5.2. Commands

cabal help groups commands into global, package, new-style project and legacy sections. We talk in detail about some global and package commands.

$ cabal help
Command line interface to the Haskell Cabal infrastructure.

See http://www.haskell.org/cabal/ for more information.

Usage: cabal [GLOBAL FLAGS] [COMMAND [FLAGS]]

Commands:
[global]
update            Updates list of known packages.
install           Install packages.
help              Help about commands.

[package]
configure         Add extra project configuration.
build             Compile targets within the project.
clean             Clean the package store and remove temporary files.

run               Run an executable.
repl              Open an interactive session for the given component.
test              Run test-suites.
bench             Run benchmarks.

sdist             Generate a source distribution file (.tar.gz).

freeze            Freeze dependencies.
haddock           Build Haddock documentation.
haddock-project   Build Haddock documentation of local packages.
exec              Give a command access to the store.
list-bin          List path to a single executable.

[new-style projects (forwards-compatible aliases)]
Since cabal-install-3.0.0.0, all 'v2-' prefixed names of commands are just aliases for the simple unprefixed names.
So v2-build is an alias for build, v2-install for install and so on.

[legacy command aliases]
No legacy commands are described.

5.2.1. Common Arguments and Flags

Arguments and flags common to some or all commands are:

--default-user-config=file

Allows a “default” cabal.config freeze file to be passed in manually. This file will only be used if one does not exist in the project directory already. Typically, this can be set from the global cabal config file so as to provide a default set of partial constraints to be used by projects, providing a way for users to peg themselves to stable package collections.

--allow-newer[=pkgs], --allow-older[=pkgs]

Selectively relax upper or lower bounds in dependencies without editing the package description respectively.

The following description focuses on upper bounds and the --allow-newer flag, but applies analogously to --allow-older and lower bounds. --allow-newer and --allow-older can be used at the same time.

If you want to install a package A that depends on B >= 1.0 && < 2.0, but you have the version 2.0 of B installed, you can compile A against B 2.0 by using cabal install --allow-newer=B A. This works for the whole package index: if A also depends on C that in turn depends on B < 2.0, C’s dependency on B will be also relaxed.

Example:

$ cd foo
$ cabal configure
Resolving dependencies...
cabal: Could not resolve dependencies:
[...]
$ cabal configure --allow-newer
Resolving dependencies...
Configuring foo...

Additional examples:

# Relax upper bounds in all dependencies.
$ cabal install --allow-newer foo

# Relax upper bounds only in dependencies on bar, baz and quux.
$ cabal install --allow-newer=bar,baz,quux foo

# Relax the upper bound on bar and force bar==2.1.
$ cabal install --allow-newer=bar --constraint="bar==2.1" foo

It’s also possible to limit the scope of --allow-newer to single packages with the --allow-newer=scope:dep syntax. This means that the dependency on dep will be relaxed only for the package scope.

Example:

# Relax upper bound in foo's dependency on base; also relax upper bound in
# every package's dependency on lens.
$ cabal install --allow-newer=foo:base,lens

# Relax upper bounds in foo's dependency on base and bar's dependency
# on time; also relax the upper bound in the dependency on lens specified by
# any package.
$ cabal install --allow-newer=foo:base,lens --allow-newer=bar:time

Finally, one can enable --allow-newer permanently by setting allow-newer: True in the ~/.cabal/config file. Enabling ‘allow-newer’ selectively is also supported in the config file (allow-newer: foo, bar, baz:base).

--preference=preference

Specify a soft constraint on versions of a package. The solver will attempt to satisfy these preferences on a “best-effort” basis.

--enable-build-info

Generate accurate build information for build components.

Information contains meta information, such as component type, compiler type, and Cabal library version used during the build, but also fine grained information, such as dependencies, what modules are part of the component, etc…

On build, a file build-info.json (in the json format) will be written to the root of the build directory.

Note

The format and fields of the generated build information is currently experimental. In the future we might add or remove fields, depending on the needs of other tooling.

{
    "cabal-lib-version": "<cabal lib version>",
    "compiler": {
        "flavour": "<compiler name>",
        "compiler-id": "<compiler id>",
        "path": "<absolute path of the compiler>"
    },
    "components": [
        {
        "type": "<component type, e.g. lib | bench | exe | flib | test>",
        "name": "<component name>",
        "unit-id": "<unitid>",
        "compiler-args": [
            "<compiler args necessary for compilation>"
        ],
        "modules": [
            "<modules in this component>"
        ],
        "src-files": [
            "<source files relative to hs-src-dirs>"
        ],
        "hs-src-dirs": [
            "<source directories of this component>"
        ],
        "src-dir": "<root directory of this component>",
        "cabal-file": "<cabal file location>"
        }
    ]
}

type

object

properties

  • cabal-lib-version

type

string

  • compiler

type

object

properties

  • flavour

type

string

  • compiler-id

type

string

  • path

type

string

  • components

type

array

items

type

object

properties

  • type

type

string

  • name

type

string

  • unit-id

type

string

  • compiler-args

type

array

items

type

string

  • modules

type

array

items

type

string

  • src-files

type

array

items

type

string

  • hs-src-dirs

type

array

items

type

string

  • src-dir

type

string

  • cabal-file

type

string

--disable-build-info

(default) Do not generate detailed build information for built components.

Already generated build-info.json files will be removed since they would be stale otherwise.

5.2.2. cabal init

cabal init [FLAGS] initialises a Cabal package, picking reasonable defaults. Run it in your project folder.

-i, --interactive

Enable interactive mode.

-m, --minimal

Generate a short .cabal file, without extra empty fields or explanatory comments.

See Using cabal init for an overview on the command, and cabal init --help for the complete list of options.

5.2.3. cabal list-bin

cabal list-bin will either (a) display the path for a single executable or (b) complain that the target doesn’t resolve to a single binary. In the latter case, it will name the binary products contained in the package. These products can be used to narrow the search and get an actual path to a particular executable.

Example showing a failure to resolve to a single executable.

$ cabal list-bin cabal-install
cabal: The list-bin command is for finding a single binary at once. The
target 'cabal-install' refers to the package cabal-install-#.#.#.# which
includes the executable 'cabal', the test suite 'unit-tests', the test suite
'mem-use-tests', the test suite 'long-tests' and the test suite
'integration-tests2'.

For a scope that results in only one item we’ll get a path.

$ cabal list-bin cabal-install:exes
/.../dist-newstyle/build/.../cabal/cabal

$ cabal list-bin cabal-install:cabal
/.../dist-newstyle/build/.../cabal/cabal

We can also scope to test suite targets as they produce binaries.

$ cabal list-bin cabal-install:tests
cabal: The list-bin command is for finding a single binary at once. The
target 'cabal-install:tests' refers to the test suites in the package
cabal-install-#.#.#.# which includes the test suite 'unit-tests', the test
suite 'mem-use-tests', the test suite 'long-tests' and the test suite
'integration-tests2'.

$ cabal list-bin cabal-install:unit-tests
/.../dist-newstyle/.../unit-tests/unit-tests

Note that cabal list-bin will print the executables’ location, but will not make sure that these executables actually exist (i.e., have been successfully built). In order to determine the correct location, it may invoke the configuration step (see cabal configure).

5.2.4. cabal configure

cabal configure takes a set of arguments and writes a cabal.project.local file based on the flags passed to this command. cabal configure FLAGS; cabal build is roughly equivalent to cabal build FLAGS, except that with configure the flags are persisted to all subsequent calls to build.

cabal configure is intended to be a convenient way to write out a cabal.project.local for simple configurations; e.g., cabal configure -w ghc-7.8 would ensure that all subsequent builds with cabal build are performed with the compiler ghc-7.8. For more complex configuration, we recommend writing the cabal.project.local file directly (or placing it in cabal.project!)

cabal configure inherits options from Cabal. semantics:

  • Any flag accepted by ./Setup configure.

  • Any flag accepted by cabal configure beyond ./Setup configure, namely --cabal-lib-version, --constraint, --preference and --solver.

  • Any flag accepted by cabal install beyond ./Setup configure.

  • Any flag accepted by ./Setup haddock.

The options of all of these flags apply only to local packages in a project; this behavior is different than that of cabal install, which applies flags to every package that would be built. The motivation for this is to avoid an innocuous addition to the flags of a package resulting in a rebuild of every package in the store (which might need to happen if a flag actually applied to every transitive dependency). To apply options to an external package, use a package stanza in a cabal.project file.

There are two ways of modifying the cabal.project.local file through cabal configure, either by appending new configurations to it, or by simply overwriting it all. Overwriting is the default behaviour, as such, there’s a flag --enable-append to append the new configurations instead. Since overwriting is rather destructive in nature, a backup system is in place, which moves the old configuration to a cabal.project.local~ file, this feature can also be disabled by using the --disable-backup flag.

5.2.5. cabal update

cabal update updates the state of the package index. If the project contains multiple remote package repositories it will update the index of all of them (e.g. when using overlays).

Some examples:

$ cabal update                  # update all remote repos
$ cabal update head.hackage     # update only head.hackage

5.2.6. Target Forms

A cabal command target can take any of the following forms:

  • A package target: package, which specifies that all enabled components of a package to be built. By default, test suites and benchmarks are not enabled, unless they are explicitly requested (e.g., via --enable-tests.)

  • A component target: [package:][ctype:]component, which specifies a specific component (e.g., a library, executable, test suite or benchmark) to be built.

  • All packages: all, which specifies all packages within the project.

  • Components of a particular type: package:ctypes, all:ctypes: which specifies all components of the given type. Where valid ctypes are:

    • libs, libraries,

    • flibs, foreign-libraries,

    • exes, executables,

    • tests,

    • benches, benchmarks.

  • A module target: [package:][ctype:]module, which specifies that the component of which the given module is a part of will be built.

  • A filepath target: [package:][ctype:]filepath, which specifies that the component of which the given filepath is a part of will be built.

  • A script target: path/to/script, which specifies the path to a script file. This is supported by build, repl, run, and clean. Script targets are not part of a package.

5.2.7. cabal build

cabal build takes a set of targets and builds them. It automatically handles building and installing any dependencies of these targets.

In component targets, package: and ctype: (valid component types are lib, flib, exe, test and bench) can be used to disambiguate when multiple packages define the same component, or the same component name is used in a package (e.g., a package foo defines both an executable and library named foo). We always prefer interpreting a target as a package name rather than as a component name.

Some example targets:

$ cabal build lib:foo-pkg       # build the library named foo-pkg
$ cabal build foo-pkg:foo-tests # build foo-tests in foo-pkg
$ cabal build src/Lib.s         # build the library component to
                                   # which "src/Lib.hs" belongs
$ cabal build app/Main.hs       # build the executable component of
                                   # "app/Main.hs"
$ cabal build Lib               # build the library component to
                                   # which the module "Lib" belongs
$ cabal build path/to/script    # build the script as an executable

Beyond a list of targets, cabal build accepts all the flags that cabal configure takes. Most of these flags are only taken into consideration when building local packages; however, some flags may cause extra store packages to be built (for example, --enable-profiling will automatically make sure profiling libraries for all transitive dependencies are built and installed.)

When building a script, the executable is cached under the cabal directory. See cabal run for more information on scripts.

In addition cabal build accepts these flags:

--only-configure

When given we will forego performing a full build and abort after running the configure phase of each target package.

5.2.8. cabal repl

cabal repl TARGET loads all of the modules of the target into GHCi as interpreted bytecode. In addition to cabal build’s flags, it additionally takes the --repl-options and --repl-no-load flags.

To avoid ghci specific flags from triggering unneeded global rebuilds these flags are now stripped from the internal configuration. As a result --ghc-options will no longer (reliably) work to pass flags to ghci (or other repls). Instead, you should use the new --repl-options flag to specify these options to the invoked repl. (This flag also works on cabal repl and Setup repl on sufficiently new versions of Cabal.)

The repl-no-load flag disables the loading of target modules at startup.

Currently, it is not supported to pass multiple targets to repl (repl will just successively open a separate GHCi session for each target.)

It also provides a way to experiment with libraries without needing to download them manually or to install them globally.

This command opens a REPL with the current default target loaded, and a version of the vector package matching that specification exposed.

$ cabal repl --build-depends "vector >= 0.12 && < 0.13"

Both of these commands do the same thing as the above, but only exposes base, vector, and the vector package’s transitive dependencies even if the user is in a project context.

$ cabal repl --ignore-project --build-depends "vector >= 0.12 && < 0.13"
$ cabal repl --project='' --build-depends "vector >= 0.12 && < 0.13"

This command would add vector, but not (for example) primitive, because it only includes the packages specified on the command line (and base, which cannot be excluded for technical reasons).

$ cabal repl --build-depends vector --no-transitive-deps

repl can open scripts by passing the path to the script as the target.

$ cabal repl path/to/script

The configuration information for the script is cached under the cabal directory and can be pre-built with cabal build path/to/script. See cabal run for more information on scripts.

5.2.9. cabal run

cabal run [TARGET [ARGS]] runs the executable specified by the target, which can be a component, a package or can be left blank, as long as it can uniquely identify an executable within the project. Tests and benchmarks are also treated as executables.

See the build section for the target syntax.

When TARGET is one of the following:

  • A component target: execute the specified executable, benchmark or test suite.

  • A package target:
    1. If the package has exactly one executable component, it will be selected.

    2. If the package has multiple executable components, an error is raised.

    3. If the package has exactly one test or benchmark component, it will be selected.

    4. Otherwise an issue is raised.

  • The path to a script: execute the script at the path.

  • Empty target: Same as package target, implicitly using the package from the current working directory.

Except in the case of the empty target, the strings after it will be passed to the executable as arguments.

If one of the arguments starts with - it will be interpreted as a cabal flag, so if you need to pass flags to the executable you have to separate them with --.

$ cabal run target -- -a -bcd --argument

run supports running script files that use a certain format. Scripts look like:

#!/usr/bin/env cabal
{- cabal:
build-depends: base ^>= 4.14
            , shelly ^>= 1.10
-}
{- project:
with-compiler: ghc-8.10.7
-}

main :: IO ()
main = do
    ...

Where there cabal metadata block is mandatory and contains fields from a package executable block, and the project metadata block is optional and contains fields that would be in the cabal.project file in a regular project.

Only some fields are supported in the metadata blocks, and these fields are currently not validated. See #8024 for details.

A script can either be executed directly using cabal as an interpreter or with the command:

$ cabal run path/to/script

The executable is cached under the cabal directory, and can be pre-built with cabal build path/to/script and the cache can be removed with cabal clean path/to/script.

A note on targets: Whenever a command takes a script target and it matches the name of another target, the other target is preferred. To load the script instead pass it as an explicit path: ./script

By default, scripts are run at silent verbosity (--verbose=0). To show the build output for a script either use the command

$ cabal run --verbose=n path/to/script

or the interpreter line

#!/usr/bin/env -S cabal run --verbose=n

For more information see verbose

5.2.10. cabal fetch

☞ N.B.: cabal fetch only works for legacy v1- commands and only for single package projects. If you are not maintaining an old project, cabal build with --only-download has similar effects to fetch and benefits from compatibility with newer build methods.

cabal fetch [FLAGS] PACKAGES downloads packages for later installation. It fetches the project plus its dependencies, very useful when e.g. you plan to work on a project with unreliable or no internet access.

--no-dependencies

Ignore dependencies.

--disable-tests

Disable dependency checking and compilation for test suites listed in the package description file.

--disable-benchmarks

Disable dependency checking and compilation for benchmarks listed in the package description file.

Check cabal fetch --help for a complete list of options.

5.2.11. cabal list

cabal list [FLAGS] STRINGS lists all packages matching a search string.

--installed

Only output installed packages.

--simple-output

Print matching packages in a one-package-one-line format.

-i, --ignore-case
-I, --strict-case
--package-db=DB

Append the given package database to the list of used package databases. See cabal info for a thorough explanation.

-w, --with-compiler=PATH

Path to specific compiler.

5.2.12. cabal get

cabal get [PACKAGES] (synonym: cabal unpack) downloads and unpacks the source code of PACKAGES locally. By default the content of the packages is unpacked in the current working directory, in named subfolders (e.g. ./filepath-1.2.0.8/), use --destdir=PATH to specify another folder. By default the latest version of the package is downloaded, you can ask for a spefic one by adding version numbers (cabal get random-1.0.0.1).

-s, --source-repository[=head|this|...]]

Clone the package’s source repository (Darcs, Git, etc.) instead of downloading the tarball. Only works if the package specifies a source-repository.

--index-state=STATE

Pin your request to a specific Hackage index state. Available STATE formats: Unix timestamps (e.g. @1474732068), ISO8601 UTC timestamps (e.g. 2016-09-24T17:47:48Z), or HEAD (default).

--pristine

Unpacks the pristine tarball, i.e. disregarding any Hackage revision.

5.2.13. cabal freeze

cabal freeze writes out a freeze file which records all of the versions and flags that are picked by the solver under the current index and flags. Default name of this file is cabal.project.freeze but in combination with a --project-file=my.project flag (see project-file) the name will be my.project.freeze. A freeze file has the same syntax as cabal.project and looks something like this:

constraints: HTTP ==4000.3.3,
             HTTP +warp-tests -warn-as-error -network23 +network-uri -mtl1 -conduit10,
             QuickCheck ==2.9.1,
             QuickCheck +templatehaskell,
             -- etc...

For end-user executables, it is recommended that you distribute the cabal.project.freeze file in your source repository so that all users see a consistent set of dependencies. For libraries, this is not recommended: users often need to build against different versions of libraries than what you developed against.

5.2.14. cabal bench

cabal bench [TARGETS] [OPTIONS] runs the specified benchmarks (all the benchmarks in the current package by default), first ensuring they are up to date.

5.2.15. cabal test

cabal test [TARGETS] [OPTIONS] runs the specified test suites (all the test suites in the current package by default), first ensuring they are up to date.

5.2.16. cabal haddock

cabal haddock [FLAGS] [TARGET] builds Haddock documentation for the specified packages within the project.

If a target is not a library haddock-benchmarks, haddock-executables, haddock-internal, haddock-tests will be implied as necessary.

5.2.17. cabal haddock-project

cabal haddock-project [FLAGS] builds Haddock documentation for all local packages specified in the project.

By default the documentation will be put in ./haddocks folder, this can be modified with the --output flag.

This command supports two primary modes: building a self contained directory (by specifying --local flag) or documentation that links to hackage (with --hackage flag). Both options imply: --quickjump, --gen-index, --gen-contents and --hyperlinked-source.

If neither --local nor --hackage option is specified a self contained directory will only be build if --html-location is not specified.

In both cases the html index as well as quickjump index will include all terms and types defined in any of the local packages, but not ones that are included in any of the dependencies. But note that if you navigate to a dependency, you will have access to its quickjump index.

The generated landing page will contain one tree of all modules per local package.

5.2.18. cabal check

cabal check [FLAGS] checks the package for common mistakes (e.g.: if it is missing important fields like synopsis, if it is using tricky GHC options, etc.).

Run cabal check in the folder where your .cabal package file is.

-v, --verbose[=n]

Set verbosity level (0–3, default is 1).

cabal check mimics Hackage’s requirements: if no error or warning is reported, Hackage should accept your package.

5.2.19. cabal exec

cabal exec [FLAGS] [--] COMMAND [--] [ARGS] runs the specified command using the project’s environment. That is, passing the right flags to compiler invocations and bringing the project’s executables into scope.

5.2.20. cabal install

cabal install [FLAGS] [TARGETS] builds the specified target packages and symlinks/copies their executables in installdir (usually ~/.cabal/bin).

Warning

If not every package has an executable to install, use all:exes rather than all as the target. To overwrite an installation, use --overwrite-policy=always as the default policy is never.

For example this command will build the latest cabal-install and symlink its cabal executable:

$ cabal install cabal-install

In addition, it’s possible to use cabal install to install components of a local project. For example, with an up-to-date Git clone of the Cabal repository, this command will build cabal-install HEAD and symlink the cabal executable:

$ cabal install exe:cabal

Where symlinking is not possible (eg. on some Windows versions) the copy method is used by default. You can specify the install method by using --install-method flag:

$ cabal install exe:cabal --install-method=copy --installdir=$HOME/bin

Note that copied executables are not self-contained, since they might use data-files from the store.

5.2.20.1. Adding libraries to GHC package environments

It is also possible to “install” libraries using the --lib flag. For example, this command will build the latest Cabal library and install it:

$ cabal install --lib Cabal

This works by managing GHC package environment files. By default, it is writing to the global environment in ~/.ghc/$ARCH-$OS-$GHCVER/environments/default. install provides the --package-env flag to control which of these environments is modified.

This command will modify the environment file in the current directory:

$ cabal install --lib Cabal --package-env .

This command will modify the environment file in the ~/foo directory:

$ cabal install --lib Cabal --package-env foo/

Do note that the results of the previous two commands will be overwritten by the use of other style commands, so it is not recommended to use them inside a project directory.

This command will modify the environment in the local.env file in the current directory:

$ cabal install --lib Cabal --package-env local.env

This command will modify the myenv named global environment:

$ cabal install --lib Cabal --package-env myenv

If you wish to create a named environment file in the current directory where the name does not contain an extension, you must reference it as ./myenv.

You can learn more about how to use these environments in this section of the GHC manual.

5.2.21. cabal clean

cabal clean [FLAGS] cleans up the temporary files and build artifacts stored in the dist-newstyle folder.

By default, it removes the entire folder, but it can also spare the configuration and caches if the --save-config option is given, in which case it only removes the build artefacts (.hi, .o along with any other temporary files generated by the compiler, along with the build output).

cabal clean [FLAGS] path/to/script cleans up the temporary files and build artifacts for the script, which are stored under the .cabal/script-builds directory.

In addition when clean is invoked it will remove all script build artifacts for which the corresponding script no longer exists.

5.2.22. cabal info

cabal info [FLAGS] PACKAGES displays useful informations about remote packages.

--package-db=DB

Append the given package database to the list of package databases used (to satisfy dependencies and register into). May be a specific file, global or user. The initial list is ['global'], ['global', 'user'], depending on context. Use clear to reset the list to empty.

5.2.23. cabal sdist

cabal sdist [FLAGS] [TARGETS] takes the crucial files needed to build TARGETS and puts them into an archive format ready for upload to Hackage. These archives are stable and two archives of the same format built from the same source will hash to the same value.

cabal sdist takes the following flags:

-l, --list-only

Rather than creating an archive, lists files that would be included.

Output is to stdout by default. The file paths are relative to the project’s root directory.

-o, --output-directory

Sets the output dir, if a non-default one is desired. The default is dist-newstyle/sdist/. --output-directory - will send output to stdout unless multiple archives are being created.

--null-sep

Only used with --list-only. Separates filenames with a NUL byte instead of newlines.

sdist is inherently incompatible with sdist hooks (which were removed in Cabal-3.0), not due to implementation but due to fundamental core invariants (same source code should result in the same tarball, byte for byte) that must be satisfied for it to function correctly in the larger build ecosystem. autogen-modules is able to replace uses of the hooks to add generated modules, along with the custom publishing of Haddock documentation to Hackage.

5.2.24. cabal upload

cabal upload [FLAGS] TARFILES uploads source packages or documentation to Hackage.

--publish

Publish the package immediately instead of uploading it as a package candidate (make sure everything is fine, you cannot delete published packages on Hackage!).

-d, --documentation

Upload documentation instead of a source package. To upload documentation for a published package (and not a candidate), add --publish.

-u, --username

Your Hackage username.

-p, --password

Your Hackage password.

-P, --password-command

Command to get your Hackage password.

5.2.25. cabal report

cabal report [FLAGS] uploads build reports to Hackage.

-u, --username

Your Hackage username.

-p, --password

Your Hackage password.

5.2.26. cabal gen-bounds

cabal gen-bounds [FLAGS] generates bounds for all dependencies that do not currently have them. Generated bounds are printed to stdout. You can then paste them into your .cabal file.

See the section on generating dependency version bounds for more details and examples.

5.2.27. cabal user-config

cabal user-config [init|diff|update] prints and updates user’s global cabal preferences. It is very useful when you are e.g. first configuring cabal on a new machine.

  • cabal user-config init creates a new configuration file.

    --config-file=PATH

    Specify config file path. (default: ~/.cabal/config).

    -f, --force

    Force configuration file overwriting if already exists.

  • cabal user-config diff prints a diff of the user’s config file and the default one.

  • cabal user-config update updates the user’s config file with additional lines.

    -a, --augment=CONFIGLINE

    Pass additional configuration lines to be incorporated in the config file. e.g. cabal user-config update --augment "offline: True".

    Note how --augment syntax follows cabal user-config diff output.

5.2.28. cabal outdated

cabal outdated [FLAGS] checks for outdated dependencies in the package description file or freeze file.

cabal outdated supports the following flags:

--v1-freeze-file

Read dependency version bounds from the freeze file.

(cabal.config) instead of the package description file ($PACKAGENAME.cabal).

--v2-freeze-file
Since

2.4

Read dependency version bounds from the v2-style freeze file (by default, cabal.project.freeze) instead of the package description file. --new-freeze-file is an alias for this flag that can be used with pre-2.4 cabal.

--project-file PROJECTFILE
Since

2.4

Read dependendency version bounds from the v2-style freeze file related to the named project file (i.e., $PROJECTFILE.freeze) instead of the package desctription file. If multiple --project-file flags are provided, only the final one is considered. This flag must only be passed in when --new-freeze-file is present.

--simple-output

Print only the names of outdated dependencies, one per line.

--exit-code

Exit with a non-zero exit code when there are outdated dependencies.

-q, --quiet

Don’t print any output. Implies -v0 and --exit-code.

--ignore PACKAGENAMES

Don’t warn about outdated dependency version bounds for the packages in this list.

--minor [PACKAGENAMES]

Ignore major version bumps for these packages.

E.g. if there’s a version 2.0 of a package pkg on Hackage and the freeze file specifies the constraint pkg == 1.9, cabal outdated --freeze --minor=pkg will only consider the pkg outdated when there’s a version of pkg on Hackage satisfying pkg > 1.9 && < 2.0. --minor can also be used without arguments, in that case major version bumps are ignored for all packages.

See the section on listing outdated dependency version bounds for more details and examples.