guix as a free software distribution?

14 respuestas [Último envío]
tonlee
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/08/2014

Is it correct, that if a graphical user interface was added
to guix then guix would provide a free software
distribution?

Are the guix packages updated as fast as debian main packages?

I think turning debian into ubuntu and then into trisquel sounds inefficient. I
rather prefer if fsf in cooperation with debian a free software debian
version could get provided. But if for modest money a guix free
software distribution emphasizing security and privacy controlled by gnu could
be made that would be the most favorable approach.

jxself
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/13/2010

"Is it correct, that if a graphical user interface was added to guix then guix would provide a free software distribution?"

Why is this an "if"? Guix already has graphical user interfaces. See the "Discover Guix" part of the website for examples.

And: Guix is already recognized as a "free software distribution." See https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

A graphical user interface is not a requirement to become a "free software distribution." See the criteria on https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html which don't have that as a requirement.

tonlee
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/08/2014

> Guix already has graphical user interfaces

I had not noticed.

> graphical user interface is not a requirement to become a "free software distribution

Correct. My phrasing had to do with getting the option to tell people there is a
free software gnulinux desktop distribution from gnu.

chaosmonk

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I am a translator!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/07/2017

> Is it correct, that if a graphical user interface was added to guix
> then guix would provide a free software distribution?

If you mean GuixSD the distro, then like jxself says, it already
provides several desktop environments. If you mean Guix the package
manager, then perhaps you are asking whether, if there were a graphical
frontend to the package manager Guix could be a viable replacement for
Trisquel?

> Are the guix packages updated as fast as debian main packages?

Guix is rolling, so it's similar to Debian unstable. You don't have
maintainers backporting bug fixes and security updates to frozen package
versions like in Debian stable, but since you're tracking the latest
upstream versions you shouldn't fall behind on security updates. It's
possible that some Guix package are not updated quite as quickly Debian
unstable packages, not as a matter of policy, but due to having less
manpower.

> I think turning debian into ubuntu and then into trisquel sounds
> inefficient.

We don't turn Debian into Ubuntu. Canonical does, so this doesn't make
things less efficient for us. Perhaps you mean less efficient for
everyone, and that it is an waste of human labor to have to modify
Debian at all, and would be better to not have to modify Debian at all,
in which case I agree.

> I rather prefer if fsf in cooperation with debian a free software
> debian version could get provided.

This would be great. I don't know if it is something Debian is
interested in doing.

> But if for modest money a guix free software distribution emphasizing
> security and privacy controlled by gnu could be made that would be the
> most favorable approach.

I think that Guix is very promising in the long term, but it is not
ready for mainstream adoption.

tonlee
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/08/2014

> due to having less manpower.

I would prefer to close trisquel and then direct resources at guix. How is guix made? From
debian? Or which is the source?

> less efficient for everyone

Yes. It is a diversion on the field of free software.

> not ready for mainstream adoption.

Isn't custom that if you call a piece of software version 1 then it is ready
for daily use?

I installed guix. There were several error messages during installation.
I am unable to determine if the errors are able to compromise the security of the system. Maybe
the same errors occur during installation of debian but are not displayed on the
screen. After installation a window asks you to select reboot computer. I did that but
nothing happened. I had to power off with the computer's power button. Turning on
the computer you have to enter the full system encryption psswrd twice. If I want to tune the
backligt, I have to enter the administrative psswrd. su -> apt-get install does not
work. Results in command not found. I do not know how to install synaptic.

chaosmonk

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I am a translator!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/07/2017

> How is guix made? From debian? Or which is the source?

GuixSD is not directly based on any other distro. The package manager,
Guix, is inspired by Nix, but is written from scratch.

> > not ready for mainstream adoption.
>
> Isn't custom that if you call a piece of software version 1 then it is
> ready for daily use?

That is often what it means. I have not actually tried the 1.0 release
yet, but based on this article[1] it seems that most of the issues I ran
into with the last 0.x release I tried have not been fixed.

> I installed guix. There were several error messages during
> installation. I am unable to determine if the errors are able to
> compromise the security of the system.

What were the errors? Maybe the Guix mailing list or IRC can help.

> Maybe the same errors occur during installation of debian but are not
> displayed on the screen.

Debian is a mature distro with a very polished installer. It would not
be surprising to me if GuixSD's installer had more errors.

> After installation a window asks you to select reboot computer. I did
> that but nothing happened. I had to power off with the computer's
> power button.

Cool.

> Turning on the computer you have to enter the full system encryption
> psswrd twice.

How did you partition your disk? Maybe you have two partitions and each
needs to be decrypted seperately? Just a guess.

> If I want to tune the backligt, I have to enter the administrative
> psswrd.

Sounds like an issue with user permissions.

> su -> apt-get install does not work. Results in command not found.

GuixSD does not use apt. It uses Guix. The approximate equivalent
commands are

"sudo apt-get install" -> "guix package -i" "sudo apt-get remove" ->
"guix package -r" "sudo apt-get update" -> "guix pull" "sudo apt-get
upgrade" -> "guix package -u" "apt-cache search" -> "guix package -s"

(That's right, Guix does *not* need "sudo")

> I do not know how to install synaptic.

Syn*apt*ic is a graphical frontend to apt. Since GuixSD does not use
apt, Synaptic would be useless. There is not yet a graphical frontend
to the Guix package manager. The closest thing is the Emacs frontend,
emacs-guix.

[1] https://zge.us.to/guix.html

[2] https://guix.gnu.org/packages/emacs-guix-0.5.1.1/

tonlee
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/08/2014

> GuixSD is not directly based on any other distro. The package manager,
> Guix, is inspired by Nix, but is written from scratch.

Despite double work should get avoided, I like the idea of a software system
which is in the realm of gnu.

> issues I ran
into with the last 0.x release I tried have not been fixed

Then they should not call it version 1. People may think of it as amateurism and
distance themselves from guix.

> How did you partition your disk?

I followed the menu.

> GuixSD does not use apt.

Is there a reason for this? Aren't more people familiar with apt
than guix?

> Guix does *not* need "sudo"

I do not sympathize with that.

> not yet a graphical frontend

Shows guix is not for broader usage.

chaosmonk

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Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/07/2017

> > GuixSD is not directly based on any other distro. The package
> > manager, Guix, is inspired by Nix, but is written from scratch.
>
> Despite double work should get avoided, I like the idea of a software
> system which is in the realm of gnu.

It isn't really double work in this case. Guix is something new and
unique, not a reimplementation of something proprietary or a cleaning of
something mostly-free. The fact that it is not only free and part of
the GNU project, but also has practical advantages over other package
managers, is very promising.

> > GuixSD does not use apt.
>
> Is there a reason for this?

Yes. The whole point of GuixSD is to showcase Guix, a next-generation
package manager that surpasses some of the limitations of traditional
package managers like apt.

> Aren't more people familiar with apt than guix?

Yes, and users who would rather use apt than Guix would be better off
with Trisquel.

> > Guix does *not* need "sudo"
>
> I do not sympathize with that.

That's probably because you are used to apt. apt installs and upgrades
all software system-wide for all users, even if only one user wants to
install or upgrade that particular program. Since unprivilaged users
should not be allowed to make changes like that which affect other
users, apt requires root permissions to install *anything*. If an
unprivilaged user wants to install something for their own personal use,
or use a newer version of a program that what is installed on the
system, they can do so by other means (downloading an appimage for
example), but they can't do so with the package manager.

Guix does not have this problem. All versions of all packages are in
/gnu/store, and each user has a profile in ~/.guix-profile which
contains symlinks to the packages that the user wants to use. This
separation makes it possible to install and upgrade packages without
affecting other users, so ordinary users do not need root permissions.
You would only need to use sudo to modify the root user's profile.

I recommend reading this page[1] to understand what Guix is and the
advantages that it has over traditional package managers.

> > not yet a graphical frontend
>
> Shows guix is not for broader usage.

Yes, that's what I said from the beginning. Guix has a lot of promise
for the future, but it is not yet a viable alternative to Trisquel.

[1] https://guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/Features.html#Features

Beko
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/31/2019

> This
>separation makes it possible to install and upgrade packages >without
>affecting other users, so ordinary users do not need root >permissions.

That would be ideal for a shared household computer, kinda like the dusty one at my grandma's that everyone but them uses.

strypey
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/14/2015

Beko:
> That would be ideal for a shared household computer, kinda like the dusty one at my grandma's that everyone but them uses.

I notice this is an increasingly rare use case. Multi-user OS were originally designed for mainframes running UNIX, to allow many people to timeshare one giant machine. This model was ported onto microcomputers when the GNU Project cloned UNIX, and makes total sense for a server OS. We now have multi-user desktop GNU/Linux because it's based on that legacy system.

Multi-user desktop OS still made some sense when computers were scarce and expensive, but that's far from the case now, and you'll notice that mobile OS have dispensed with them. It would be a fascinating experiment to make a single-user variant of GNU/Linux (or GNU/HURD for that matter) and see if it makes the system simpler, more efficient, or more secure. Which would be exactly the opposite of the Guix approach ;)

calher

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Desconectado/a
se unió: 06/19/2015

On 12/16/2019 02:42 PM, name at domain wrote:
> Multi-user desktop OS still made some sense when computers were scarce
> and expensive, but that's far from the case now, and you'll notice that
> mobile OS have dispensed with them.

Computers may not be expensive outright, but they are still expensive to
properly maintain, especially if you opt out of various services that
upload all your stuff to the company's servers so you don't have to
worry about investing money and time in backing it up and keeping the
data safe.

Multiple user accounts has been added to Android for quite some time.
It is very useful if family borrows your phone a lot and you don't want
them to see all your junk. This is especially true these days, when
almost everything you do or think is tracked somewhere on your phone.

Families should share hardware so that we can make sure it's backed up
and maintained properly. Most of my childhood photos have been lost due
to poor system administration by parents and my inexperienced self.

Buying yet another system just means a lot more overhead in maintenance
and backups. Think carefully before getting another computer or device.

--
Caleb Herbert
KE0VVT
816-892-9669
https://bluehome.net/csh

strypey
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/14/2015

Calher:
> Most of my childhood photos have been lost due to poor system administration by parents and my inexperienced self.

I agree this is a troubling and probably common situation. I'm not sure how it's improved by multi-user OS. I have more thoughts on this, but they represent a major diversion from the core topic of this thread, so I've opened a new thread here:
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/privacy-respecting-family-photo-and-video-backup-service-hosted-social-enterprise

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

There is a single-user mode, aka recovery mode: boot the kernel with the "single" password (for a permanent entry in GRUB's menu, prefix the line 'GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY="true"' in /etc/default/grub with the character '#', save and execute 'sudo update-grub')... and you will get a root terminal. That is not secure: every program you run can do anything, and those programs may suffer from a vulnerability.

If you take a look at the last field of /etc/passwd, you will see many /usr/sbin/nologin or /bin/false. They relate to user that are not meant to log in. Anyway, they run some applications, with as few permissions as possible. Although they are optional, some of those users are listed in the "Linux Standard Base Core Specification": https://refspecs.linuxbase.org/LSB_5.0.0/LSB-Core-generic/LSB-Core-generic/usernames.html#TBL-OPTUSERS

calher

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Desconectado/a
se unió: 06/19/2015

On 12/17/2019 10:03 AM, name at domain wrote:
> Although they are optional, some of those users are listed in the "Linux
> Standard Base Core Specification":

Does Guix do LSB? I'd be surprised. Even Debian dropped it.

Magic Banana

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Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

Indeed. But they still define users to more finely specify what some programs are allowed to do... and some of these users are suggested by the LSB. On my Trisquel system, they are lp, sync, mail, news, uucp and man.