[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Newbie: What's the importance of *.drv, *.-builder, etc. files in /g
Re: Newbie: What's the importance of *.drv, *.-builder, etc. files in /gnu/store?
Sat, 08 Apr 2023 09:35:10 +0200
K-9 Mail for Android
Going step by step, Guix performs the following.
First, it needs to download the original sources of the package. When creating
a store item, most of the time, the guix daemon is involved.
The daemon's purpose is to take a lower-level representation of a build
procedure and turn that into an isolated build environment. This is called a
*derivation* and it is stored in the store as a `drv` file. For downloading a
file, the derivation simply contains the URL to download and the daemon
performs the download itself, so no isolated environment is required here.
Then, the package contains a directive that informs Guix there is some sort of
change to make in the source. There is an issue in the upstream sources, and we
need to apply a patch. A `.patch` file is a standard file used in many projects
to represent one or more changes to a file or a directory. It's not specific to
To apply the file, the daemon needs to create an isolated build environment
where it can apply the patch. Although a derivation can specify how to make a
build environment (it specifies inputs (dependencies), the type of system,
expected output, etc), it does not say *what* to do with it.
The guix daemon does not run inside the isolated build environment (the
"build-side"), but it needs to run something in it to get things done, somehow.
This is the role of the builder, which is created by Guix and is derived from
the package definition. It's a standalone Guile script that is executed on the
On the build-side, the builder extracts the original archive, applies the patch
and archives the result as a new `.tar.xz` file.
Now, Guix is ready to build transmission. To do so, it creates a new derivation
`.drv` that instructs the daemon how to make the isolated environment for
building it, and a builder `-builder` that the daemon will execute inside the
environment. The build results in the transmission outputs.
To summarize, Guix needs to:
- Download original sources, which creates a derivation (drv) and results in
downloading a tar.xz to the store.
- Put a patch (.patch) in the store from its own sources, which doesn't create
a derivation. This is because a derivation can only refer to another store item.
- Apply the patch to the sources, which creates a derivation (.drv) and a
builder (tar.xz-builder) that result in creating a modified tar.xz in the store.
- Build the transmission package, which creates a derivation (drv) and a
builder (-builder) that result in the transmission outputs you wanted in the