How to Get Started with Haskell: Setting up Your Development Environment

Are you ready to delve into the world of Haskell? Are you eager to start writing efficient and elegant code in a scalable and robust language? If you are, then you're in luck! Haskell is one of the most intriguing and powerful programming languages out there, and getting started with it is not as difficult as you might think.

The first step towards mastering Haskell is setting up your development environment properly. In this article, we'll walk you through step-by-step on how to do just that. From installing Haskell on your computer to setting up your code editor, we've got you covered.

Installing Haskell

Before you can start coding in Haskell, you'll first need to install the appropriate software on your computer. Thankfully, the Haskell community offers a variety of different options to suit your needs.


If you're running Windows, the easiest way to install Haskell is through the Haskell Platform. Simply head over to and download the appropriate installer for your system. Once the installation is complete, you'll be able to access the Haskell compiler, interpreter, and libraries from your command prompt.


If you're using MacOS, you can download the Haskell Platform directly from the website, or you can install it using Homebrew with the following command:

$ brew install haskell-platform


On Linux, you can install Haskell through your package manager. For example, on Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, you can use the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install haskell-platform

Alternatively, you can download the Haskell Platform installer from the website.

Setting up Your Code Editor

With Haskell installed on your computer, the next step is to set up your code editor. There are several popular code editors out there that work well with Haskell, including Atom, Sublime Text, and Emacs. In this article, we'll be using Visual Studio Code (VSCode) as our code editor of choice.

Installing VSCode

If you don't already have VSCode installed on your computer, you can download it from the official website. Once you've downloaded the installer, simply follow the prompts to install the editor on your computer.

Installing the Haskell Extension

To work with Haskell in VSCode, you'll need to install the Haskell extension. This extension provides syntax highlighting, code completion, and other helpful features for working with Haskell code. To install the Haskell extension, follow these steps:

  1. Open VSCode.
  2. Click on the Extensions icon in the left-hand menu.
  3. Type "Haskell" into the search bar and press Enter.
  4. Click on the "Haskell Language Server" extension to select it.
  5. Click the green "Install" button to install the extension.

Once the extension is installed, you should see a message in the bottom-right corner of the editor that says "Haskell language server started".

Configuring VSCode for Haskell

To fully take advantage of the Haskell extension in VSCode, you'll need to make a few configuration changes. These changes will ensure that your editor is set up to work well with Haskell and that you have access to all of the extension's features.

  1. Open the settings menu in VSCode by pressing Ctrl + ,.
  2. Search for "haskell".
  3. Set the following settings:
    "haskell.hlintPath": "hlint",
    "haskell.formattingProvider": "stylish-haskell",
    "haskell.languageServerPath": "haskell-language-server-wrapper",
    "haskell.trace.server": "verbose"

Creating a New Haskell Project

Now that you have Haskell installed on your computer and a code editor set up, it's time to create your first Haskell project. In Haskell, projects are organized into "packages", which are collections of related modules that can be built and installed together. To create a new Haskell package, follow these steps:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you want to create your new package. For example:
$ cd ~/Documents
  1. Run the following command to create a new package:
$ cabal init
  1. Follow the prompts to set up your package. You'll be asked for basic information about your project, including its name, version, and author.

Once you've completed these steps, you'll have a new Haskell package set up on your computer.


Congratulations! You've now set up your development environment for Haskell and created your first project. With the power of Haskell and the streamlined workflow of VSCode, you're ready to start creating efficient, elegant, and scalable code. From here, it's up to you to explore the depths of this remarkable programming language and unlock all of its potential.

For more information on Haskell and its features, head over to And for more tutorials and resources on Haskell development, check out Happy coding!

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