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Re: Hosting a GuixSD server on commodity hosting platforms, a journey

From: Tobias Geerinckx-Rice
Subject: Re: Hosting a GuixSD server on commodity hosting platforms, a journey
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2016 00:20:35 +0100
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[If ‘commodity’ means ‘whatever this OpenStack thing might be’, or
anything involving comparison of pets to cattle, this is not that. But
this caught my eye:]

On 02/12/16 20:51, Christopher Baines wrote:
> Thanks for looking in to this Chris! I'm using Bytemark for personal 
> servers, and have tried and failed to install Guix from a Debian
> live cd.

Interesting. That should work.

I've been running a pure (from scratch) GuixSD VPS[0] for the better
half of a year. I bootstrapped from a provider-supplied SystemRescueCD
image, since it has all required packages pre-installed, but any sane
live system should do.

Partition and format the target device. Mount that. Upload
shiny-new-system.scm. Get your swapon. Bind mount /gnu, /var/guix and
/tmp from temporary directories on /mnt, to prevent ‘guix system init
/mnt’ filling up the RAM disc. Watch the builds scroll by. Reboot. Done.

If I forgot anything, it can't have been much.

A similar approach should work on all hosting providers that support
booting live CDs that can run out of RAM. I suspect one could ‘snapshot’
the base system on providers that support it, to spin up additional
instances faster. I haven't tried; installing from scratch is just as
easy and keeps the bits fresh.

No idea how this relates to ‘commodity hosting’: SystemRescueCD happens
to require console access to set the root password for SSH, but after
that the entire deployment can be scripted. Mine are.

It's as far from underdocumented (to the point of being proprietary)
image layouts and shiny ‘API’s as possible, which is a nice bonus. :-)

Kind regards,


[0]: <>: I happily endorse them, and can't wait to
send them a ‘Please add GuixSD-1.0.iso’ ticket when the time comes.

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