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Swineherd: Guix System container manager

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Swineherd: Guix System container manager
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2023 11:06:55 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.10.5; emacs 28.2

Hi there,

you know the Shepherd: it is an elegant service manager looking after a
herd of daemons.  Since it can be extended with Guile, I decided to do
just that to add an extra skill to the Shepherd, turning it into the

The Swineherd is a manager of Guix System containers.  It is implemented
as a Shepherd service called “swineherd” that lets you manage Guix
System containers as Shepherd services.  These system container services
implement a few common features to bring up bridge networking, execute
commands inside the containers, peek at files, and get simple usage

Swineherd also provides an optional HTTP API server to launch, manage,
and destroy containers through an HTTP client.  This makes the Swineherd
useful for building web applications that launch Guix System containers
on demand.  It comes with an Info manual describing the assumptions, the
required setup, as well as the implemented commands and the HTTP API.

The Swineherd was designed to be used with Shepherd on foreign distros,
so it does not assume to be running on top of Guix System (for better or

You can find the code here:

Of course the Swineherd is also available as a Guix package called

If this tickles your interests I’d be very happy to hear your comments
and incorporate patches to extend it beyond my original requirements.


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