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Table of contents

  1. Requirements
  2. Installation


You need a working Haskell compiler system: GHC(>=8.6), cabal-install(>=2.4). There are several choices:

  • Use the package manager on your operating system if available:

    • Mac users can get them via homebew: brew install ghc cabal-install.
    • Windows users can get them via chocolatey: choco install ghc cabal.
    • Ubuntu users are recommended to use this ppa.
  • Setup via ghcup.

  • Download pre-built binaries(GHC, cabal-install) and install manually.


To use Z-Data package as an example. Add the following lines to your project’s cabal file:

    build-depends:          Z-Data == 0.8.*

Now run cabal build within your project directory, cabal should be able to download Z-Data dependency automatically. Let’s write a simple TCP echo server just for teaching purpose:

  1. Initialize a project with cabal.

     mkdir tcp-echo
     cd tcp-echo
     cabal init -i

    cabal will ask you some questions about your project and create a tcp-echo.cabal file.

  2. Add dependencies.

    Now open the tcp-echo.cabal file with a text editor, and add the following lines under the executable section:

         build-depends:          Z-IO  == 0.8.*
  3. Edit code.

    Open src/Main.hs and add a simple echo TCP server:

     import Control.Monad
     import Z.IO
     import Z.IO.Network
     main :: IO ()
     main = do
         let addr = SocketAddrIPv4 ipv4Loopback 8080
         startTCPServer defaultTCPServerConfig{ tcpListenAddr = addr } $ \ tcp -> do
             i <- newBufferedInput tcp
             o <- newBufferedOutput tcp
             forever $ readBuffer i >>= writeBuffer o >> flushBuffer o
  4. Build!

    Ensure that you have run cabal update to get the latest package list. cabal build will start to download dependencies and build your project. You may see output like this:

     Resolving dependencies...
     Build profile: -w ghc-8.6 -O1
     In order, the following will be built (use -v for more details):
      - Z-IO- (lib) (requires download & build)
      - tcp-echo- (exe:tcp-echo) (first run)
     Downloaded   Z-IO-
     Starting     Z-IO- (lib)
     Building     Z-IO- (lib)

    It may take a while to build for the first time because cabal needs to download and build all the dependencies. Build afterward will be faster since dependencies are cached. For reference, on an intel 4th gen core, it takes around 10mins to compile Z-Data and Z-IO. So sit back and relax, or go for a coffee.

After building complete, you can use cabal run to run your echo server and nc 8080 to test it. That’s it, happy hacking!