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Non-privileged daemons and offloading

From: Ben Woodcroft
Subject: Non-privileged daemons and offloading
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2016 23:07:38 +1000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.8.0

Hi there,

I've recently gotten access to a supercomputer where I don't have sudo, and I'm trying to hatch a plan to run guix packaged programs. Unfortunately, I don't have anything substantial like a container-based build environment to add here, only a potential workaround idea.

I could run the daemon normally as a regular user, but I'm afraid of the issues that arise due to inability to chroot as described in the manual. Instead, I'm considering offloading the builds to a separate machine, where a guix-daemon runs as sudo and so can run builds in the chroot. IIUC, this gets around the issue of impurities in builds while not requiring sudo.

One hole the plan I can see is that at least according to the manual, offloads are defined in "/etc/guix/machines.scm" which as a regular user I cannot modify. Is there any other way to specify offload machines e.g. via an argument to 'guix-daemon'? Is there any better ways to go about this whole thing in general?


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