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Re: Hacks to install Guix packages without root

From: Pjotr Prins
Subject: Re: Hacks to install Guix packages without root
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:17:33 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 11:46:52PM +0200, Ricardo Wurmus wrote:
> Hi,
> this blog post contains many great examples of how to deploy Guix
> applications without root access:
> I think that all of these methods should be wrapped up by Guix itself,
> so that none of this has to be done manually.  I’d also like to include
> Pjotr’s hack in this, which involves rewriting /gnu/store references.
> It’s icky but effective and one of the reasons why Conda is so popular
> (they rewrite references in their binaries as well, but less principled
> than, say, grafts).
> How about an extension of “guix pack” that will rewrite the /gnu/store
> references to a user-provided directory before bundling things up in a
> tarball?  I’d *really* like to be able to just use the tarball bundle
> “guix pack” produces by default, but currently deploying it requires
> root access or proot shenanigans at runtime.
> How about making manual hacking with unshare and chroot obsolete by
> including a simple executable in the pack that handles this rewriting
> for the user…?  With that we would be one step closer to the user
> experience of Docker — without having a runtime dependency on Docker.

I wrote a fast executable in D that does that

It is part of my installer which I wrote in Ruby (sorry, I know ;)

Note it first uses Nix's patchelf and then the D program - I could
have linked the two, but did not bother. The logic is here:

I remember sweating over this in a dark hotel in Zanzibar last winter.
There was a heat wave and the airco was ineffective. It was a fun
thing to do, even so.


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