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Package definition hash calculation

From: Zelphir Kaltstahl
Subject: Package definition hash calculation
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2022 11:09:27 +0000

Hello Guix users!

I feel a bit stupid to ask about this topic again, however, to me it is not really clear, what I need to do, when calculating the hash of a package, so that I can write it in the package definition.

I have a project (, which I have packaged before, but that was already a year ago or so, and I forgot the precise process involving the hashes.

I have the following questions:

(1) When I edit the `guix.scm` file and change the hash in there, make a tarball release on notabug, and then run `guix download <tarball of release>`, I get a new hash. If I edit the guix.scm file again and repeat the process, I get a new hash … endless loop of getting a new hash and changing the file accordingly. My guess is, that this is, because `guix download` does not exclude the `guix.scm` file. I would have to manually make a `tar.gz` and upload that as a release to notabug and then reference that. – Is this correct?

(2) I guess I should be using `guix hash --exclude-vcs --serializer=nar --format=??? .` instead, since my package definition makes use of the `git-fetch` method of fetching the package. I had totally forgotten about this, until I searched in old e-mails, reading old replies to previous questions I asked on this mailing list. I think it could be made clearer in the docs, which command to use in which case. However, now I am not sure which `--format=` I should use. I would guess `base32`, because in my package definition it says `(sha256 (base32 "..."))`. Is this correct? Or is the default fine?

(3) What is the recommended way to update a package's source code and then "in one go" calculate the hash, update the `guix.scm` and make a proper release, which only has the appropriate files in the tarball?

(4) Should a release tarball contain a `guix.scm` package definition? (My guess is not, since the hash in that file changes and that would change the tarball. Maybe I am overlooking things/magic though.)

I am feeling like I am stuck in what should be a simple process, because I still have some points that are unclear to me. I try updating my guide to packaging a pure Guile package when I learn new things, so that I can read up next time I want to make a release or a new package, but a few things are still missing or unclear.

Thank you for all your help!

Best regards,


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