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Re: Early feedback on Guix Home

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Early feedback on Guix Home
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2021 12:25:21 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.2 (gnu/linux)


Andrew Tropin <> skribis:

> Ludovic Courtès <> writes:


>> I found ‘symlink-manager.scm’, which is what I was looking for, but
>> that code is fairly complex.
> Yep, perhaps it a little monstous)  Maybe cleaning it up is a good idea
> before sending the patch to guix.

That’d be great.

>> Possible actions:
>>   1. Provide a ‘guix home init’ command (or similar) that creates an
>>      initial Home config based on existing config.
> Xinglu implemented `guix home import`, which creates a simple
> home-environment configuration, which contains the same packages as 
> ~/.guix-profile

Oh nice.  Currently it’s roughly equivalent to ‘guix package
--export-manifest’, which is a good start but it’d be interesting to see
if it can go beyond that.

>>   2. In some cases, such as OpenSSH, provide converters from the native
>>      format to its Scheme equivalent (maybe?).
> It's a good idea and Xinglu also mentioned it, but I find it to be a lot
> of extra work, so I propose to postpone it until next time, IMO it's
> better to focus on moving Guix Home from rde repo first in the current
> state and add new functionality after that step is done, otherwise we
> can stuck with wip-guix-home for months.

Agreed, I’m not saying this should be done before the merge.

>>   3. For each service, provide an escape hatch: a way for users to
>>      provide a raw config file.  We do that for all or most of the Guix
>>      System services, and it helps a lot when people are starting from
>>      an existing config.
> We do it as well, the only difference is that we try to utilize target
> program capabilities or slurp-file-gexp helper for that.
> The first one means that target configuration format allows to use some
> directive to load the content of another file:

Oh great.  Somehow I had overlooked these.

IWBN to have prominent examples of these in the manual—e.g., SSH
configuration that includes a hand-written .ssh/config file.

>> In terms of API, I noticed that in places such as
>> ‘home-bash-configuration’, config snippets are represented as a list of
>> strings (internally passed to ‘mixed-text-file’).  That forces users to
>> mix different languages in their .scm file—e.g., half of my Home config
>> is .bash{rc,_profile} snippets embedded in Scheme strings.  That’s
>> inconvenient.
> Can you elaborate on that please, ideally with some examples.

Currently I have this:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
   (service home-bash-service-type
             (guix-defaults? #t)
             (bash-profile '("\


             (bashrc '("


--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

where I omitted ~30 lines of shell snippets embedded in Scheme strings.

It’d be more convenient if I could instead write:

    (bash-profile (local-file "./bash_profile"))
    (bashrc (local-file "./bashrc")))


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