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Re: bug#45919: [PATCH 0/8] Exporting a manifest and channels from a prof

From: Pierre Neidhardt
Subject: Re: bug#45919: [PATCH 0/8] Exporting a manifest and channels from a profile
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2021 18:26:10 +0100


Ludovic Courtès <> writes:

> Here are practical issues that come to mind:
>   • It would only work for newer profiles, created after the feature has
>     been implemented (maybe that’s okay).

Indeed, I think it's OK! :)

>   • The generated files might use APIs that, in the meantime, got
>     deprecated or changed somehow.  This is in contrast with
>     ‘--export-profile’, which interprets ‘manifest’ (a versioned file
>     format) and produces code that can use the API du jour.

/run/current-system/configuration.scm suffers from the same problem.
But with the manifest we could do better, we could include a version
number one way or another.
Besides, since it comes together with channels.scm, we know which Guix
was used, so we always have access to the Guix with the right API to
install the manifest.

All in all, I think this is not a problem.

>   • One would still have to learn about these two files, and pick the
>     right “manifest” file.

I think it would be easier than a command. See below.

>   • For users of ‘-m my-manifest.scm’, we would need to store
>     ‘my-manifest.scm’ as is instead of generating an approximation
>     thereof.

Which seems easy to do, isn't it?

Another use-case which I find useful and comes close to this feature is
that of channel/manifest versioning, in the sense of keeping these files
under version control for instance in a Git repository.  This can be
useful to keep the history of everything, even deleted generations, or
even in case of hardware failure.

To that end, it'd be nice if we could export these files automatically
to a designated location.

Example: I update ~/my-profile and it automatically produces / overwrite
~/repos/guix-profile-metadata.git/my-profile/channels.scm and

This way I can commit these 2 files in my guix-profile-metadata.git

Food for thoughts :)

Pierre Neidhardt

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