README 5.14 KB
Newer Older
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
1
2
-*- mode: org -*-

3
4
[[https://www.gnu.org/software/guix/][GNU Guix]] (IPA: /ɡiːks/) is a purely functional package manager, and
associated free software distribution, for the [[https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu.html][GNU system]].  In addition
5
6
7
to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional
upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user
profiles, and garbage collection.
8

9
It provides [[https://www.gnu.org/software/guile/][Guile]] Scheme APIs, including a high-level embedded
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
10
11
domain-specific languages (EDSLs) to describe how packages are to be
built and composed.
12

Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
13
14
GNU Guix can be used on top of an already-installed GNU/Linux distribution, or
it can be used standalone (we call that Guix System).
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
15

16
Guix is based on the [[https://nixos.org/nix/][Nix]] package manager.
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
17
18


19
* Requirements
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
20

21
22
If you are building Guix from source, please see the manual for build
instructions and requirements, either by running:
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
23

24
  info -f doc/guix.info "Requirements"
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
25

26
or by checking the [[https://guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/Requirements.html][web copy of the manual]].
27

28
* Installation
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
29

30
See the manual for the installation instructions, either by running
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
31

32
  info -f doc/guix.info "Installation"
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
33

34
or by checking the [[https://guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/Installation.html][web copy of the manual]].
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
35

36
37
For information on installation from a Git checkout, please see the section
"Building from Git" in the manual.
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
38

39
40
41
42
43
* Installing Guix from Guix

You can re-build and re-install Guix using a system that already runs Guix.
To do so:

44
  - Start a shell with the development environment for Guix:
45

46
      guix environment guix
47

48
49
50
  - Re-run the 'configure' script passing it the option
    '--localstatedir=/somewhere', where '/somewhere' is the 'localstatedir'
    value of the currently installed Guix (failing to do that would lead the
51
52
    new Guix to consider the store to be empty!).  We recommend to use the
    value '/var'.
53

54
  - Run "make", "make check", and "make install".
55

Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
56
57
58
59
* How It Works

Guix does the high-level preparation of a /derivation/.  A derivation is
the promise of a build; it is stored as a text file under
60
=/gnu/store/xxx.drv=.  The (guix derivations) module provides the
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
61
62
63
`derivation' primitive, as well as higher-level wrappers such as
`build-expression->derivation'.

Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
64
65
66
Guix does remote procedure calls (RPCs) to the build daemon (the =guix-daemon=
command), which in turn performs builds and accesses to the store on its
behalf.  The RPCs are implemented in the (guix store) module.
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
67
68
69

* Contact

Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
70
71
GNU Guix is hosted at https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/guix/.

Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
72
73
74
Please email <help-guix@gnu.org> for questions and <bug-guix@gnu.org> for bug
reports; email <gnu-system-discuss@gnu.org> for general issues regarding the
GNU system.
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
75
76
77
78
79

Join #guix on irc.freenode.net.

* Guix & Nix

80
GNU Guix is based on [[https://nixos.org/nix/][the Nix package manager]].  It implements the same
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
package deployment paradigm, and in fact it reuses some of its code.
Yet, different engineering decisions were made for Guix, as described
below.

Nix is really two things: a package build tool, implemented by a library
and daemon, and a special-purpose programming language.  GNU Guix relies
on the former, but uses Scheme as a replacement for the latter.

Using Scheme instead of a specific language allows us to get all the
features and tooling that come with Guile (compiler, debugger, REPL,
Unicode, libraries, etc.)  And it means that we have a general-purpose
language, on top of which we can have embedded domain-specific languages
(EDSLs), such as the one used to define packages.  This broadens what
can be done in package recipes themselves, and what can be done around them.

Technically, Guix makes remote procedure calls to the nix-worker
daemon to perform operations on the store.  At the lowest level, Nix
derivations represent promises of a build, stored in .drv files in
the store.  Guix produces such derivations, which are then interpreted
by the daemon to perform the build.  Thus, Guix derivations can use
derivations produced by Nix (and vice versa).

103
With Nix and the [[https://nixos.org/nixpkgs][Nixpkgs]] distribution, package composition happens at
Ludovic Courtès's avatar
Ludovic Courtès committed
104
105
106
107
108
the Nix language level, but builders are usually written in Bash.
Conversely, Guix encourages the use of Scheme for both package
composition and builders.  Likewise, the core functionality of Nix is
written in C++ and Perl; Guix relies on some of the original C++ code,
but exposes all the API as Scheme.
109
110
111

* Related software

112
  - [[https://nixos.org][Nix, Nixpkgs, and NixOS]], functional package manager and associated
113
    software distribution, are the inspiration of Guix
114
  - [[https://www.gnu.org/software/stow/][GNU Stow]] builds around the idea of one directory per prefix, and a
115
    symlink tree to create user environments
116
  - [[https://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~arnej/store/storedoc_6.html][STORE]] shares the same idea
117
118
  - [[https://live.gnome.org/OSTree/][GNOME's OSTree]] allows bootable system images to be built from a
    specified set of packages
119
  - The [[https://www.gnu.org/s/gsrc/][GNU Source Release Collection]] (GSRC) is a user-land software
120
121
    distribution; unlike Guix, it relies on core tools available on the
    host system