cabal-sort: Topologically sort cabal packages

[ bsd3, distribution, program ] [ Propose Tags ]

If you have a bunch of packages you may want to compile or recompile, then you need an order of compilation that meets the dependencies. Given a number of cabal package files, this program reads all those files and emits them topologically sorted according to their dependencies. This way you can compile many packages at once, say if a very low-level package has changed.

For compiling a couple of packages from their local darcs repositories in the right order, you may run something like

for dir in `find . -name "*.cabal" | fgrep -v _darcs | xargs cabal-sort --info=dir`; do (cd $dir && cabal install); done

For uploading a set of packages to Hackage in the right order you may run

for dir in `find . -name "*.cabal" | fgrep -v _darcs | xargs cabal-sort --info=dir`; do (cd $dir && rm dist/*.tar.gz && cabal sdist && cabal upload dist/*.tar.gz); done

Problem 1: Given packages A, B, C, where C depends on B and B depends on A, and you call

cabal-sort C.cabal A.cabal

then the emitted order of packages may be wrong, because cabal-sort does not get to know the dependency of C on B. Even if the order is correct, B.cabal is missing in the output and thus the list of cabal files cannot immediately be used for a sequence of cabal-install runs.

Problem 2: We ignore flags and merge all dependencies. This may lead to dependency cycles that cannot occur for any flag assignment.

There is a second program called ghc-pkg-dep that finds recursively all packages that a set of packages depends on. Duplicates are eliminated and the packages are given topologically sorted, such that you can use this for recompilation of the packages.

ghc-pkg-dep pkgA-0.1 pkgB-2.3 pkgC-0.1.2

Unfortunately ghc-pkg runs quite slowly. In order to not get bored you may run the program with --verbose=2 option. Maybe there is a way to query the complete GHC package database at once.

Versions 0.0.1, 0.0.2,, 0.0.3,, 0.0.4,,, 0.0.5,,,,
Dependencies base (>=2 && <5), bytestring (>=0.9.1 && <0.10), Cabal (>=1.6 && <1.11), containers (>=0.2 && <0.5), directory (>=1 && <1.2), explicit-exception (>=0.1.4 && <0.2), fgl (>=5.4.2 && <5.5), filepath (>=1.1 && <1.3), process (==1.0.*), transformers (==0.2.*) [details]
License BSD-3-Clause
Author Henning Thielemann <>
Maintainer Henning Thielemann <>
Category Distribution
Source repo head: darcs get
this: darcs get --tag
Uploaded by HenningThielemann at Fri Dec 10 09:46:09 UTC 2010
Distributions NixOS:
Executables ghc-pkg-dep, cabal-sort
Downloads 4383 total (57 in the last 30 days)
Rating (no votes yet) [estimated by rule of succession]
Your Rating
  • λ
  • λ
  • λ
Status Docs not available [build log]
All reported builds failed as of 2016-12-28 [all 8 reports]
Hackage Matrix CI


Maintainer's Corner

For package maintainers and hackage trustees