Commit 16370f14 authored by Edsko de Vries's avatar Edsko de Vries
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First stab at documenting repo configuration

parent ccd618ef
% Cabal User Guide
# Configuration #
## Overview ##
The global configuration file for `cabal-install` is `~/.cabal/config`. If you
do not have this file, `cabal` will create it for you on the first call to
`cabal update`. Alternatively, you can explicitly ask `cabal` to create it for
you using
> `cabal user-config update`
Most of the options in this configuration file are also available as command
line arguments, and the corresponding documentation can be used to lookup their
meaning. The created configuration file only specifies values for a handful of
options. Most options are left at their default value, which it documents;
for instance,
-- executable-stripping: True
means that the configuration file currently does not specify a value for the
`executable-stripping` option (the line is commented out), and that the default
is `True`; if you wanted to disable stripping of executables by default, you
would change this line to
executable-stripping: False
You can also use `cabal user-config update` to migrate configuration files
created by older versions of `cabal`.
## Repository specification ##
An important part of the configuration if the specification of the repository.
When `cabal` creates a default config file, it configures the repository to
be the central Hackage server:
The name of the repository is given on the first line, and can be anything;
packages downloaded from this repository will be cached under
`~/.cabal/packages/` (or whatever name you specify; you can
change the prefix by changing the value of `remote-repo-cache`). If you want,
you can configure multiple repositories, and `cabal` will combine them and be
able to download packages from any of them.
### Using secure repositories ###
For repositories that support the TUF security infrastructure (this includes
Hackage), you can enable secure access to the repository by specifying:
secure: True
root-keys: <root-key-IDs>
key-threshold: <key-threshold>
The `<root-key-IDs>` and `<key-threshold>` values are used for bootstrapping. As
part of the TUF infrastructure the repository will contain a file `root.json`
(for instance,
which the client needs to do verification. However, how can `cabal` verify the
`root.json` file _itself_? This is known as bootstrapping: if you specify a list
of root key IDs and a corresponding threshold, `cabal` will verify that the
downloaded `root.json` file has been signed with at least `<key-threshold>`
keys from your set of `<root-key-IDs>`.
You can, but are not recommended to, omit these two fields. In that case `cabal`
will download the `root.json` field and use it without verification. Although
this bootstrapping step is then unsafe, all subsequent access is secure
(provided that the downloaded `root.json` was not tempered with). Of course,
adding `root-keys` and `key-threshold` to your repository specification only
shifts the problem, because now you somehow need to make sure that the key IDs
you received were the right ones. How that is done is however outside the scope
of `cabal` proper.
More information about the security infrastructure can be found at
### Legacy repositories ###
Currently `cabal` supports two kinds of &ldquo;legacy&rdquo; repositories. The
first is specified using
This is just syntactic sugar for
although, in (and only in) the specific case of Hackage, the URL
`` will be silently translated to
The second kind of legacy repositories are so-called &ldquo;local&rdquo;
local-repo: my-local-repo:/path/to/local/repo
This can be used to access repositories on the local file system. However, the
layout of these local repositories is different from the layout of remote
repositories, and usage of these local repositories is deprecated.
### Secure local repositories ###
If you want to use repositories on your local file system, it is recommended
instead to use a _secure_ local repository:
repository my-local-repo
url: file:/path/to/local/repo
secure: True
root-keys: <root-key-IDs>
key-threshold: <key-threshold>
The layout of these secure local repos matches the layout of remote repositories
exactly; the
[hackage-repo-tool]( can be
used to create and manage such repositories.
# Building and installing packages #
After you've unpacked a Cabal package, you can build it by moving into
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