My crush on GNU Guix

Speaker: Vagrant Cascadian

Track: Other

Type: Long talk (45 minutes)


Room: Yushan (玉山) Live Stream

Time: Aug 03 (Fri), 11:00

Duration: 0:50

GNU Guix is a build system… or is it a package manager… or an operating system? Regardless of what angle you’re looking at it with, it brings a twinkle to my eye lately.

As a user, maintainer and developer of Debian for the past sixteen years, I’ve tried various other Linux distributions but few really seem to offer anything significantly different. Other distros have rarely left me feeling the intense curiosity, excitement and maybe even a bit of swooning that you might find with something genuinely new in your life.

Some of the exciting features of GNU Guix include functional package management, reproducibile builds by design, trivial container and virtual machine instantiation, transactional upgrades and rollbacks, user specific package installation, and user customized packages. There’s even some configuration management built-in.

It’s a relatively new, small developer community. They understand Free Software in ways very similar to Debian. They’re welcoming and make it easy to contribute improvements and fixes large and small.

There are some rough spots, and I’ll try not to glaze over them despite my enthusiasm. The grumpy old sysadmin within will have some thoughts to share as well.

Perhaps most exciting is that love and crushes are not exclusive; Debian and GNU Guix can coexist concurrently on the same running system, it just requires setting some reasonable expectations, and being willing to work some things out now and then.