Handles uploading to Hackage from mega repos

Version on this page:
LTS Haskell 22.29:
Stackage Nightly 2024-03-31:
Latest on Hackage:

See all snapshots mega-sdist appears in

MIT licensed by Michael Snoyman
Maintained by [email protected]
This version can be pinned in stack with:mega-sdist-,1109

Module documentation for

There are no documented modules for this package.


This is a utility written to address the specific needs in maintaining Haskell “mega-repos,” or Git repositories containing multiple Cabal projects. It is intended to ease the process of deciding which packages need to be released and tagging those releases appropriately.

It provides the following functionality:

  • Detect when local code has changed from what’s on Hackage
    • Note that, due to Hackage revisions, sometimes this logic isn’t perfect
  • Detect when a version number needs to be updated
  • Dump the difference between the Hackage version of your package and the local version

To install it… well, listen. This tool is intended for people authoring Haskell packages. Odds are, you already know how to do this. And if you don’t know, this probably isn’t a tool that will help you. Anyway, in order to install it, first install Stack and then run stack install mega-sdist, or just stack install inside this repository.

Opinionated tool

This utility is highly opinionated in some ways, e.g.:

  • It only supports one style of Git tag name: packagename-version. This may look weird in non-mega-repos, where v1.2.3 looks better than foo-1.2.3, but for mega-repos the former doesn’t make sense. It also requires tag signing.
  • It depends on Stack for both discovering all of your local packages, and for uploading to Hackage.

If you’re OK with these opinions, keep reading for usage.

Have I changed anything?

Let’s say I’m working on the monad-unlift megarepo (chosen as an example of a relatively small repo). I’ve merged some PRs recently, or at least think I have. But I don’t remember which of the individual packages within the repo this affected. Instead of looking at the commit history like some caveman, I’ll typically do:

$ git pull # make sure I have all latest changes
$ mega-sdist

The mega-sdist command will:

  • Build tarballs for all local packages
  • Check what the latest versions of my packages on Hackage are
  • Do a full diff on these two things and see if anything’s changed

At the time of writing, here’s the output from this repo:

The following packages from Hackage have not changed:

The following packages require a version bump:

What this means is:

  • The monad-unlift package I have locally is at version 0.2.0. And it perfectly matches that version on Hackage. No actions necessary.
  • The monad-unlift-ref package I have locally is at version 0.2.1. And it doesn’t match the code on Hackage. Therefore, if I wanted to run stack upload monad-unlift-ref successfully, I’d need to bump the version number.

What did I change?

Well, again, if I wanted to see what changed, I could run (again, like a caveman):

$ git diff monad-unlift-ref/0.2.1 -- monad-unlift-ref

But that’s long! mega-sidst’s got your back. Just run:

$ mega-sdist monad-unlift-ref --get-diffs

This will print out the difference between the tarball uploaded to Hackage and what you have locally. Besides my tongue-in-cheek comment above, this is also useful if, for some reason, you either don’t have or don’t trust the tags in your Git repo.

One other thing: this diff is currently based on the pristine tarball from Hackage, ignoring cabal file revisions. So the difference may be slightly different from what you’d get from stack unpack monad-unlift-ref-0.2.1. But ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ that’s revisions for you.

The default behavior of mega-sdist is to look at all packages specified in your stack.yaml. Targets can be any directory. And mega-sdist will automatically look at packages in any subdirectory, so that mega-sdist . is the same as mega-sdist at the root of your repo*.

* Assuming all of your packages are actually in your repo, but only crazy people would do otherwise.

Preparing a new release

OK, now I continue working on my project, and I’ve:

  • Made some changes to monad-unlift
  • Updated the cabal file’s version number
    • And of course I also updated the, I’m not some monster

From the root of my repo, I run:

$ mega-sdist monad-unlift

Or, equivalently, from inside the monad-unlift subdirectory I run:

$ mega-sdist .

Either way, I get:

The following new packages exist locally:

No version bumps required, good to go!

This tells me that my package has local changes, and the version number has been updated, so that stack upload monad-unlift will work. Neato! Now, you could just run stack upload ..., but here’s what I usually do. First, I’ll review the changes I’m about to upload and make sure there are no surprises:

$ mega-sdist --get-diffs .

The following new packages exist locally:
diff -r old/monad-unlift-0.2.0/ new/monad-unlift-0.2.1/
> ## 0.2.1
> * Silly changes
diff -r old/monad-unlift-0.2.0/Control/Monad/Trans/Unlift.hs new/monad-unlift-0.2.1/Control/Monad/Trans/Unlift.hs
> -- I just need some space
diff -r old/monad-unlift-0.2.0/monad-unlift.cabal new/monad-unlift-0.2.1/monad-unlift.cabal
< version:             0.2.0
> version:             0.2.1

No version bumps required, good to go!

OK, that’s what I wanted. Time to release. Next, I’m going to use mega-sdist to tag the release:

$ mega-sdist --gittag .

From the root of my repo, this would notice that monad-unlift-ref still requires a version bump, and refuse to proceed. But inside the monad-unlift directory, it notices that all necessary version bumps are done, and happily tags:

$ mega-sdist --gittag .
The following new packages exist locally:

No version bumps required, good to go!
Raw command: git tag -s monad-unlift-0.2.1 -m "Release: monad-unlift-0.2.1"

And suddenly I notice something new:

$ ls tarballs/

Neat, mega-sdist left behind tarballs I can upload! To do so, I run:

$ stack upload tarballs/*

Note that this will work whether I’m trying to upload just one package, or all of the updated packages in my repo. Finally, I need to push the new tags to Github (or wherever):

$ git push --tags

And in fact, this upload sequence is so common that I have a shell alias set up:

$ alias upload
alias upload='mega-sdist --gittag . && stack upload tarballs/* && git push --tags'

So there you have it: convenient little utility to help manage repos with lots of packages in them.


ChangeLog for mega-sdist

  • Support aeson 2

  • Support pantry 0.5.3

  • Support newer pantry

  • Move from pantry-tmp to pantry

  • Enable multithreaded runtime


  • Support for new Stack 1.8 console output


  • Switch to rio and LTS 11


  • Switch to tar-conduit 0.2

  • Change tag format to name-version
  • Tags are signed

  • Add -N to diff arguments

  • Warning cleanup
  • Colorize diffs

  • Diffs against previous versions

  • Switch to optparse-simple
  • Add --get-diffs

  • Correctly handle megarepos with matching prefixes


  • Revived from cabal-src
  • Use Stack internally