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Re: Using --manfistest with <profile>/manifest files

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: Using --manfistest with <profile>/manifest files
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2020 09:54:45 +0200


On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 at 10:40, wrote:
> In an attempt to tar up the *build* environment for a package to share with a
> colleague, I encountered this:
>     [env]$ guix pack -m $GUIX_ENVIRONMENT/manifest
>     (manifest ...): Wrong number of arguments
> From playing around a bit, my guess is that the `<profile>/manifest' files are
> just human-readable serializations of <manifest> objects and don't deserialize
> back:
>     $ guix environment -m ~/.guix-profile/manifest
>     (manifest ...): Wrong number of arguments

It is more "complicated" than that.  The detailed explanations are in
the mega thread. :-) In short and from my understanding, going from
"<profile>/manifest" to "-m manifest.scm" cannot be done in the general
case because two concepts -- imperative vs declarative -- are not well
aligned.  Pragmatically, it means that the result could be more than
often unpractical with too much inferiors.  Well, only an
"approximation" could be exported.

Sorry I am too lazy to search, but I think I remember that at the time
Pierre sent -- probably in the mega thread :-) -- a small script to
extract relevant information from <profile>/manifest; the preliminary
for '--export-manifest'. :-)

Otherwise, let open <profile>/manifest, write an Emacs macro and extract
the relevant information. ;-)

Well, because I hit the same problem some time ago -- well when I raised
or revived the discussion about this conversion -- I fixed for myself by
converting by hand some profiles and totally changed my workflow.

Now, I never use "guix install" but always "guix package -m".  For
temporary test, I extend the profile with "guix environment" which is on
purpose because it is a temporary profile; if it is worth, I add the
package to the manifest file.

(Sometimes, I run "guix install foo -p /tmp/foo" to test something
temporary, mainly when I try to figure out an issue that has been

Each time, I run "guix package -m" or "guix update", then I run in the
same time "guix describe" and track the output.

Well, I have 2 kind of manifests:

 - the ones of my setup, living under ~/.config/guix/manifests and where
   I applied some recipe of [1]
 - the ones of projects I work on, living in the project folder

and each manifest is accompanied by channel.scm (guix describe -f).  And
I have almost no package in ~/.guix-profile but they live separated
profiles (Emacs, Python, Apps, etc.).

All the best,


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