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Re: Multiple profiles with Guix Home

From: andrew
Subject: Re: Multiple profiles with Guix Home
Date: Fri, 27 May 2022 15:52:59 +0300

On 2022-05-26 01:36, Liliana Marie Prikler wrote:

> Hi,
> Am Mittwoch, dem 25.05.2022 um 14:01 +0300 schrieb Andrew Tropin:
>> On 2022-05-24 20:31, Liliana Marie Prikler wrote:
>> > Hi,
>> > 
>> > Am Dienstag, dem 24.05.2022 um 14:55 +0300 schrieb Andrew Tropin:
>> > 
>> > > On 2022-05-23 19:05, Liliana Marie Prikler wrote:
>> > > > [...]
>> > > > I don't think I agree with this choice.  To satisfy both my own
>> > > > use case of serving profiles in different locations from
>> > > > another and another issue being raised w.r.t. configuring the
>> > > > location of the .guix-home profile, I think we should make a
>> > > > triple of location, optional short name, and manifest (which
>> > > > may be generated from packages implicitly).  WDYT?
>> > > > 
>> > > 
>> > > This service is intended for profiles managed by Guix Home, so
>> > > every profile MUST be a part of home-environment (~/.guix-home is
>> > > a symlink to it).  I don't see any meaningful reasons to make it
>> > > possible to customize the path inside home-environment.
>> > Why though?  The decision to restrict Guix Home to dotfiles was
>> > already a bad one that has since been overturned, so I think we
>> > should carefully evaluate why "~/.guix-home" even is special.  In
>> > my point of view, any path that is prefixed with the user's home
>> > ought to be fair game, as should be constructing intermediate per-
>> > user profile symlinks in /var/guix.
>> It's not bad, it had and has its own goals, pros and cons, I found
>> another design descision, which we think is more intuitive, but still
>> partially serving original goals and we switched to it.  The
>> disucssion about ~/.guix-home symlink itself is unrelated to both
>> "dotfiles question" and my original statement.
> Perhaps it's only tangentially related, but it highlights a point of
> contention that I have with Guix Home overall, being that it takes a
> few very idiosyncratic "shortcuts", that I don't think make too much
> sense in the wider sense of Guix.  Consider %profile-directory, for
> example.  I can't see it anywhere in the code for Guix Home, so I
> assume generations are currently littered into the user home.  The
> specific choice of moving ~/.guix-profile to ~/.guix-home is another.
> Assume I only want to use Guix Home for one or two config files, well
> nope you can't unless you're willing to move you packages as well or
> willing to have a pointless symlink that you didn't ask for.

~/.guix-profile is independent from ~/.guix-home and you don't need to
move all the packages to Guix Home if you don't want it.

The profile management is the same as for Guix System.

~/.guix-home is a synonym to /run/current-system.

Customization of ~/.guix-home location is potentially troublesome and
was removed in October 2021.

> Don't get me wrong, this is still mostly about managing multiple
> profiles with Guix Home, but the way I see it, Guix Home's own profile
> management could also be improved.
>> All dot/xdg/other files belong to home-environment and no side-
>> effects are done during the build of home-environment, the only side-
>> effects happens during activation and $HOME touched only by symlink-
>> manager and I would like to keep it to be the case, otherwise we will
>> end up with tons of stateful ad-hoc hacks.
> I struggle to see how my proposal would complicate that other than
> adding more jobs to symlink manager (perhaps?).  For what it's worth, I
> do think that job could be much simplified too by storing the symlinks
> in an association list
> (("~/path/to/symlink" "/gnu/store/path/to/target") ...),
> which could be part of a Guix Home "profile" just like manifest.scm is
> part of a normal Guix profile.  The activation script would then read
> this table, expand "~" (as well as check that it is the first letter i
> each of the first paths) and create the symlinks according to spec. 
> Best of all, it doesn't even matter that much if the target is in the
> store, in /var/guix/profiles/per-user, or even another place relative
> to ~.  

A little too abstract/general, let's see how it goes during

> Note that I believe that at the point of writing this file variables
> such as $XDG_CONFIG_HOME should already have been resolved relative to
> $HOME, with the former being specified in home-configuration or
> assuming their usual defaults.  YMMV on whether that's actually useful,
> one could alternatively allow $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/ etc. as leading
> sequences too, though that invites more errors when experimenting with
> homeless shelters outside of clean shells.
>> That said, I would like to avoid any Guix Home logic to rely on paths
>> outside of home-environment.  In case you really need
>> ~/work/my-project/guix-profile to be created for some reason you can
>> extend home-files-service-type and rely on symlink-manager to do this
>> dirty job, but the setup-environment script will still source
>> home-environment/profiles/your-profile-name and won't know anything
>> about ~/work/my-project/guix-profile.
> Sounds dirty.
>> > 
>> > 
>> > > 
> Cheers

Best regards,
Andrew Tropin

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