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guix build gives `/homeless-shelter' exists; please remove it

From: Phil Beadling
Subject: guix build gives `/homeless-shelter' exists; please remove it
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 18:50:42 +0000

Hi Guixers,

As of last night my Guix installation (on Ubuntu) is giving the following
error when trying to fetch a URL as part of the 'guix build'.  The error
does not happen when downloading the same package using 'guix download':

*guix build: error: directory `/homeless-shelter' exists; please remove it *

It seems to make no difference what the package or or where the URL is
fetched from, I can demonstrate it with any arbitrary file on any website
I've tried so far.

However, if I use 'guix download' I am able to download the package, and
then 'guix build' works as planned, using the copy stored by 'guix

Can anyone point to where I might look to delete the homeless-shelter - or
if this is perhaps a misleading error message?

I have no idea what triggered this - my installation has worked fine for
months - the only thing I can think is that I updated the version and hash
of a package definition in my local channel just before the problem was
noticed - this may of course be coincidence.

I've tried all the obvious stuff - guix pull, bouncing the daemon, etc.

Any ideas?


Here's one example - in order to randomly test a few download locations I
simply updated a package to download from a few locations I know to work
github, pypi, etc - here's an example - the package won't build because
it's hijacked - the point is it doesn't even download the pandas tar ball -
it fails immediately before it even downloads and expands the source.

I then replaced the URL with several other locations and got the same

I also tried a few different package definitions too in case that was the

(define-public gurobipy-950
  (package/inherit gurobipy
                   (name "gurobipy-950")
                   (version "9.5.0")
                   (source (origin
                             (method url-fetch)
*                             (uri


substitute: updating substitutes from ''... 100.0%
substitute: updating substitutes from ''...
The following derivations will be built:
*   /gnu/store/ng2kx8hbgsvch8ssa3bvs47sn50xcddz-pandas-1.3.5.tar.gz.drv*
*guix build: error: directory `/homeless-shelter' exists; please remove it*

now if I 'guix download' the pandas package first the build will continue
without the error.

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