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doc: Add "Building from Git" to 'HACKING'.

Nikita Karetnikov 7 years ago
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#+TITLE: Hacking GNU Guix and Its Incredible Distro

Copyright © 2012, 2013 Ludovic Courtès <>
Copyright © 2013 Nikita Karetnikov <>

Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification,
are permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright
notice and this notice are preserved.

* Building from Git

First, make sure that Autoconf (>= 2.69), Automake, and pkg-config are
installed. Run ‘./bootstrap’ that, among other things, invokes ‘git submodule
update’, or you might get the following error

make: *** No rule to make target `nix/libstore/schema.sql', needed by

Then, as always, run ‘./configure’. If you get an error like this one

./configure: line 6755: `PKG_CHECK_MODULES(GUILE, guile-2.0 >= 2.0.5)'

it probably means that Autoconf couldn’t find ‘pkg.m4’, which is provided by
pkg-config. Make sure that ‘pkg.m4’ is available. For instance, if you
installed Automake in ‘/usr/local’, it wouldn’t look for ‘.m4’ files in
‘/usr/share’. So you have to invoke the following command in that case

$ export ACLOCAL_PATH=/usr/share/aclocal

See “info '(automake) Macro Search Path'” for more information.

After that you should proceed with ‘make’. You might also get this error

/bin/bash: dot: command not found
make[2]: *** [doc/images/bootstrap-graph.png] Error 127

This one is easy to handle; just install Graphviz. It is not listed as a
requirement because the resulting images should come with a tarball.

Finally, you have to invoke ‘make check’ to run tests. If anything fails,
take a look at “info '(guix) Installation'” or send a message to

* Running Guix before it is installed

Command-line tools can be used even if you have not run "make install".