Occasionally you want to pass software to people who are not (yet!)
lucky enough to be using Guix. You’d tell them to run
package -i something, but that’s not possible in this case. This
guix pack comes in.
guix pack command creates a shrink-wrapped pack or
software bundle: it creates a tarball or some other archive
containing the binaries of the software you’re interested in, and all
its dependencies. The resulting archive can be used on any machine that
does not have Guix, and people can run the exact same binaries as those
you have with Guix. The pack itself is created in a bit-reproducible
fashion, so anyone can verify that it really contains the build results
that you pretend to be shipping.
For example, to create a bundle containing Guile, Emacs, Geiser, and all their dependencies, you can run:
$ guix pack guile emacs geiser … /gnu/store/…-pack.tar.gz
The result here is a tarball containing a /gnu/store directory
with all the relevant packages. The resulting tarball contains a
profile with the three packages of interest; the profile is the
same as would be created by
guix package -i. It is this
mechanism that is used to create Guix’s own standalone binary tarball
(see Binary Installation).
Users of this pack would have to run /gnu/store/…-profile/bin/guile to run Guile, which you may find inconvenient. To work around it, you can create, say, a /opt/gnu/bin symlink to the profile:
guix pack -S /opt/gnu/bin=bin guile emacs geiser
That way, users can happily type /opt/gnu/bin/guile and enjoy.
Alternatively, you can produce a pack in the Docker image format using the following command:
guix pack -f docker guile emacs geiser
The result is a tarball that can be passed to the
command. See the
documentation for more information.
Several command-line options allow you to customize your pack:
Produce a pack in the given format.
The available formats are:
This is the default format. It produces a tarball containing all the specifies binaries and symlinks.
This produces a tarball that follows the Docker Image Specification.
Consider the package expr evaluates to.
This has the same purpose as the same-named option in
Attempt to build for system—e.g.,
the system type of the build host.
Cross-build for triplet, which must be a valid GNU triplet, such
"mips64el-linux-gnu" (see GNU
configuration triplets in Autoconf).
Compress the resulting tarball using tool—one of
Add the symlinks specified by spec to the pack. This option can appear several times.
spec has the form
source is the symlink that will be created and target is the
-S /opt/gnu/bin=bin creates a /opt/gnu/bin
symlink pointing to the bin sub-directory of the profile.
Include the “local state directory”, /var/guix, in the resulting pack.
/var/guix contains the store database (see The Store) as well as garbage-collector roots (see Invoking guix gc). Providing it in the pack means that the store is “complete” and manageable by Guix; not providing it pack means that the store is “dead”: items cannot be added to it or removed from it after extraction of the pack.
One use case for this is the Guix self-contained binary tarball (see Binary Installation).
guix pack supports all the common build options
(see Common Build Options) and all the package transformation
options (see Package Transformation Options).