From HaskellWiki
< WxHaskell
Revision as of 12:35, 24 November 2009 by EricKow (talk | contribs) (link to wx-config windows port)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The printable version is no longer supported and may have rendering errors. Please update your browser bookmarks and please use the default browser print function instead.

For the very lazy

You need to have wxWidgets 2.8.10 installed on your machine (and compiled with MSYS g++ if using Windows). Windows users should also get the Windows port of wx-config.

You have correctly configured all of te recommended wxWidgets environment variables, and have a recent version of GHC with an up to date cabal install.

This is all you need:

> cabal install wx

Supported Configurations

The build process has been tested against three main platforms:

  • unix-gtk. General unix systems with GTK.
  • macosx. Mac OS X.
  • windows. General windows systems (i.e. win95 to winXP).
 We support building only with the gnu mingw32 C compiler (windows-mingw).
Please note that we have discontinued support for Microsoft compilers in the build system.

wxHaskell has been built successfully on (at least) the following configurations:

  • windows. Windows 98, windows 2000, and windowsXP, using wxMSW 2.8.x.
  • macosx. Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard) with ghc 6.10.x and wxMAC 2.8.x.
  • unix-gtk. Red Hat Linux 10 (Fedora), FreeBSD, and Gentoo Linux, using wxGTK 2.8.x.

(Unfortunately, there are still build problems on Sun Solaris – we are looking for build volunteers :-)


Ensure you have a recent GHC compiler – version 6.10.3 or higher is recommended. In principle, any Haskell98 compiler that supports the standard FFI libraries along with cabal install should work. We have discontinued support for building without cabal.

  • Windows: You will need wx-config for Windows, MinGW 5.1.6 and MSYS 0.1.11 (these are the latest versions at the time of writing). You must select the C++ compiler option when installing MinGW.
    • MinGW 5.1.6 can be downloaded from MinGW
    • MSYS 0.1.11 can be downloaded from MSYS
    • wx-config can be downloaded from wx-config
  • Mac OS X: you need to install the gcc compiler, which is part of the Apple Developer Tools. These tools are shipped with Panther and are installed by invoking Applications/Installers/Developer Tools/Developer.mdmg.

= You should install the current stable version (2.8.10) of wxWidgets for your platform - versions older than 2.8.1 are no longer supported. Build instructions are given for Windows - on most other platforms you should be able to obtain wxWidgets using your package manager (you may need -developer packages).

We assume in this guide that the variable $wxwin points to your wxWidgets installation directory, for example: ~/dev/wxGTK-2.8.10.

Getting wxWidgets

wxHaskell 0.12.x.x supports wxWidgets > 2.8.

  • Windows:
    • You will need to build using the MinGW compiler - instructions below.
  • Mac OS X
    • Tiger - do not use the wxMac 2.5 that comes pre-installed.
    • Leopard - wxHaskell now supports wxWidgets 2.8.
  • Linux - the wxWidgets that ships with your system (as long as it's the 2.8 one and not the 2.6 one) should work.

See the wxWidgets site for more details.

building wxWidgets

On Windows

Note: Microsoft compilers are no longer supported. The cabal build system cannot understand the output of wx-config for Microsoft compilers.

Using the MSYS shell, and making sure that you have the C++ compiler oiption installed for MinGW (it is 'not' the default):

> cd /c/path/to/wxWidgets-2.8.10/build/msw
> mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc BUILD=release MONOLITHIC=1 SHARED=1 UNICODE=1

That's it! A DLL is generated in /c/path/to/wxWidgets/gcc_dll, which you will need to copy to a location where it can be found when running your executables.

On Unix systems

You should follow the instructions on the wxWidgets website if there are no suitable packages for your environment. You probably want to use GCC to build wxWidgets, as this makes it more likely that cabal will understand the output of wx-config.

On most Unix platforms, wxWidgets build goes something like: create a mybuild directory in the wxWidgets directory, and run configure and make from that directory (and take the time to get some coffee :-).

> cd $wxwin
> mkdir mybuild
> cd mybuild
> ../configure --enable-unicode
> make
> make install
> cd ../contrib/src
> make
> make install

Testing wxWidgets build

Now try out a few samples of wxWidgets to see if it all works correctly:

> cd ../../samples/controls
> make
> ./controls

Note that you build from the local samples directory that resides in the mybuild directory.

And also try if wx-config works too:

> wx-config --version

Building wxHaskell

Since wxHaskell, we only support building using Cabal.

For all platforms, provided that wx-config is somewhere in the path and that the WXWIN environment variable points to the root of your wxWidgets installation installation is very straightforward.

On Windows platforms, you may also need to set WXCFG=gcc_dll/mswu. You can then install wxhaskell as follows:

> cabal update
> cabal install wx

Note that on Unix systems, you may prefer something like

> sudo cabal install --global wx

Windows developers who don't update environment variables can do something like this in an MS-DOS shell:

> Set CPLUS_INCLUDE_PATH=C:\MinGW\include\c++\3.4.5;C:\MinGW\include\c++\3.4.5\mingw32\
> Set WXWIN=C:\path\to\wxWidgets-2.8.10 
> Set WXCFG=gcc_dll\mswu
> cabal install wx

The Windows installation is global by default.

Source Release

You can obtain a source release of wxHaskell from the darcs repository. Darcs creates a wxhaskell directory for you; we assume in the following example that your $wxhaskell directory will be ~/dev/wxhaskell.

> cd ~/dev
> darcs get --partial --set-scripts-executable http://code.haskell.org/wxhaskell/

You then build each of the key components in order:

> cd ~/dev/wxhaskell/wxdirect
> cabal install
> cd ../wxcore
> cabal install
> cd ../wx
> cabal install

Test wxHaskell

If everything succeeded, you should be able to run a test program.

> cd samples/wx
> ghc -package wx -o helloworld HelloWorld.hs
> ./helloworld


macosx: wxHaskell programs need to be turned into application bundles before they can be run. Look at the Mac OS X notes for more information. You can also run the examples from GHCi – a great development environment!

> ghci -package wx BouncingBalls.hs
> main


wxHaskell programs are not always properly reïnitialized when started the second time from a GHCi prompt. This is due static variables in the wxWidgets C++ code, and we are working with wxWidgets developers to remove those bugs. Currently, GHCi only works well with wxWidgets 2.4.2. gtk: Unfortunately, one can only start a wxWidgets program once with GHCi on GTK (rendering it useless). macosx. You need to use a special command to run wxHaskell applications, see the Mac OS X notes from more information. Have fun!