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Re: Help with preparing to move from Arch Linux to Guix

From: Doron Behar
Subject: Re: Help with preparing to move from Arch Linux to Guix
Date: Sat, 11 May 2019 17:04:44 +0300
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

Thanks Znavko!

You sure has some awesome blog posts there.. I guess it's not as bad as
I thought but I do understand now that in fact it's more complicated
then I thought.. I'm not sure what's my opinion about it yet..

On Sat, May 11, 2019 at 06:06:10AM +0000, address@hidden wrote:
> Hello! While you haven't get the answer by some hackers I offer you to read 
> znavko's blog where links to manuals are collected:
> (
> The limitation of saving files into '/etc/' directory does not exist, as I 
> know. You may put your own files there, but only configuration files will be 
> modified there by running `guix system reconfigure confis.scm`.
> Now I have there old files dhcpd.conf and sddm.conf from my previous 
> generations where I had these services. And even after removing those 
> generation and garbage collection they remain there. So, there are no such 
> limitation for '/etc/'.
> Yes, Arch has awesome docs, I've been using it for configure touchpad tap for 
> slim configuration in Guix System's config.
> Sometimes it is difficult to understand how to use strings and types in 
> config.scm, what is G-expression, why to use twice '(xorg-configuration 
> (xorg-configuration ...))' and other quirks.
> All the configurations should be passed to your system config file config.scm 
> that is using in `guix system reconfigure config.scm`. All the services 
> accept configurations only from there. I think it is not proper way to edit 
> those files in '/etc/' after `guix system reconfigure ..`.
> Cannot say about configs for samba, vpn, may be you'll get info reading 
> package definitions here 
> (
> znavko.
> May 10, 2019 9:50 PM, "Doron Behar" <address@hidden (mailto:address@hidden)> 
> wrote:
>  Hello Guix community,
> I'm very excited ever since I've discovered Guix. I have been using Arch
> Linux user for years and everything I've found annoying with Arch Linux
> (especially as a maintainer of a few AUR packages), finally has an
> elegant and robust solution.
> I haven't done the transition yet. There are still around 100 packages I
> use on my Arch installation which are not available on Guix and I guess
> I'll need to contribute their Guile definitions my self.
> My main question though, regards general system configuration. I have a
> Guix 1.0.0 image burned on a USB which I boot to every once in a while
> to prepare my self for the transition. I must say that while I've
> inspected the filesystem of the installation media, I was astounded by
> the genius design of it! I can see how it all works (notably the
> symlinks) and I can see how it wonderfully enables the reproducibility
> and rollback features of Guix.
> Anyway, to come to the bottom of it, I've searched the documentation and
> couldn't find an answer regarding what-so-ever configurations in `/etc/`.
> Pretty much everything that makes Arch Linux impressive, is it's
> documentation on the aspect of everything that is needed to be put in
> every file in `/etc/` so the system can be tweaked exactly the way one
> wishes.
> I noticed that in Guix, all the files in /etc/ are read only. I
> understand why - `guix system` is responsible for reading a Scheme file
> that will create an etc store that will be used for the configuration of
> the whole system and I'm not supposed to touch anything in /etc/
> manually.. But, I couldn't find how to generally do stuff there.
> I have dozens of very personal configurations I've done in my current
> Arch system's /etc/ which I have no clue how to port them all and make
> sure all of them are picked in the transition. Here are just a few
> examples:
> - tinc (VPN software): This one expects to find cryptographic key files
> to in `/etc/tinc/`.
> - samba: Where do I define my shares?
> - pam: gnome keyring daemon autostart on login (Arch documents how to
> achieve this without a login manager, see
> (
> - vconsole.conf: just another example for a file I've put some stuff in.
> I noticed that there is a section in the manual called: Services (#8.8)
> and it shows the built-in support of Guix to many common services such
> as printing for example. Printing is a good example where I don't
> understand how it's supposed to actually work at the end. When one adds
> a printer using the Web UI in http://localhost:631 (http://localhost:631) , 
> files in
> `/etc/cups/` are modified and this is not tracked by `/etc/config.scm` I
> suppose.. Most importantly, one cannot predict the contents of these
> files after a printer is added. Not to mention that `/etc/` is all
> readonly!
> And there is so much more.. Additionally, some files in my current
> /etc/, have passwords written in them and I wonder whether it's
> considered safe to put these strings right away in `/etc/config.scm`..
> Anyway, I hope this email is not too long and I could get some pointers
> to places I missed in the documentation..
> Thanks, Doron.

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