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2.1 Binary Installation

This section describes how to install Guix on an arbitrary system from a self-contained tarball providing binaries for Guix and for all its dependencies. This is often quicker than installing from source, which is described in the next sections. The only requirement is to have GNU tar and Xz.

Installing goes along these lines:

  1. Download the binary tarball from ‘ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/guix/guix-binary-0.12.0.system.tar.xz’, where system is x86_64-linux for an x86_64 machine already running the kernel Linux, and so on.

    Make sure to download the associated .sig file and to verify the authenticity of the tarball against it, along these lines:

    $ wget ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/guix/guix-binary-0.12.0.system.tar.xz.sig
    $ gpg --verify guix-binary-0.12.0.system.tar.xz.sig
    

    If that command fails because you do not have the required public key, then run this command to import it:

    $ gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys BCA689B636553801C3C62150197A5888235FACAC
    

    and rerun the gpg --verify command.

  2. As root, run:
    # cd /tmp
    # tar --warning=no-timestamp -xf \
         guix-binary-0.12.0.system.tar.xz
    # mv var/guix /var/ && mv gnu /
    

    This creates /gnu/store (see The Store) and /var/guix. The latter contains a ready-to-use profile for root (see next step.)

    Do not unpack the tarball on a working Guix system since that would overwrite its own essential files.

    The --warning=no-timestamp option makes sure GNU tar does not emit warnings about “implausibly old time stamps” (such warnings were triggered by GNU tar 1.26 and older; recent versions are fine.) They stem from the fact that all the files in the archive have their modification time set to zero (which means January 1st, 1970.) This is done on purpose to make sure the archive content is independent of its creation time, thus making it reproducible.

  3. Make root’s profile available under ~/.guix-profile:
    # ln -sf /var/guix/profiles/per-user/root/guix-profile \
             ~root/.guix-profile
    
  4. Create the group and user accounts for build users as explained below (see Build Environment Setup).
  5. Run the daemon, and set it to automatically start on boot.

    If your host distro uses the systemd init system, this can be achieved with these commands:

    # ln -s ~root/.guix-profile/lib/systemd/system/guix-daemon.service \
            /etc/systemd/system/
    # systemctl start guix-daemon && systemctl enable guix-daemon
    

    If your host distro uses the Upstart init system:

    # ln -s ~root/.guix-profile/lib/upstart/system/guix-daemon.conf /etc/init/
    # start guix-daemon
    

    Otherwise, you can still start the daemon manually with:

    # ~root/.guix-profile/bin/guix-daemon --build-users-group=guixbuild
    
  6. Make the guix command available to other users on the machine, for instance with:
    # mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
    # cd /usr/local/bin
    # ln -s /var/guix/profiles/per-user/root/guix-profile/bin/guix
    

    It is also a good idea to make the Info version of this manual available there:

    # mkdir -p /usr/local/share/info
    # cd /usr/local/share/info
    # for i in /var/guix/profiles/per-user/root/guix-profile/share/info/* ;
      do ln -s $i ; done
    

    That way, assuming /usr/local/share/info is in the search path, running info guix will open this manual (see Other Info Directories in GNU Texinfo, for more details on changing the Info search path.)

  7. To use substitutes from hydra.gnu.org or one of its mirrors (see Substitutes), authorize them:
    # guix archive --authorize < ~root/.guix-profile/share/guix/hydra.gnu.org.pub
    

This completes root-level install of Guix. Each user will need to perform additional steps to make their Guix environment ready for use, see Application Setup.

You can confirm that Guix is working by installing a sample package into the root profile:

# guix package -i hello

The guix package must remain available in root’s profile, or it would become subject to garbage collection—in which case you would find yourself badly handicapped by the lack of the guix command. In other words, do not remove guix by running guix package -r guix.

The binary installation tarball can be (re)produced and verified simply by running the following command in the Guix source tree:

make guix-binary.system.tar.xz

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