Stack attempts to provide reproducible build plans. This involves reproducibly getting the exact same contents of source packages and configuration options (like cabal flags and GHC options) for a given set of input files. There are a few problems with making this work:
- Entering all of the information to fully provide reproducibility is tedious. This would include things like Hackage revisions, hashes of remote tarballs, etc. Users don't want to enter this information.
- Many operations in Stack rely upon a "snapshot hash," which
transitively includes the completed information for all of these
dependencies. If any of that information is missing when parsing the
stack.yamlfile or snapshot files, it could be expensive for Stack to calculate it.
To address this, we follow the (fairly standard) approach of having a lock file. The goal of the lock file is to cache completed locations of project, snapshot packages and snapshots themselves so that:
- These files can be stored in source control
- Users on other machines can reuse these lock files and get identical build plans given that the used local packages and local snapshots are the same on those machines
stack buildin the future is deterministic in the build plan, not depending on mutable state in the world like Hackage revisions
- NOTE If, for example, a tarball available remotely is deleted or the hash changes, it will not be possible for Stack to perform the build. However, by deterministic, we mean it either performs the same build or fails, never accidentally doing something different.
This document explains the contents of a lock file, how they are used, and how they are created and updated.
stack.yaml and snapshot files¶
Relevant to this discussion, the
stack.yaml file specifies:
- Resolver (the parent snapshot)
The resolver can either specify a compiler version or another snapshot
file. This snapshot file can contain the same information referenced
above for a
stack.yaml, with the following differences:
- Drop packages can be included
Some information in these files can be incomplete. Consider:
resolver: lts-13.9 packages:  extra-deps: - https://hackage.haskell.org/package/acme-missiles-0.3.tar.gz
This information is incomplete, since the contents of that URL may
change in the future. Instead, you could specify enough information in
stack.yaml file to fully resolve that package. That looks like:
extra-deps: - size: 1442 url: https://hackage.haskell.org/package/acme-missiles-0.3.tar.gz cabal-file: size: 613 sha256: 2ba66a092a32593880a87fb00f3213762d7bca65a687d45965778deb8694c5d1 name: acme-missiles version: '0.3' sha256: e563d8b524017a06b32768c4db8eff1f822f3fb22a90320b7e414402647b735b pantry-tree: size: 226 sha256: 614bc0cca76937507ea0a5ccc17a504c997ce458d7f2f9e43b15a10c8eaeb033
Users don't particularly feel like writing all of that. Therefore,
it's common to see incomplete information in a
lts-13.9 information is also incomplete. While
we assume in general that LTS snapshots never change, there's nothing
that technically prohibits that from happening. Instead, the complete
version of that field is:
resolver: size: 496662 url: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/commercialhaskell/stackage-snapshots/master/lts/13/9.yaml sha256: 83de9017d911cf7795f19353dba4d04bd24cd40622b7567ff61fc3f7223aa3ea
Also something people don't feel like writing by hand.
Recursive snapshot layers¶
Snapshot files can be recursive, where
stack.yaml refers to
foo.yaml, which refers to
bar.yaml, which refers to
local snapshot file can refer to a remote snapshot file (available via
an HTTP(S) URL).
We need to encode information from all of these snapshot layers and
stack.yaml file in the lock file, to ensure that we can detect
if anything changes.
In addition to acting as a pure correctness mechanism, the design of a lock file given here also works as a performance improvement. Instead of requiring that all snapshot files be fully parsed on each Stack invocation, we can store information in the lock file and bypass parsing of the additional files in the common case of no changes.
Lock file contents¶
The lock file contains the following information:
- Completed package locations for both
extra-depsand packages in snapshot files
- NOTE This only applies to immutable packages. Mutable packages are not included in the lock file.
- Completed information for the snapshot locations
It looks like the following:
# Lock file, some message about the file being auto-generated snapshots: # Starts with the snapshot specified in stack.yaml, # then continues with the snapshot specified in each # subsequent snapshot file - original: foo.yaml # raw content specified in a snapshot file completed: file: foo.yaml sha256: XXXX size: XXXX - original: lts-13.9 completed: size: 496662 url: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/commercialhaskell/stackage-snapshots/master/lts/13/9.yaml sha256: 83de9017d911cf7795f19353dba4d04bd24cd40622b7567ff61fc3f7223aa3ea packages: - original: https://hackage.haskell.org/package/acme-missiles-0.3.tar.gz completed: size: 1442 url: https://hackage.haskell.org/package/acme-missiles-0.3.tar.gz cabal-file: size: 613 sha256: 2ba66a092a32593880a87fb00f3213762d7bca65a687d45965778deb8694c5d1 name: acme-missiles version: '0.3' sha256: e563d8b524017a06b32768c4db8eff1f822f3fb22a90320b7e414402647b735b pantry-tree: size: 226 sha256: 614bc0cca76937507ea0a5ccc17a504c997ce458d7f2f9e43b15a10c8eaeb033
stack.yaml file is loaded, Stack checks for a lock file
in the same file path, with a
.lock extension added. For example, if
stack build --stack-yaml stack-11.yaml, it will use a lock
file in the location
stack-11.yaml.lock. For the rest of this
document, we'll assume that the files are simply
If the lock file does not exist, it will be created by:
- Loading the
- Loading all snapshot files
- Completing all missing information
- Writing out the new
When loading a Stack project all completed package or snapshot locations (even when they were completed using information from a lock file) get collected to form a new lock file in memory and compare against the one on disk, writing if there are any differences.