Jul 20, 2023

Generate USE_CABAL and GH_TUPLE knobs for Haskell ports

Cabal2Tuple is an utility to help develop ports for Haskell software. It generates USE_CABAL and GH_TUPLE knobs for port’s Makefiles based on the plan.json file.

As we continue on our journey to illuminate the depth and breadth of options within the FreeBSD port management system, we turn our attention today to a versatile and powerful tool hs-cabal2tuple. This snapshot into the FreeBSD repository gives developers the ability to auto-generate the “makefile” inputs needed for Haskell packages. Whether you are an experienced FreeBSD user or just starting your journey with port management, this entry aims to give you a practical understanding of how to use the hs-cabal2tuple software and explain some of the benefits it offers.

To put it simply, the hs-cabal2tuple port is responsible for creating a files/pkg-plist file for Haskell Application Binary Interface ABI compliance as well as generating a distinfo file containing checksum information of the distribution files for the port. But before diving in, let’s provide a little context.

**Quick Links**
- [hs-cabal2tuple Information and Installation]https//www.freebsd.org/cgi/ports.cgi?query=hs-cabal2tuple&stype=all
- [More About Ports Management]https//www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/ports.html

The Importance of Ports

FreeBSD’s ports system provides a straightforward, consistency-guaranteed method to install software. This framework bases itself on over 31,000 applications available to download and install on FreeBSD.

In this system, each application has its own “port” within the ports collection directory, enabling users to compile and install it. A port contains all the required files and information for the software to be installed. And here’s where hs-cabal2tuple shines; it is vital in generating these requisite files for Haskell packages.

Using hs-cabal2tuple

Once you have [installed]https//www.freebsd.org/cgi/ports.cgi?query=hs-cabal2tuple&stype=all the hs-cabal2tuple port, using it is quite straightforward. From the command line interface, you will need to execute the cabal2tuple command followed by the Haskell package you want it to process. Here is a quick example

cabal2tuple ntp-1.0

On successful execution, hs-cabal2tuple will generate a distinfo file for the Haskell package you specified, and a pkg-plist file for ABI compliance. This process helps ensure the integrity and compatibility of your Haskell applications with FreeBSD.

Looking Beyond Security and Optimization

One thing to note about hs-cabal2tuple is that, by generating checksums, it indirectly helps in maintaining the security and integrity of Haskell applications installed on FreeBSD. In a broader view, using tools like [nmap]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html alongside hs-cabal2tuple would enhance your IT security apparatus.

hs-cabal2tuple also helps to streamline the process of adding new software to your FreeBSD system. By automatically creating the required “makefile” inputs, this port helps to optimize the process of integrating and managing Haskell packages within your ports collection.


hs-cabal2tuple is an excellent tool that simplifies and streamlines an otherwise manual and potentially error-prone task of defining Haskell ports. Do keep in mind that while it’s a valuable tool, it is a part of the larger FreeBSD ports ecosystem. For comprehensive protection, it’s advisable to use it in collaboration with necessary security tools like nmap.

Diving into the world of FreeBSD and its ports management system opens up a plethora of software tailored to meet specific needs. hs-cabal2tuple is one such handy utility enhancing the convenience and effectiveness of the Haskell package management process on FreeBSD. Whether you are an experienced FreeBSD user or just starting out, it’s a tool well worth getting familiar with, and we hope this guide takes you a step forward in that direction.

Checkout these related ports:
  • Wanted-ports - Just depend on a configurable, arbitrary set of other ports
  • Synth - Custom package repository builder for FreeBSD and DragonFly
  • Submodules2tuple - GH_TUPLE generator for GitHub projects with submodules
  • Sccache-overlay - Ports overlay for sccache
  • Reprise - Port testing system
  • Rc-subr-jail - Shell library to help writing RC scripts with jail support
  • Py-skog - Generate visual dependency trees for FreeBSD ports
  • Py-pytoport - Generate FreeBSD ports from Python modules on PyPI
  • Py-freebsd-ports - Parse FreeBSD Ports INDEX, provide search API
  • Psearch - Utility for searching the FreeBSD Ports Collection
  • Poudriere - Port build and test system
  • Poudriere-devel - Port build and test system
  • Portupgrade - FreeBSD ports/packages administration and management tool suite
  • Portupgrade-devel - FreeBSD ports/packages management tool (devel version)
  • Portupdate-scan - Display pertinent parts of {PORTSDIR}/UPDATING