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Re: "System Package" vs "System Service"

From: Danny Milosavljevic
Subject: Re: "System Package" vs "System Service"
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2019 18:41:36 +0200


On Sun, 28 Apr 2019 11:59:59 -0400
Raghav Gururajan <address@hidden> wrote:

> I have this confusion/doubt. What is the difference between declaring
> something as "System Package" vs "System Service" in the Guix System
> Configuration?

A package is a thing that is present in your system and just stays put,
similar to a chair or any other passive object.  If you want, you can
move the chair yourself or whatever, but it won't do things for you
except incidentially.

A service is an active process that, if you ask it to, will do work for you
in order to reach a long-term goal.  The level of detail you have to specify
when requesting the service is usually very low compared to what work will
actually be carried out.
For example a hairdressing service provides you the service of cutting
your hair to a fashionable style.

A chair and a hairdressing service are fundamentally different.

Tor usually provides a proxy service (at port 9050) which will proxy all
your network traffic through it, with the goal of improving your privacy.

It's difficult to see what you need the tor package to be installed for--
because the service will already provide the proxying.  If you want
tor admin tools, you can of course install those (probably as user

For reference, I have ten system packages in addition to %base-packages
(there are 40 in the latter currently) and I'm a heavy guix user.
If anything, I expect both counts to decrease over time.

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