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bug#30728: guix-install.sh doesn't work if run with "sudo"

From: Clément Lassieur
Subject: bug#30728: guix-install.sh doesn't work if run with "sudo"
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:07:45 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 25.3.1

Hi Ricardo,

Ricardo Wurmus <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi Clément,
>> I am surprised that you didn't comment on
>> https://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=30728#32 (where I explain
>> to you why I disagree with Guix being installed in ~root) before saying
>> LGTM.
> Don’t be surprised: there are too many emails and I’m bound to forget
> about some.  My apologies for not repyling to your email earlier.

Thank you for your reply. :-)  I definitely understand.

> I read your mail but I disagree with the conclusions.  It is not the job
> of the installer script to install Guix for a particular user.  It is
> for a site-wide installation, including the set up of the daemon and a
> service script.  These things must happen as root.  The idea is that
> Guix is installed for the whole site and made available to all users.

The installation must happen with root privileges, but that doesn't mean
that Guix should be installed in ~root, because root is a particular
user.  See http://www.linfo.org/root.html:

    "/root contains configuration files for the root account, just as
    each ordinary user's home directory."

Thus I don't think things in ~root should be site-wide, and I have never
seen such things.  Site-wide stuff is usually in /var, /etc, etc.
(Which is not what I'm asking for, but in the long term it would be
better, in my opinion.)

> Individual users can then choose to use “guix pull” to control their own
> version of Guix.

And they will typically forget to update the daemon (and the site-wide
Guix).  Allowing a user to be responsible for updating Guix makes it
more likely to be updated.  Much more likely if the user doesn't need to
handle two different Guix installations.

> I consider it inelegant and dangerous to make the Guix installation of
> an unprivileged user the variant of Guix that is used by all users on
> the system.  Having it managed by the root user avoids surprises, even
> on single-user systems, because the implication is that changes to the
> root user’s Guix installation have system-wide effects.

I agree that those system-wide effects are not ideal, but I don't think
it's worse than the system-wide effects from ~root.  The implication you
are talking about isn't obvious to me, because root is a user as every
other, the only difference being its power.  Things root does shouldn't
have system-wide effects either.

And I wasn't asking to install Guix in the user's home, rather to let
them choose between two imperfect solutions.  In other words, to give
them more freedom.  For example if the user does 'sudo -E
./guix-install.sh', Guix would be installed in their home, whereas if
the user does 'sudo -H ./guix-install.sh', Guix would be installed in

Your script is very useful anyway, thank you for it!


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