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Re: #850644: RFP: Guix in Debian

From: Vagrant Cascadian
Subject: Re: #850644: RFP: Guix in Debian
Date: Tue, 28 May 2019 11:15:54 -0700

Control: block 850644 by 902174

Status update: technically working package! Needs more work within
Debian to actually include it...

On 2019-05-16, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
> On 2018-05-16, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
>> The main build/runtime dependencies missing from Debian appear to be
>> guile-git, and possibly a recommends on guile-ssh:
> Apparently, guix has grown a few additional dependencies since then...
> So in a bit of a focused run of packaging, I've been chasing the
> dependency chain necessary to get guix building on Debian:
> * guile-gnutls needs to be (re)enabled in libgnutls*:

Proposed a patch to re-enable:

> * guile-json needs to be updated to version 1.2.0 (3.x is incompatible),
>   and I've pushed wip branches updating packaging for new upstream
>   versions:

Updated to 1.2.0 in Debian experimental. A little awkward not updating
to the newest upstream version, but hopefully that won't last forever...

> * I've gotten some packaging for guile-git, guile-gcrypt, guile-ssh and
>   guile-sqlite3 which need some more polish and then uploading to
>   Debian:

Uploaded and waiting in NEW for review:


Waiting for guile-bytestructures to get through NEW.


This is WIP, packaging needs some policy compliance issues addressed.

> * guile-git required scheme-bytestructures, which I've packaged, and
>   needs to be uploaded before guile-git can be:

Uploaded and waiting in NEW for review:

> After all that, I did get to the point where I could at least try to
> compile guix:

With local builds of the above packages, I've got a working guix

It still needs a way to get the bootstrap binaries (bash, mkdir, tar and
xz) from Guix; right now they're binaries shipped in the source!
Ludovic Courtès worked on a patch that would in theory download those at
run-time, but that is not yet working...

I tried with using symlinks to the host's bash, mkdir tar and xz, but
that resulted in the symlink getting copied into the store, which meant
that the package build environment only ended up included a dead symlink
and failed to build. Additionally, not using the exact same bootstrap
binaries means that Guix's substitute servers would produce different
results for all packages, and so substitutes wouldn't be able to be very

Bootstrapping the system with MES is also WIP in Guix, and it might be
possible to build identical bootstrap binaries using MES in Debian at
some point:

The guix packaging for Debian also has a small number of test failures,
at least one of which simply needs to be disabled because it accesses
the network (which violates Debian policy).

Also needs some updates to the packaging to get the guix-daemon running
out of the box, for which there's a provided systemd service, and adding
some guixbuild users, which shouldn't be too hard.

So, still a lot to be done, but considerable progress!

live well,

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