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      I enjoyed reading this. As a happy guix user, I often struggle to explain why I like certain features to friends and colleagues. This blog post does a great job!

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      I wonder if someone can contribute this for people to hack on Oil – i.e. to run a minimal dev build that Gitpod already runs?

      e.g. click on “Contribute with Gitpod” here:


      And in one step, you will end up with a working bin/osh -c 'echo hi' after installing a bunch of Ubuntu packages and so forth. Gitpod is an online dev environment in the browser. I think it just runs VSCode in the browser, backed by an Ubuntu VM. (I don’t use it myself, but this is a good comparison point.)

      This is the tiny shell function it runs:

      gitpod-minimal() {
        ubuntu-deps   # REPLACE WITH GUIX ?
        test/spec.sh smoke
        set -x
        bin/osh -c 'echo hi'


      Feel free to ping me here or on https://oilshell.zulipchat.com/ if you want to try this out … for either Nix or Guix. I would like to make it easy for people to contribute, and maybe use it myself :-) Although the rest of the build is pretty big.

      Longer comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32927682

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      i have only ever used nix, and maybe read a couple of guix articles, but i envy the clarity of the guix interface.

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        Nix can also provide a shell with all the build dependencies of a package with nix develop. If you just need a temporary shell with a particular package available, nix shell package1 package2 .... I think this is a recent development - it’s still marked experimental. But I used to use nix-shell -p package1 package2 ... at least for the latter. Not sure about the equivalent of nix develop.

        Nix is getting a bit more easy to use as time passes. The new flakes system is also pretty cool - though I still find it a bit intimidating and haven’t fully grokked it yet.