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  1. -*- mode: org -*-
  2. [[https://www.gnu.org/software/guix/][GNU Guix]] (IPA: /ɡiːks/) is a purely functional package manager, and
  3. associated free software distribution, for the [[https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu.html][GNU system]]. In addition
  4. to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional
  5. upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user
  6. profiles, and garbage collection.
  7. It provides [[https://www.gnu.org/software/guile/][Guile]] Scheme APIs, including a high-level embedded
  8. domain-specific languages (EDSLs) to describe how packages are to be
  9. built and composed.
  10. GNU Guix can be used on top of an already-installed GNU/Linux distribution, or
  11. it can be used standalone (we call that “Guix System”).
  12. Guix is based on the [[https://nixos.org/nix/][Nix]] package manager.
  13. * Requirements
  14. If you are building Guix from source, please see the manual for build
  15. instructions and requirements, either by running:
  16. info -f doc/guix.info "Requirements"
  17. or by checking the [[https://guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/Requirements.html][web copy of the manual]].
  18. * Installation
  19. See the manual for the installation instructions, either by running
  20. info -f doc/guix.info "Installation"
  21. or by checking the [[https://guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/Installation.html][web copy of the manual]].
  22. For information on installation from a Git checkout, please see the section
  23. "Building from Git" in the manual.
  24. * Installing Guix from Guix
  25. You can re-build and re-install Guix using a system that already runs Guix.
  26. To do so:
  27. - Start a shell with the development environment for Guix:
  28. guix environment guix
  29. - Re-run the 'configure' script passing it the option
  30. '--localstatedir=/somewhere', where '/somewhere' is the 'localstatedir'
  31. value of the currently installed Guix (failing to do that would lead the
  32. new Guix to consider the store to be empty!). We recommend to use the
  33. value '/var'.
  34. - Run "make", "make check", and "make install".
  35. * How It Works
  36. Guix does the high-level preparation of a /derivation/. A derivation is
  37. the promise of a build; it is stored as a text file under
  38. =/gnu/store/xxx.drv=. The (guix derivations) module provides the
  39. `derivation' primitive, as well as higher-level wrappers such as
  40. `build-expression->derivation'.
  41. Guix does remote procedure calls (RPCs) to the build daemon (the =guix-daemon=
  42. command), which in turn performs builds and accesses to the store on its
  43. behalf. The RPCs are implemented in the (guix store) module.
  44. * Contact
  45. GNU Guix is hosted at https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/guix/.
  46. Please email <help-guix@gnu.org> for questions and <bug-guix@gnu.org> for bug
  47. reports; email <gnu-system-discuss@gnu.org> for general issues regarding the
  48. GNU system.
  49. Join #guix on irc.freenode.net.
  50. * Guix & Nix
  51. GNU Guix is based on [[https://nixos.org/nix/][the Nix package manager]]. It implements the same
  52. package deployment paradigm, and in fact it reuses some of its code.
  53. Yet, different engineering decisions were made for Guix, as described
  54. below.
  55. Nix is really two things: a package build tool, implemented by a library
  56. and daemon, and a special-purpose programming language. GNU Guix relies
  57. on the former, but uses Scheme as a replacement for the latter.
  58. Using Scheme instead of a specific language allows us to get all the
  59. features and tooling that come with Guile (compiler, debugger, REPL,
  60. Unicode, libraries, etc.) And it means that we have a general-purpose
  61. language, on top of which we can have embedded domain-specific languages
  62. (EDSLs), such as the one used to define packages. This broadens what
  63. can be done in package recipes themselves, and what can be done around them.
  64. Technically, Guix makes remote procedure calls to the ‘nix-worker’
  65. daemon to perform operations on the store. At the lowest level, Nix
  66. “derivations” represent promises of a build, stored in ‘.drv’ files in
  67. the store. Guix produces such derivations, which are then interpreted
  68. by the daemon to perform the build. Thus, Guix derivations can use
  69. derivations produced by Nix (and vice versa).
  70. With Nix and the [[https://nixos.org/nixpkgs][Nixpkgs]] distribution, package composition happens at
  71. the Nix language level, but builders are usually written in Bash.
  72. Conversely, Guix encourages the use of Scheme for both package
  73. composition and builders. Likewise, the core functionality of Nix is
  74. written in C++ and Perl; Guix relies on some of the original C++ code,
  75. but exposes all the API as Scheme.
  76. * Related software
  77. - [[https://nixos.org][Nix, Nixpkgs, and NixOS]], functional package manager and associated
  78. software distribution, are the inspiration of Guix
  79. - [[https://www.gnu.org/software/stow/][GNU Stow]] builds around the idea of one directory per prefix, and a
  80. symlink tree to create user environments
  81. - [[https://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~arnej/store/storedoc_6.html][STORE]] shares the same idea
  82. - [[https://live.gnome.org/OSTree/][GNOME's OSTree]] allows bootable system images to be built from a
  83. specified set of packages
  84. - The [[https://www.gnu.org/s/gsrc/][GNU Source Release Collection]] (GSRC) is a user-land software
  85. distribution; unlike Guix, it relies on core tools available on the
  86. host system