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Installer, recommended store size and hardware detection

From: Pierre Neidhardt
Subject: Installer, recommended store size and hardware detection
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2019 15:13:22 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

Hi Guix!

During the Guix days we talked about the graphical installer and more
specifically about the recommended partition size to host the store.

Question for everyone:

    How much do you allocate to the store?

I don't think that a rule like "10% of the disk" is really what we
need.  The store "recommended size" does not grow linearly in my
understanding (but I could be missing a point).

I've tried with 25GB: it's way too painful.
Alex Kost once told me that he used 50GB and needn't `guix gc` for about
a year.

Too small a partition for the store can lead to a painful Guix
experience.  We don't want to frustrate newcomers.

Frustration typically occurs when the partition is full and the
user must run `guix gc`.  Running `guix gc` can lead to packages being
re-downloaded, etc.  This is even more painful on slow connections.

Of course, we all make different uses of Guix and the rate at which the
store gets filled may vary a lot from user to user.  It seems hard to
"recommend" something universal.  Let me try anyways:

  "How much space to we need so that the store does not get filled
  before a year with a default desktop.scm (with GNOME?), running weekly
  updates (i.e. about 52 times)."

This will take some time to measure ;)

I'm not sure we need to partition at all: is it a problem to use the
full disk?  If the user really wants to keep the store separate, we
could document a recommended minimum of 50GB for instance.

On a similar note, what do you think about adding hardware detection to
the installation process and help create a config.scm with the right
values for a specific machine?

Lewo from the Nix community told me they have hardware detection in
their config generation script:

What do you people think?

Pierre Neidhardt

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