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Re: How did you handle making a GNU/Linux distribution?

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: How did you handle making a GNU/Linux distribution?
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2021 17:38:56 +0200

Hi Sage,

On Sat, 21 Aug 2021 at 22:18, Sage Gerard <> wrote:

> My name is Sage. I wrote a cross-platform Guix-like package manager
> called Xiden. It applies functional package management to the Racket
> ecosystem. It is also free software under the GPLv3. The source is
> available at zyrolasting/xiden on Github, pending migration to a new host.

Oh thanks! :-)

> I'm at the point where users are requesting a GNU/Linux distribution for
> Xiden, such that Racket is the primary language for day-to-day
> operation. I'm ignorant of the scope of work, and am unsure if I can do
> it alone.  My understanding is that you had to bootstrap your entire
> toolchain and address Ken Thompson's compiler hack from a different
> angle. Is that right?

Well, from my understanding, Guix (package manager) and Guix System
(OS on the top) are not about bootstrap.  If you give a look at one of
the first public presentations:


then bootstrap the whole toolchain was not on topic (at least not
explicitly listed).  Reducing the bootstrap seed came later and
gradually, for instance see:


> I'd greatly appreciate learning how you all built Guix's GNU/Linux
> distribution so that I can prepare a realistic roadmap and recruit help
> where necessary. I'm bad at both of those things, but if there is any
> opportunity to collaborate on implementation details based on Xiden's
> progress, I am happy to give back.

I have read the White Paper and the doc.  I am sorry but I miss which
problem Xiden is solving and how it does.  For instance, I do not
understand what a "launcher" is and what its job is.  Maybe Xiden is a
"workflow" engine?

The bootstrap path of Racket in Guix is not clear to me.  I miss if a
Racket interpreter or compiler in its binary format is used (as
Haskell for instance) or if all is compiled from source using tools
already bootstrapped.  Anyway, I miss what you would like bootstrap?
If you mean a trusted seed in order to start a package collection, you
could use the current Guix binaires---as a starting point.

Well, from my understanding, as Philip said, compile Guile to Racket
linklets seems something promising. :-)


All the best,

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