GNU Guix 1.0.0 released


Glad to see a major release; looking forward to trying it out in the future.

The NixOS and Guix comparisons I find are more than a year old. Has anyone tried both in their current states and can say how they differ eco-system wise (packages, documentation, working with stuff off “the beaten path”; not necessarily the Nix language vs. GNU Guile)? The aims of Guix seem like those of NixOS from that blog entry. Say in some years when both distros have had some more development time, why should one choose NixOS over Guix, or vice-versa?

I will note that one thing that’s been decisive for me, completely apart from technical/implementation benefits of either, is licensing. Being able to adopt and modify code from nixpkgs without needing to think about copyleft licensing of the package definitions themselves (and whether/how that interacts with the terms that apply to the resulting binaries in any given instance) means one less set of things to worry about when building system images that can be redistributed as part of a commercial product.


Though I’m not a Guix user, there are a few things that stood out while I was skimming through their documentation.

First of all Guix has a linter, I think NixOS should have something like that as well (maybe that should be included in the development of a nix formatter).

Their installation instructions seem a bit more beginner friendly (they provide a guided installation process (e.g. partitioning, user setup etc.)), that’s a nice feature but not really a must have (considering NixOS’s target audience).

I was surprised that they are also using Hydra as a CI System, though they intend to replace it with Cuirass.

With 9,714 packages they have a rather small repository (also they use a single file per package group instead of splitting them up into multiple files (so all shell definitions are in a file called shells.scm, all games are in games.scm… you get the idea))), the same goes for services.

One last pleasant surprise was that their manual is available in multiple languages and that it can be downloaded directly from their website.