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Note.png Note

This page is actively maintained by the Grid'5000 team. If you encounter problems, please report them (see the Support page). Additionally, as it is a wiki page, you are free to make minor corrections yourself if needed. If you would like to suggest a more fundamental change, please contact the Grid'5000 team.

The Guix package manager is available on Grid'5000 to provide an alternative way of installing software on nodes.

This page describes the use of Guix on Grid'5000. For additional information about Guix, see:

Note: For now, Guix is only available on Grid'5000 nodes with x86_64 architecture (not on POWER or ARM nodes).

Quick start

Guix is available on frontends and nodes (using standard or deployed -nfs and -big environments) directly through the guix command.

For example:

Terminal.png fontend:
guix install hello

To make the hello executable available, programs installed by Guix must be added to your PATH. You can do this by simply running:

Terminal.png fontend:
export GUIX_PROFILE=~/.guix-profile
Terminal.png fontend:
. "$GUIX_PROFILE/etc/profile"

(you can add these two commands to your .bashrc to make it persistent)

You can then use what you just installed:

Terminal.png fontend:
 > Hello, world!

To update available packages from Guix channels, use:

Terminal.png fontend:
guix pull

(be patient it will take a while the first time)

Advanced usage examples

Generating image to use with singularity

You can use Guix to create container image for singularity with guix pack. For instance, to build an image containing emacs and bash, use:

Terminal.png $:
guix pack -f squashfs bash emacs gcc

The built image can be run using singularity. For instance, from a node:

Terminal.png node:
singularity run /gnu/store/7pzhxrkjrfk3sh9i4dn2k61gvi1slr7g-squashfs-pack.gz.squashfs
  WARNING: passwd file doesn't exist in container, not updating
  WARNING: group file doesn't exist in container, not updating
  /bin/sh: warning: setlocale: LC_ALL: cannot change locale (en_US.UTF-8)
  No runscript found in container, executing /bin/sh
  sh: warning: setlocale: LC_ALL: cannot change locale (en_US.UTF-8)
 Singularity> gcc -v
 Using built-in specs.
 Target: x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
 Configured with:
 Thread model: posix
 Supported LTO compression algorithms: zlib
 gcc version 10.2.0 (GCC)

Note: If you forget the bash (or similar) package, singularity run and singularity exec will fail with an unhelpful “no such file or directory” message.

For more information of singularity usage under Grid'5000, see Singularity page.


Guix shell command, with --container option, can be used to easily isolate the execution of your program. For instance, this will instanciate an isolated container containing coreutils, gcc and procps

Terminal.png node:
guix shell --container coreutils gcc procps
Terminal.png node~[env]:
gcc -v
 Using built-in specs.
 Target: x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
 Configured with: 
 Thread model: posix
 Supported LTO compression algorithms: zlib
 gcc version 12.2.0 (GCC)

Configuration details

Here are some details of Guix deployment and configuration under Grid'5000 that may help in case of problem or for your customized deployment.

Guix profile

Note: To work properly, a .guix directory is created in your home directory (it's a Grid'5000-specific directory). If you remove it, Guix will stop working since your profile is stored there.

Warning.png Warning

If you have a guix profile because you have used guix before you should move it somewhere else or it won't work with the guix we provide

Environment variables

In order to use Guix on Grid'5000, some environment variables are correctly set:

Terminal.png $:

If those variables are not set you will have to manually source /etc/profile.d/

Terminal.png node:
. /etc/profile.d/

Package installation steps

When you try to install or compile a package, the following steps happen:

  • Guix first tries to fetch the compiled package from
  • If not found, it will try to find it on all Grid'5000 Guix servers. (Each Grid'5000 site hosts a Guix server communicating with each other. If you install a package on Nancy and then decide to install the same package in Grenoble, it will be fetched from Nancy).
  • If it still not found, it will be compiled on a dedicated machine on Grid'5000, which is not accessible to the users