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Re: Installing and Maintaining Packages on a Drive

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: Installing and Maintaining Packages on a Drive
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2019 14:40:33 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.2.0; emacs 26.2

Hi Ricardo,

Ricardo here.

> I would like to be able to install software to a drive that I can
> mount and simply add the directory to my path to use the packages. In
> the event that I need to update them I would like to be able to use
> the stand-alone guix to manipulate the packages, can guix solve my
> problem?

Guix installs all packages to /gnu/store.  It keeps track of the
contents of /gnu/store with a database that’s located at /var/guix by

If /gnu/store and /var/guix (or any other location you pick) are on the
removable drive then you can indeed just attach and remove the drive as
you please.  You can even keep Guix itself (via “guix pull”) on that
same drive and use it to manipulate your profiles wherever you take the

What might be a little annoying is that you would need to mount or map
the drive to /gnu, which is a location that generally can only be used
or modified by the root user.

Another problem you might have to punt on is managing profiles on
machines that don’t have Guix installed.  Guix requires the use of a
daemon, and the existence of unprivileged build user accounts.  You
cannot build anything (not even new profile generations) without a group
of unprivileged build users.

So, taking your software with you is easy, but managing your profile(s)
on machines that don’t have Guix installed and where you don’t have root
access would be harder.


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