this.)
It is OK to put GHC tree in a directory whose path involves spaces. However, don't do this if you use want to use GHC with the Cygwin tools, because Cygwin can get confused when this happens. We haven't quite got to the bottom of this, but so far as we know it's not a problem with GHC itself. Nevertheless, just to keep life simple we usually put GHC in a place with a space-free path.
Symlinks only work under Cygwin (Section 126.96.36.199, “Installing”), so binaries not linked to the Cygwin DLL, in particular those built for Mingwin, will not work with symlinks.
This can have various causes: trying to rename a directory when an Explorer window is open on it tends to fail. Closing the window generally cures the problem, but sometimes its cause is more mysterious, and logging off and back on or rebooting may be the quickest cure.