arch-hs: Distribute hackage packages to archlinux

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arch-hs is a command-line program, which simplifies the process of producing and maintaining haskell packages for archlinux distribution by automating the PKGBUILD generation with the dependency resolving and template filling. Currently, arch-hs is unstable, so packagers should not trust it 100%, but always follow the Haskell package guidelines.

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Dependencies aeson (>=1.5.4 && <1.6), algebraic-graphs (>=0.5 && <0.6), arch-hs, base (>=4.14.0 && <4.15), bytestring (>=0.10.10 && <0.11), Cabal (>=3.2.0 && <3.3), colourista (>=0.1 && <0.2), conduit (>=1.3.2 && <1.4), conduit-extra (>=1.3.5 && <1.4), containers (>=0.6.2 && <0.7), deepseq (>=1.4.4 && <1.5), directory (>=1.3.6 && <1.4), filepath (>=1.4.2 && <1.5), hackage-db (>=2.1.0 && <2.2), megaparsec (>=8.0.0 && <8.1), microlens (>=0.4.11 && <0.5), microlens-th (>=0.4.3 && <0.5), neat-interpolation (>=0.5.1 && <0.6), optparse-applicative (>=0.15.1 && <0.16), polysemy (>=1.3.0 && <1.4), req (>=3.6.0 && <3.7), split (>=0.2.3 && <0.3), tar-conduit (>=0.3.2 && <0.4), template-haskell (>=2.16.0 && <2.17), text (>=1.2.3 && <1.3) [details]
License MIT
Copyright 2020 berberman
Author berberman
Maintainer berberman <>
Category Distribution
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Source repo head: git clone
Uploaded by berberman at 2020-10-11T15:10:25Z
Distributions Arch:, NixOS:
Executables arch-hs-submit, arch-hs-diff, arch-hs
Downloads 2741 total (12 in the last 30 days)
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Status Docs uploaded by user [build log]
All reported builds failed as of 2020-10-11 [all 2 reports]

Readme for arch-hs-

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GitHub CI Build Status Hackage MIT license

A program generating PKGBUILD for hackage packages. Special thanks to felixonmars.

Notice that arch-hs will always support only the latest GHC version.


Given the name of a package in hackage, arch-hs can generate PKGBUILD files, not only for the package whose name is given, but also for all dependencies missing in community. arch-hs has a naive built-in dependency solver, which can fetch those dependencies and find out which are required to be packaged. During the dependency calculation, all version constraints will be discarded due to the arch haskell packaging strategy, thus there is no guarantee of dependencies' version consistency.


arch-hs is just a PKGBUILD text file generator, which is not integrated with pacman, depending on nothing than:

  • Pacman database (community.db)

  • Hackage index tarball (01-index.tar, or 00-index.tar previously) -- usually provided by cabal-install


Both arch-hs and arch-hs-diff are portable, which means that they are not restricted to Arch Linux. However, if you want to run them in other systems, you have to build them from source.

Install the latest release

# pacman -S arch-hs

arch-hs is available in community, so you can install it using pacman.

Install the development version

# pacman -S arch-hs-git

The -git version is available in archlinuxcn, following the latest git commit.


$ git clone

Then build it via stack or cabal.


$ stack build

Cabal (dynamic)

$ cabal configure --disable-library-vanilla --enable-shared --enable-executable-dynamic --ghc-options=-dynamic 
$ cabal build


Just run arch-hs in command line with options and a target. Here is an example: we will create the archlinux package of accelerate:

$ arch-hs -o ~/test accelerate


  ⓘ Recommended package order (from topological sort):
1. unique
2. tasty-kat
3. accelerate


  ⓘ Write file: /home/berberman/test/haskell-accelerate/PKGBUILD
  ⓘ Write file: /home/berberman/test/haskell-unique/PKGBUILD
  ⓘ Write file: /home/berberman/test/haskell-tasty-kat/PKGBUILD
  ✔ Success!

This message tells us that in order to package accelerate, we must package unique and tasty-kat first sequentially, because accelerate dependents on them to build or test, whereas they are not present in archlinux community repo.

$ tree ~/test
├── haskell-accelerate
│   └── PKGBUILD
├── haskell-tasty-kat
│   └── PKGBUILD
└── haskell-unique
    └── PKGBUILD

arch-hs will generate PKGBUILD for each package. Let's see what we have in ./haskell-accelerate/PKGBUILD:

# This file was generated by arch-hs, please check it manually.
# Maintainer: Your Name <>

pkgdesc="An embedded language for accelerated array processing"
depends=('ghc-libs' 'haskell-ansi-terminal' 'haskell-base-orphans' 'haskell-cryptonite' 'haskell-half' 'haskell-hashable' 'haskell-hashtables' 'haskell-hedgehog' 'haskell-lens' 'haskell-prettyprinter' 'haskell-prettyprinter-ansi-terminal' 'haskell-primitive' 'haskell-tasty' 'haskell-terminal-size' 'haskell-unique' 'haskell-unordered-containers' 'haskell-vector')
makedepends=('ghc' 'haskell-doctest')

build() {
  cd $_hkgname-$pkgver

  runhaskell Setup configure -O --enable-shared --enable-executable-dynamic --disable-library-vanilla \
    --prefix=/usr --docdir=/usr/share/doc/$pkgname --enable-tests \
    --dynlibdir=/usr/lib --libsubdir=\$compiler/site-local/\$pkgid \
    --ghc-option=-optl-Wl\,-z\,relro\,-z\,now \

  runhaskell Setup build
  runhaskell Setup register --gen-script
  runhaskell Setup unregister --gen-script
  sed -i -r -e "s|ghc-pkg.*update[^ ]* |&'--force' |"
  sed -i -r -e "s|ghc-pkg.*unregister[^ ]* |&'--force' |"

check() {
  cd $_hkgname-$pkgver
  runhaskell Setup test

package() {
  cd $_hkgname-$pkgver

  install -D -m744 "$pkgdir"/usr/share/haskell/register/$
  install -D -m744 "$pkgdir"/usr/share/haskell/unregister/$
  runhaskell Setup copy --destdir="$pkgdir"
  install -D -m644 LICENSE -t "$pkgdir"/usr/share/licenses/$pkgname/
  rm -f "$pkgdir"/usr/share/doc/$pkgname/LICENSE

arch-hs will collect the information from hackage db, and apply it into a fixed template after some processing steps including renaming, matching license, and filling out dependencies etc. However, packaging haven't been done so far. arch-hs may does well statically, but we should guarantee that this package can be built by ghc with the latest dependencies; hence some patchs may be required in prepare(), such as uusi.



$ arch-hs -o ~/test TARGET

Using -o can generate a series of PKGBUILD including TARGET with its dependencies into the output dir. If you don't pass it, only dependency calculation will occur.

Flag Assignments

$ arch-hs -f TARGET:FLAG_A:true TARGET

Using -f can pass flags, which may affect the results of resolving.

AUR Searching

$ arch-hs -a TARGET

With -a, arch-hs will regard AUR as another package provider, and it will try to search missing packages in AUR as well.

Skipping Components


Using -s can force skip runnable components in dependency resolving. This is useful when a package doesn't provide flag to disable its runnables, which will be built by default but are trivial in system level packaging. Notice that this only makes sense in the lifetime of arch-hs, whereas generated PKGBUILD and actual build processes will not be affected.

Extra Cabal Files

$ arch-hs -e ~/TARGET/TARGET.cabal TARGET

For Testing Purposes Only

Using -e can include extra .cabal files as supplementary. Useful when the TARGET hasn't been released to hackage.


$ arch-hs --trace TARGET

With --trace, arch-hs can print the process of dependency resolving into stdout.

$ arch-hs --trace-file foo.log TARGET

Similar to --trace, but the log will be written into a file.


$ arch-hs -o ~/test --uusi TARGET

With --uusi, arch-hs will generate following snippet for each package:

prepare() {
  uusi $_hkgname-$pkgver/$_hkgname.cabal

See uusi for details.


$ arch-hs --help
arch-hs - a program generating PKGBUILD for hackage packages.

Usage: arch-hs [-h|--hackage PATH] [-c|--community PATH] [-o|--output PATH] 
               [-f|--flags package_name:flag_name:true|false,...] 
               [-s|--skip component_name,...] [-e|--extra PATH_1,...] [-a|--aur]
               [--trace] [--trace-file PATH] [--uusi] TARGET
  Try to reach the TARGET QAQ.

Available options:
  -h,--hackage PATH        Path to hackage index
                           tarball (default: "~/.cabal/packages/YOUR_HACKAGE_MIRROR/01-index.tar | 00-index.tar")
  -c,--community PATH      Path to
                           community.db (default: "/var/lib/pacman/sync/community.db")
  -o,--output PATH         Output path to generated PKGBUILD files (empty means
                           dry run)
  -f,--flags package_name:flag_name:true|false,...
                           Flag assignments for packages - e.g.
                           inline-c:gsl-example:true (separated by ',')
  -s,--skip component_name,...
                           Skip a runnable component (executable, test suit, or
                           benchmark) in dependency calculation
  -e,--extra PATH_1,...    Extra cabal files' path - e.g.
  -a,--aur                 Enable AUR searching
  --trace                  Print trace to stdout
  --trace-file PATH        Path to trace file (empty means do not write trace to
  --uusi                   Splicing uusi into prepare()
  -h,--help                Show this help text

For all available options, have a look at the help message.

Name preset

To distribute a haskell package to archlinux, the name of package should be changed according to the naming convention:

  • for haskell libraries, their names must have haskell- prefix

  • for programs, it depends on circumstances

  • names should always be in lower case

However, it's not enough to prefix the string with haskell- and transform to lower case; in some special situations, the hackage name may have haskell- prefix already, or the case is irregular, thus we have to a name preset manually. Once a package distributed to archlinux, whose name conform to above-mentioned situation, the name preset should be upgraded correspondingly.


arch-hs also provides a component called arch-hs-diff. arch-hs-diff can show the differences of package description between two versions of a package. This is useful in the subsequent maintenance of a package. Example:

$ arch-hs-diff HTTP 4000.3.14 4000.3.15
  ▶ You didn't pass -f, different flag values may make difference in dependency resolving.
  ⓘ Start running...
  ⓘ Downloading cabal file from
  ⓘ Downloading cabal file from
Package: HTTP
Version: 4000.3.14  ⇒  4000.3.15
Synopsis: A library for client-side HTTP
    base  >= && <4.14
    time  >= && <1.10
    array  >= && <0.6
    bytestring  >= && <0.11
    mtl  >=2.0 && <2.3
    network  >=2.6 && <3.2
    network-uri  ==2.6.*
    parsec  >=2.0 && <3.2
    base  >= && <4.15
    time  >= && <1.11
    array  >= && <0.6
    bytestring  >= && <0.11
    mtl  >=2.0 && <2.3
    network  >=2.6 && <3.2
    network-uri  ==2.6.*
    parsec  >=2.0 && <3.2
    HUnit  >= && <1.7
    deepseq  >= && <1.5
    httpd-shed  >=0.4 && <0.5
    mtl  >= && <2.3
    pureMD5  >=0.2.4 && <2.2
    split  >=0.1.3 && <0.3
    test-framework  >=0.2.0 && <0.9
    test-framework-hunit  >=0.3.0 && <0.4
    ⚐ mtl1:
        Use the old mtl version 1.
      default: False
      isManual: False
    ⚐ warn-as-error:
        Build with warnings-as-errors
      default: False
      isManual: True
    ⚐ conduit10:
        Use version 1.0.x or below of the conduit package (for the test suite)
      default: False
      isManual: False
    ⚐ warp-tests:
        Test against warp
      default: False
      isManual: True
    ⚐ network-uri:
        Get Network.URI from the network-uri package
      default: True
      isManual: False

  ✔ Success!

arch-hs-diff does not require hackage db, it downloads cabal files from hackage server instead.


For hackage distribution maintainers only.


  • The dependency solver will ONLY expand the dependencies of executables , libraries and sub-libraries recursively, because circular dependency lies ubiquitously involving test suites and their buildTools. arch-hs is not able to handle with complicated situations: the libraries of a package partially exist in hackage, some libraries include external sources, etc.

  • Currently, arch-hs's functionality is limited to dependency processing, whereas necessary procedures like file patches, loose of version constraints, etc. are need to be done manually, so DO NOT give too much trust in generated PKGBUILD files.


  • Standardized pretty printing.

  • AUR support.

  • Working with given .cabal files which haven't been released to hackage.

  • Using hackage-security to manage hackage index tarball.


Issues and PRs are always welcome. _(:з」∠)_