As of January 2013 I was not able to find Debian packages for wxWidgets 2.9, which is required by, so we’ll install directly from source. First grab some dependencies:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev freeglut3-dev

Download 2.9.4 from Then:

tar jxf wxWidgets-2.9.4.tar.bz2
cd wxWidgets-2.9.4
./configure --open-gl
make -j 10
sudo make install

This installs to /usr/local. Make sure that wx-config reports the correct libs, e.g.

$ wx-config  --libs
-L/usr/local/lib -pthread   -lwx_gtk2u_xrc-2.9 -lwx_gtk2u_html-2.9 -lwx_gtk2u_qa-2.9 -lwx_gtk2u_adv-2.9 -lwx_gtk2u_core-2.9 -lwx_baseu_xml-2.9 -lwx_baseu_net-2.9 -lwx_baseu-2.9

Now try to install using cabal:

cabal update
cabal install wx

If the build fails with

/usr/local/include/wx-2.9/wx/gtk/bitmap.h:64:24: error:   initializing argument 1 of ‘wxBitmap& wxBitmap::operator=(const wxBitmap&)’

then we need to patch a C++ file in wxc (credit for this is due to Mads Lindstrøm on comp.lang.haskell.wxhaskell.general).

cd ~/.cabal/packages/
tar jxf wxc-

Now edit wxc- and change line 159 from

* _ref = NULL;


_ref = NULL;

Then repackage:

tar zcvf wxc- wxc-
rm -fr wxc-

Beware that the patch to wxc is under cabal’s control, so it could be lost if wxc is upgraded, etc. Finally, try to install again using:

cabal install wx

Finally, make sure that the hello world example works:

module Main where
import Graphics.UI.WX

main :: IO ()
main = start hello

hello :: IO ()
hello = do
    f    <- frame    [text := "Hello!"]
    quit <- button f [text := "Quit", on command := close f]
    set f [layout := widget quit]

Note: if cabal install wx fails with

src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:43:60: error: ‘wxGLContext’ has not been declared
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:102:1: error: ‘wxGLContext’ does not name a type
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:109:1: error: ‘wxGLContext’ does not name a type
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:116:1: error: ‘wxGLContext’ was not declared in this scope
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:116:1: error: ‘self’ was not declared in this scope
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:116:1: error: expected primary-expression before ‘void’
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:116:1: error: expression list treated as compound expression in initializer [-fpermissive]
src/cpp/glcanvas.cpp:117:1: error: expected ‘,’ or ‘;’ before ‘{’ token
cabal: Error: some packages failed to install:

then your system is missing OpenGL libraries (this is not a bug in wx). Double-check the configure output of wxWidgets.

Archived Comments

Date: 2013-03-19 09:24:45 UTC

Author: babalone

Very helpful. I tried installing wx a few times and failed until now.

Date: 2013-03-27 02:30:14 UTC

Author: Hermit

Thanks, however, I’m still unable to build wxcore. It’s spurting a lot of compiler errors:

When running wx-config –libs, -lwx_gtk2u_html-2.9 is there so…

I’ve been banging my head against a wall with this. I’m not very into C/C++ stack (that’s why I use haskell!!). I couldn’t build it for OSX either…

I ended up switching toolkits, moved to HTk, but it’s orphan so I wonder if it’s worth it for the long run.

Date: 2014-10-25 01:05:27.99669 UTC

Author: david diggles

Having similar issues on openSUSE. I wish cabal was better with package management.