Guix will hold its first online conference November 22nd. Propose a talk before November 6th. Learn more!

Deprecating support for the Linux kernel

Hey, this post was published on April 1st, so take it with a grain of salt! Read the followup for some clarifications.

After years in the making, Guix recently gained support for running natively on the GNU/Hurd operating system. That means you will soon be able to replace...

(kernel linux-libre)

with

(kernel hurd)
(initial-herd hurd)

...in your operating-system declaration and reboot into the future!

Running on the Hurd was always a goal for Guix, and supporting multiple kernels is a huge maintenance burden. As such it is expected that the upcoming Guix 1.1 release will be the last version featuring the Linux-Libre kernel. Future versions of Guix System will run exclusively on the Hurd, and we expect to remove Linux-Libre entirely by Guix 2.0.

The Linux kernel will still be supported when using Guix on "foreign" distributions, but it will be on a best-effort basis. We hope that other distributions will follow suit and adopt the Hurd in order to increase security and freedom for their users.

We provide a pre-built virtual machine image with the Hurd for download with SHA256 056e69ae4b5fe7a062b954a5be333332152caa150359c20253ef77152334c662.

Here is how to get started:

wget https://guix.gnu.org/guix-hurd-20200401.img.tar.xz
tar xf guix-hurd-20200401.img.tar.xz
guix environment --ad-hoc qemu -- \
    qemu-system-i386 -enable-kvm -drive file=guix-hurd-20200401.img,cache=writeback -m 1G

Log in as root without password. Then try hello, guix describe, or guix install linux-libre to run Linux in userspace... We are looking forward to your feedback!

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is a transactional package manager and an advanced distribution of the GNU system that respects user freedom. Guix can be used on top of any system running the Hurd or the Linux kernel, or it can be used as a standalone operating system distribution for i686, x86_64, ARMv7, and AArch64 machines.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. When used as a standalone GNU/Linux distribution, Guix offers a declarative, stateless approach to operating system configuration management. Guix is highly customizable and hackable through Guile programming interfaces and extensions to the Scheme language.

Related topics:

GNU/Hurd Linux