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    Nix works pretty well for the most part, the real friction of it is when you need to do something that doesn’t have its own package/flake or derivation. Though things like Home Manager do definitely help with this as you can easily manage your own derivatives and flakes with it, though most new users won’t actually know Home Manager exists and that’s a sort of community contention point.

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      I’ve found it to be pretty easy if it’s similar enough to something that you can copy-paste the derivation. As a bonus, it’s way more natural to do than it is to package a .deb or whatever. The downside is that if you need to do anything weird, you’re in for a bad time.

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        Yeah, I agree with that. The second you need to do anything out of the normal it becomes a hellscape.

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          I’ve considered trying Guix because I think Nix is really held back by its language and design (why are packages functions????) but I don’t want to go from a niche distro to an even more niche one. :/

          (I also worry about the fact that it’s a GNU project, but that’s a separate issue.)

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            Guix is so weird.. it’s like they took nix but decided to make it only-free and use a lisp for configs

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              I know there’s a “nonguix” package list somewhere… but you’re not allowed to talk about it on official Guix channels, even if someone asks, because it’s a GNU project.

              TBH I don’t really care about the choice of language that much, I just really think Nix is a bad language and the heavy use of functions and lazy evaluation was a really bad idea.

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                There are other places to ask things both something like this or just tele/irc/discord/matrix channels that are not the official one.

                Here’s how you reproduce your system, first: guix describe --format=channels > channels.scm then: guix pull -C channels.scm and do guix system/home reconfigure..

                The channel system is simpler than what nix does, it’s just a thin wrapper around git afaik. Guix cares a lot about bootstrapping so keeping track of the version of guix that is compatible with your package is possible. In nix when they update the code then old derivations may no longer build… so much for reproducibility.

                Guix may actually cure some of the GNU stigma (finally!) … it feels like it is on the doorstep of the future.

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                  TBH I still find “we don’t talk about nonguix” annoying. I have similar frustrations with emacs and the fact that you have to explicitly add melpa. Though to be fair, it’s worse with emacs because almost all the really good emacs packages are on MELPA, whereas you could probably get by fine without nonguix as long as your hardware supports it.

                  Does guix describe include information about the list of installed packages or whatever? It looks to me like it’s just the state of all your channels, which is good, but it’s not what I would call a reproduction.

                  Overall though Guix looks very interesting, and I think more work in the space of declarative package managers/operating systems is always welcome! I look forward to seeing what comes out of it :)

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                    Look, I agree that it is kind of annoying to be treated like a child and placing a flat ban on relevant technical discussion but there’s not really an issue.. Guix is free software and there is plenty of alternative (communication) channels where everyone hangs out (so they are just as “official” in many ways). You can easily make your own (guix) channel and package whatever you want (or work with others and establish communal channels like guixrus or nonguix).

                    Does guix describe include information about the list of installed packages or whatever? It looks to me like it’s just the state of all your channels, which is good, but it’s not what I would call a reproduction.

                    No, that is what your config is for. Guix describe is there to tell you the state of guix itself, which is (clearly) also an element in reproducing the desired software.

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                      Aha. Yeah, it’s frustrating to me that Nix doesn’t reify the channel state nicely by default. I think this is one of the things that flakes solve: when I look at /etc/nixos/flake.lock I get a list of the git hashes of each flake I have and such. I think that the version of nix I use is determined by what the nixpkgs flake gives me, but I’m not sure.

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                  Yeah that’s fair enough, I don’t have anything against Lisps, but just feels weird to use them as a config.

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                    I’ve only ever used a lisp for emacs config, and it’s actually been alright. You can write some pretty compact DSLs using quoting.

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              The second you need to do anything out of the normal it becomes a hellscape.

              But that’s pretty much also true if you just want to build anything ‘out of the normal’ just once. On the plus side, nixpkgs has the largest set of packages out there.

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                Well I mean more of trying to make a derivation for anything out of the norm it’s a bit of a hellscape. Say for example I want to create a derivation for some programming language I’m making so I can update it via nix, it’s a bit of a hellscape compared to something like arch’s BUILDPKG where it’s practically just a glorified shell script.

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                  From my point of view, a nix derivation is a glorified shell script and some meta data.

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                    I mean sure, but considering PKGBUILD is literally just a shell script with variables and functions lol

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            What is Home Manager and how does it help? The docs seem pretty focused on how to use it and not what it is helping with: https://nix-community.github.io/home-manager/

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              Think of it like a nix system configuration but for your specific user/home directory. It allows you to have a nix config for stuff like per-user SSH keys, derivations, packages per-user, etc. Pretty handy when you have a multi-user system and want each user to be able to have their dotfile configuration in a similar format to /etc/nixos/configuration.nix.

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                Very cool, thank you