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How to install a GuixSD desktop?

From: Martin H.
Subject: How to install a GuixSD desktop?
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:14:05 +0200
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.3.0


first of all, thanks to everyone involved for making this project possible. It is a very promising alternative or rather a next step to package / systems management. I am Guix new newbie trying to go the full route of setting up a new desktop system on a laptop. My final target to have a system running as well as my previous (ArchLinux) one.

As seemingly all GuixSD beginners, I am feeling a bit lost. There is quite some documentation, but much of it works rather as a reference than as a guide. Also, many questions seem to have been answered on the mailing list already, but they are very cumbersome to find and skip through.

I think the project could do better lowering the barrier of entry to newbies, first of all through offering a FAQ. That would be really useful in my opinion.

Here are some questions I am currently struggling with, hoping for some help.

1) In addition to my operating system declaration set up using "guix system reconfigure", I have begun making a package manifest file (applied using "guix package -m") with specific packages for my user account, e.g. desktop applications. This seems to be a clean way of separating system and user packages.

When I started installing packages via the manifest (instead of manually), I noticed packages not in the manifest were being removed. Should've known what, my fault. I since then re-added packages that had been uninstalled.

But additionally I noticed things are not working anymore: Icons and window decorations in GTK applications are now missing, dmenu does not show any application entries. I don't know what is happening here? I tried switching to an older generation in my user profile, but the problem remains. So maybe something different changed. I am unsure why this XDG stuff does not work any more. Any hints?

2) I need to adjust the main Xorg configuration file in order to not load the synaptics driver. (From my experience, this is the only way to make libinput manage the touchpad, so I can get tap-to-click and multi-touch gestures working. This should probably be configurable in the future.) As gnu/services/xorg.scm does not allow adjusting these options, it means I have to change the original code.

So the question is, how can I replace a single service definition with my own one? Does this mean replacing the system guix instance with my own, modified checkout somehow?

3) I need to develop a few new packages for my needs. Is there a way to add additional package sources so I can conveniently use my own packages alongside the ones provides in the official Guix repo?

Thanks for listening ;)


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