The primary audience of the
guix refresh command is developers
of the GNU software distribution. By default, it reports any packages
provided by the distribution that are outdated compared to the latest
upstream version, like this:
$ guix refresh gnu/packages/gettext.scm:29:13: gettext would be upgraded from 0.18.1.1 to 0.18.2.1 gnu/packages/glib.scm:77:12: glib would be upgraded from 2.34.3 to 2.37.0
Alternately, one can specify packages to consider, in which case a warning is emitted for packages that lack an updater:
$ guix refresh coreutils guile guile-ssh gnu/packages/ssh.scm:205:2: warning: no updater for guile-ssh gnu/packages/guile.scm:136:12: guile would be upgraded from 2.0.12 to 2.0.13
guix refresh browses the upstream repository of each package and determines
the highest version number of the releases therein. The command
knows how to update specific types of packages: GNU packages, ELPA
packages, etc.—see the documentation for --type below. There
are many packages, though, for which it lacks a method to determine
whether a new upstream release is available. However, the mechanism is
extensible, so feel free to get in touch with us to add a new method!
--update, it modifies distribution source files to
update the version numbers and source tarball hashes of those package
recipes (see Defining Packages). This is achieved by downloading
each package’s latest source tarball and its associated OpenPGP
signature, authenticating the downloaded tarball against its signature
gpg, and finally computing its hash. When the public
key used to sign the tarball is missing from the user’s keyring, an
attempt is made to automatically retrieve it from a public key server;
when this is successful, the key is added to the user’s keyring; otherwise,
guix refresh reports an error.
The following options are supported:
Consider the package expr evaluates to.
This is useful to precisely refer to a package, as in this example:
guix refresh -l -e '(@@ (gnu packages commencement) glibc-final)'
This command lists the dependents of the “final” libc (essentially all the packages.)
Update distribution source files (package recipes) in place. This is usually run from a checkout of the Guix source tree (see Running Guix Before It Is Installed):
$ ./pre-inst-env guix refresh -s non-core -u
See Defining Packages, for more information on package definitions.
Select all the packages in subset, one of
core subset refers to all the packages at the core of the
distribution—i.e., packages that are used to build “everything
else”. This includes GCC, libc, Binutils, Bash, etc. Usually,
changing one of these packages in the distribution entails a rebuild of
all the others. Thus, such updates are an inconvenience to users in
terms of build time or bandwidth used to achieve the upgrade.
non-core subset refers to the remaining packages. It is
typically useful in cases where an update of the core packages would be
Select only packages handled by updater (may be a comma-separated list of updaters). Currently, updater may be one of:
the updater for GNU packages;
the updater for GNOME packages;
the updater for KDE packages;
the updater for X.org packages;
the updater for packages hosted on kernel.org;
the updater for ELPA packages;
the updater for CRAN packages;
the updater for Bioconductor R packages;
the updater for CPAN packages;
the updater for PyPI packages.
the updater for RubyGems packages.
the updater for GitHub packages.
the updater for Hackage packages.
the updater for Stackage packages.
the updater for Crates packages.
For instance, the following command only checks for updates of Emacs
packages hosted at
elpa.gnu.org and for updates of CRAN packages:
$ guix refresh --type=elpa,cran gnu/packages/statistics.scm:819:13: r-testthat would be upgraded from 0.10.0 to 0.11.0 gnu/packages/emacs.scm:856:13: emacs-auctex would be upgraded from 11.88.6 to 11.88.9
guix refresh can be passed one or more package
names, as in this example:
$ ./pre-inst-env guix refresh -u emacs idutils email@example.com
The command above specifically updates the
idutils packages. The
--select option would have no
effect in this case.
When considering whether to upgrade a package, it is sometimes
convenient to know which packages would be affected by the upgrade and
should be checked for compatibility. For this the following option may
be used when passing
guix refresh one or more package names:
List available updaters and exit (see --type above.)
For each updater, display the fraction of packages it covers; at the end, display the fraction of packages covered by all these updaters.
List top-level dependent packages that would need to be rebuilt as a result of upgrading one or more packages.
reverse-package type of
guix graph, for information on how to visualize the list of
dependents of a package.
Be aware that the
--list-dependent option only
approximates the rebuilds that would be required as a result of
an upgrade. More rebuilds might be required under some circumstances.
$ guix refresh --list-dependent flex Building the following 120 packages would ensure 213 dependent packages are rebuilt: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com …
The command above lists a set of packages that could be built to check
for compatibility with an upgraded
The following options can be used to customize GnuPG operation:
Use command as the GnuPG 2.x command. command is searched
Handle missing OpenPGP keys according to policy, which may be one of:
Always download missing OpenPGP keys from the key server, and add them to the user’s GnuPG keyring.
Never try to download missing OpenPGP keys. Instead just bail out.
When a package signed with an unknown OpenPGP key is encountered, ask the user whether to download it or not. This is the default behavior.
Use host as the OpenPGP key server when importing a public key.
github updater uses the
GitHub API to query for new
releases. When used repeatedly e.g. when refreshing all packages,
GitHub will eventually refuse to answer any further API requests. By
default 60 API requests per hour are allowed, and a full refresh on all
GitHub packages in Guix requires more than this. Authentication with
GitHub through the use of an API token alleviates these limits. To use
an API token, set the environment variable
GUIX_GITHUB_TOKEN to a
token procured from https://github.com/settings/tokens or