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guix on nfs based systems

From: Etienne B. Roesch
Subject: guix on nfs based systems
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2023 17:32:07 +0000


I have been successful in convincing our IT dept to provide guix as
standard on our vms and research clusters. We use this sophisticated
platform that allows users to spawn a vm at will, and also use this shared
ldap user database to allow for people to log on from computers/terminals
spread on campus. Home directories are basically pulled from the OS (mostly
ubuntu and centos) as a shared file system on the network, which then
synchronises changes live. Practically, that means a user will find its
desktop, preferences and files as they move to different computers.

Theoretically, a user can connect to several computers at the same time,
which can lead to conflict issues at times, e.g. firefox doesn't like
parallel access to its preferences. I haven't fully tested it, but we think
that a guix profile is specific to a given computer, because of the way it
links to the store, which is (currently) local to the vm, which isn't
ideal: the whole point of using vms is for users to kill them when they
don't need them.

What would be the recommended way of solving this? Has anybody had a
similar situation?
I am thinking we could either:
- leave it as is, and train users to recreate their profiles whenever they
use a new vm/computer (after all, that's what guix is for) but it could
take some time to recompile if binaries aren't available
- maybe turn /gnu/store as a shared nfs folder

Have an awesome week!


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