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bug#25296: fully functional desktop installation

From: Danny Milosavljevic
Subject: bug#25296: fully functional desktop installation
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:09:29 +0100


> Hmm, OK.  Do you think it’s too much to ask, given the current audience
> (tinkerers), to add those packages to their config, or to install them
> with “guix package -i”?

I think one of the nice features of Guix is that the user can install packages 
on their own.  Other distributions leave the decision of which packages to 
install up to the administrator (a separate person in companies).  I work in a 
very large company where often some simple stuff is missing on servers and 
admins will not install it for fear of fucking up some unrelated 
already-installed package (understandable since all the dependencies are 
dynamic in Solaris and applications will just pick up whatever is lying around 
in the global namespace).

Long story short, I think it's a good thing that the user has his own profile 
which isn't magically updated and doesn't magically pick up things not in the 
user profile - except when it's already in the store bitwise-identical.  That 
way, if he needs some application for work it will not randomly break and he 
can be sure that it will do what it did yesterday.  If he wants to update, he 
updates.  Otherwise not.  His choice.

So long story short, I myself prefer having no applications in the system 
profile and the user installing all (business-relevant) applications 
themselves.  It gives control to the user.

(my "packages" field is:
  (packages (cons* nss-certs         ;for HTTPS access
                   font-adobe100dpi font-adobe75dpi font-bitstream-vera 
font-dejavu font-gnu-freefont-ttf font-gnu-unifont font-liberation font-ubuntu
                   %base-packages)) ; xterm is there by default.

And the ones that are still in there bother me :)

As for libreoffice and other large packages, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but huge 
packages waste disk space and provide an attack surface for exploits - and 
maybe no regular user uses it.

That said, I've installed it :P

I'd vote for adding libreoffice and icecat to desktop.tmpl and not to gnome 
(since they are not part of the GNOME project).

Users who like a minimal system can always use lightweight-desktop.tmpl or even 

And I think it's important to mention the approximate space requirements for 
desktop.tmpl in the manual (for partitioning).

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