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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 10:27:26 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 05:48:20PM -0700, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> Hi!
> Ricardo Wurmus <address@hidden> skribis:
> > 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’ve thought about this (we have rewriting machinery in (guix build
> grafts) that we could adjust and use), but then I thought that maybe
> PRoot, unshare, and all the rest are good enough?

PRoot is too slow for most HPC purposes but can be used to build
non-proot binaries, as I do here:

But it is a roundabout way and too much for most people to handle.
Also we are not reusing Guix binaries that way.

> The tarballs could include proot-static and another statically-linked
> program that essentially tries to call unshare(2).  Would that make
> sense?

proot is a no-go for actual use involving IO.

> > With that we would be one step closer to the user experience of Docker
> > — without having a runtime dependency on Docker.
> It’s also fine to use Docker when it’s available, I think.

Docker is a no-go on 90% HPC's out there (that number may go down
slowly). Also Docker is a royal pain to deal with: every time I have
to install it somewhere it gives me some grief. I don't think it is
that useful for distributing software.

I think if we have a proper replacement for Docker - like Conda does -
the need for Docker will actually go away.

+1 for providing relocatable packages as far as I am concerned.


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