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Re: Guix mirror: sourceware discussion report

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: Guix mirror: sourceware discussion report
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2019 15:29:16 +0100

Hi Tobias,

On Fri, 13 Dec 2019 at 19:39, Tobias Geerinckx-Rice <address@hidden> wrote:

> I've replied on IRC as well, apologies if I repeat myself.  :-)

It is hard to follow everything that is said on IRC. ;-)
And times to times, IMO, it is necessary to report back on guix-devel
what was said: the community is then aware and it is recorded (so
searchable in the future if needed).

> zimoun 写道:
> > Currently "guix pull" from Savannah and issues can arise. As we
> > recently experimented. Tobias and Ricardo recently discussed how
> > to
> > mirror the repo. IMHO, it is a good idea to mirror but not a
> > good idea
> > to locate it on Ricardo infrastructure, again. :-)
> I disagree.
> I think berlin is the best place to create a simple ‘main’ mirror
> at this point in time.  It's a simple git one-liner to keep it up
> to date.  In the extremely unlikely event that it breaks, many
> people can fix it.  Ricardo works hard but isn't responsible for
> all of Berlin on his own.

I agree on these lines. And we are talking about a service (mirror)
easy to deploy elsewhere.
But... obviously a but. :-)

Correct me if I am wrong, currently, Guix mainly depends on:
 - the FSF guys for the main repo (Savannah) located in US.
 - the MDC institute located in Germany.
    - the build farm (Cuirass instance):
    - the storage of substitutes (even it is mitigated with CDN)
    - the Mumi front-end of Debbugs:
 - Boards here and there (Julien and now Pierre, Andreas, etc.)

Well, how many people have a physical access to the MDC infrastructure?
How many people are currently working for the MDC institute?
To my knowledge, only Ricardo.
So what will happen if Ricardo "leaves" (long vacation, change of job,
bus attack, etc.).

Guix should not put all the eggs in the same basket, IMHO.

Therefore, this tiny service (mirror) should done elsewhere than on
the machines located in Berlin. As a simple first step.

> > Well, I propose to see if we can mirror on which
> > are
> > GNU friends. ;-)
> >
> > I took the liberty to contact them on IRC. See below.
> >
> > What I see is: we still "guix pull" from Savannah as usual.
> > Then if Savannah is down, we catch the error and we try
> > (transparently
> > for the user) the sourceware url.
> By ‘we’, you mean the ‘guix pull’ command itself, correct?

Sorry. Too passionate. ;-)

> Something akin to
>   (channel
>     (name 'guix)
>     (url (list "https://savannah…";
>                "https://sourceware…";))
>     …)
> ?

Or built-in. Whatever.

Even, talking about that, a official list of Git mirrors should be
maintained and included in the manual or cookbook or website or

> I'd like to see that added to the channels.scm format for selfish
> reasons.

I understand and I do not have any strong opinion. :-)
Even, the channels.scm seems better than hard-coded.

> However, I'd still like the first or second URL to start with
> ‘’.  I have nothing against Sourceware, but
> has been pretty solid (AFAIK) and, more importantly,
> does not require users to trust yet another party by default.

I agree.

I am not expert but can point to a machine located
elsewhere than Berlin?

> [‘Trustable Guix pull’ rears its head again :-) …]


> > As a first contact, they agree on the principle. Even they ask
> > numbers
> > about traffic etc. :-)
> I know that about 1,000 unique IPs requested substitutes on Berlin
> during the month of November.

Thank you for this number.

> You'll have to ask Savannah for the git stats (roughly how many
> IPs ran ‘guix pull’), which may wildly differ (but I doubt that).

I will. :-)

Thank you.

All the best,

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