Manage your home and configuration entirely with guix

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home: Add package profile home type.

Jelle LichtFri Nov 27 15:46:55+0100 2020


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.guix-authorizations.guix-authorization: Introduce channel authorization.Sat Jul 25 20:24:57+0200 2020
.guix-channel.guix-authorization: Introduce channel authorization.Sat Jul 25 20:24:57+0200 2020
LICENSEAdd LICENSE.Tue Jun 11 20:30:19+0200 2019
README.mddoc: Fix introduction key.Sun Jul 26 01:46:25+0200 2020
doc/home: Add package profile home type.Fri Nov 27 15:46:55+0100 2020
guix/guix: home: Add try command.Fri Nov 27 15:39:08+0100 2020
home/home: Add package profile home type.Fri Nov 27 15:46:55+0100 2020
home.scmhome: Add provenance home type.Fri Oct 09 00:24:58+0200 2020

Guix Home Manager

This is a Guix channel for user configuration management. Guix itself comes with the possibility of managing system configuration when installed as a standalone operating system. This project aims at going one step further and managing your personal configuration entirely with Guix.

For this purpose, the channel extends Guix with more code that will allow you to generate configuration files in a profile that will replace your home directory. With Home Manager, your home directory is read-only, so software will not be able to put any of their garbage in it, unless you specifically allow them to.

This is quite an extreme approach for configuration management, but it follows the Guix spirit and provides strong guarantee that your configuration is exactly as you want it to be.


This is a Guix channel. You will first need to install Guix itself. Then, simply create a new ~/.config/guix/channels.scm file with this content:

(cons* (channel
        (name 'guix-home-manager)
        (url "")
              "1EFB 0909 1F17 D28C CBF9  B13A 53D4 57B2 D636 EE82"))))

Then run guix pull to pull the new channel.

Important checks

Make sure your guix environment is set up properly. You need to have ~/.config/guix/current as the first item in your $PATH or you're going to run into troubles. Additionnaly, after running guix pull, make sure you run hash guix in any open terminal to make sure bash's cache is cleared of the old guix binary location.


This is also documented (and translated) in the documentation section of this project:

Making some room in your home directory

Your home directory will be completely taken over by Guix. In particular, when using the home manager, your home directory is entirely read-only. A read-only home directory is not very useful though, so users of the home manager will have to use a separate directory for their documents, caches and states. This is typically /data/alice for user alice.

It is not required to set up that directory beforehand, but if you do, you will not be able to use the home manager until you have completely wiped-out your home directory (i.e. transfered it to the new directory). If the directory does not yet exist, your current home directory is automatically renamed to that directory, and the home manager starts working.

Basically, you will run (as root):

mkdir /data
mv /home/alice /data/alice

Once that is done, some parts of your home directory will still have to be read-write. This is mostly ~/.cache, ~/.local but also ~/.guix-profile and ~/.config/guix. Inside your new data directory, create them like this, as your regular user (alice in this example):

cd /data/alice
mkdir-p .local/share .cache .config

Since you have moved your entire home directory, make sure you can still access your own copy of guix and your user profile by (temporarily) setting your $PATH (make sure it starts with /data/alice/.config/guix/current/bin) and by sourcing the profile with export GUIX_PROFILE=/data/alice/.guix-profile; source $GUIX_PROFILE/etc/profile. You might also need to run hash -r (no output) for bash to clear all its memorized binary locations.

Finally, create a temporary symbolic link that helps guix find some required directory (it would otherwise run in a loop trying to create the missing directories):

ln -sv /data/alice /var/guix/profiles/per-user/alice/home
# Before running, ensure $HOME does not exist yet.  After this command, it
# should be a symlink.
ln -sv /var/guix/profiles/per-user/alice/home $HOME

Creating the first home generation

To create your first home configuration, you must create a configuration file. For instance, create /data/alice/.config/guix/home.scm:

(use-modules (home))

  (data-directory "/data/alice"))

This will generate a completely empty home, except for essential configurations, i. e. writable XDG directories as well as essential guix symlinks.

See the documentation to learn more about the configuration system.

Because of a bug in guix, the guix home command will not be found immediately: the search for the command is done too early, before guix adds the channels to its search path. Add them to the guile search path, so guix will be able to find them. Note that if you are running bash, the home manager will take care of that after you install the first generation:

export GUILE_LOAD_PATH=~/.config/guix/current/share/guile/site/3.0:$GUILE_LOAD_PATH
export GUILE_LOAD_COMPILED_PATH=~/.config/guix/current/lib/guile/3.0/site-ccache:$GUILE_LOAD_COMPILED_PATH

To build your first generation of your home environment, run as your regular user:

guix home reconfigure /data/alice/.config/guix/home.scm

That's it!


Contributions are welcome! If there’s a configuration you would like to add, just fork the repository and create a Merge Request when it is ready.

If you have a history of making quality contributions to GNU Guix and would like commit access, just ask! Non trivial changes should still go through a simple Merge Request and code review process, but this channel needs your help to take over the world!

If you are less into code, we welcome contributions in the form of documentation, translation, issues, reviews, tips and tricks. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have an idea or want to help in any way!