Development is done using the Git distributed version control system.
Thus, access to the repository is not strictly necessary. We welcome
contributions in the form of patches as produced by
format-patch sent to the email@example.com mailing list
(see Submitting patches to a project in Git
User Manual). Contributors are encouraged to take a moment to set some
Git repository options (see Configuring Git) first, which can
improve the readability of patches. Seasoned Guix developers may also
want to look at the section on commit access (see Commit Access).
This mailing list is backed by a Debbugs instance, which allows us to
keep track of submissions (see Tracking Bugs and Patches). Each
message sent to that mailing list gets a new tracking number assigned;
people can then follow up on the submission by sending email to
NNN@debbugs.gnu.org, where NNN is the tracking
number (see Sending a Patch Series).
Please write commit logs in the ChangeLog format (see Change Logs in GNU Coding Standards); you can check the commit history for examples.
Before submitting a patch that adds or modifies a package definition, please run through this check list:
git send-email, we recommend using the option
--base=, perhaps with the value
auto. This option adds a note to the patch stating which commit the patch is based on. This helps reviewers understand how to apply and review your patches.
guix lint package, where package is the name of the new or modified package, and fix any errors it reports (see Invoking guix lint).
guix build package.
qemu-binfmt-service-typeto emulate them. In order to enable it, add the
virtualizationservice module and the following service to the list of services in your
(service qemu-binfmt-service-type (qemu-binfmt-configuration (platforms (lookup-qemu-platforms "arm" "aarch64"))))
Then reconfigure your system.
You can then build packages for different platforms by specifying the
--system option. For example, to build the "hello" package for
the armhf or aarch64 architectures, you would run the following
guix build --system=armhf-linux --rounds=2 hello guix build --system=aarch64-linux --rounds=2 hello
Sometimes, packages include copies of the source code of their dependencies as a convenience for users. However, as a distribution, we want to make sure that such packages end up using the copy we already have in the distribution, if there is one. This improves resource usage (the dependency is built and stored only once), and allows the distribution to make transverse changes such as applying security updates for a given software package in a single place and have them affect the whole system—something that bundled copies prevent.
guix size(see Invoking guix size). This will allow you to notice references to other packages unwillingly retained. It may also help determine whether to split the package (see Packages with Multiple Outputs), and which optional dependencies should be used. In particular, avoid adding
texliveas a dependency: because of its extreme size, use the
guix refresh --list-dependent packagewill help you do that (see Invoking guix refresh).
Depending on the number of dependent packages and thus the amount of rebuilding induced, commits go to different branches, along these lines:
master branch (non-disruptive changes).
staging branch (non-disruptive changes). This branch is intended
to be merged in
master every 6 weeks or so. Topical changes
(e.g., an update of the GNOME stack) can instead go to a specific branch
gnome-updates). This branch is not expected to be
buildable or usable until late in its development process.
core-updates branch (may include major and potentially disruptive
changes). This branch is intended to be merged in
6 months or so. This branch is not expected to be buildable or usable
until late in its development process.
All these branches are tracked by our build farm and merged into
everything has been successfully built. This allows us to fix issues
before they hit users, and to reduce the window during which pre-built
binaries are not available.
When we decide to start building the
core-updates branches, they will be forked and renamed with the
-frozen, at which time only bug fixes may be pushed to the
frozen branches. The
will remain open to accept patches for the next cycle. Please ask on
the mailing list or IRC if unsure where to place a patch.
A simple way to do that is by building the same package several times in a row on your machine (see Invoking guix build):
guix build --rounds=2 my-package
This is enough to catch a class of common non-determinism issues, such as timestamps or randomly-generated output in the build result.
Another option is to use
guix challenge (see Invoking guix challenge). You may run it once the package has been committed and
ci.guix.gnu.org to check whether it obtains the same
result as you did. Better yet: Find another machine that can build it
guix publish. Since the remote build machine is
likely different from yours, this can catch non-determinism issues
related to the hardware—e.g., use of different instruction set
extensions—or to the operating system kernel—e.g., reliance on
uname or /proc files.
Examples of unrelated changes include the addition of several packages, or a package update along with fixes to that package.
etc/indent-code.elscript to do that automatically for you (see Formatting Code).
namefield in the URL: it is not very useful and if the name changes, the URL will probably be wrong.
guix pull --url=/path/to/your/checkout --profile=/tmp/guix.master
When posting a patch to the mailing list, use ‘[PATCH] …’ as
a subject, if your patch is to be applied on a branch other than
core-updates, specify it in the subject like
‘[PATCH core-updates] …’. You may use your email client or
git send-email command (see Sending a Patch Series).
We prefer to get patches in plain text messages, either inline or as
MIME attachments. You are advised to pay attention if your email client
changes anything like line breaks or indentation which could potentially
break the patches.
Expect some delay when you submit your very first patch to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have to wait until you get an acknowledgement with the assigned tracking number. Future acknowledgements should not be delayed.
When a bug is resolved, please close the thread by sending an email to NNNemail@example.com.
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