Running Guix System on a Linode Server
Christopher Lemmer Webber recently discovered how to run Guix System on a Linode server. The below guide details how to set up your Linode server to run Guix System. We invite you to run your website using Guix system!
To run Guix on a server hosted by Linode, start with a recommended Debian server. We recommend using the default distro as a way to bootstrap Guix. Create your SSH keys.
Be sure to add your SSH key for easy login to the remote server. This is trivially done via Linode's graphical interface for adding SSH keys. Go to your profile and click add SSH Key. Copy into it the output of:
Power the Linode down. In the Linode's Disks/Configurations tab, resize the Debian disk to be smaller. 30 GB is recommended.
In the Linode settings, choose Add a disk with the following:
- Filesystem: ext4
- Set it to the remaining size
On the configuration field that comes with the default image, press
... and select Edit, then on that menu add to
Now select Add a Configuration, with the following:
- Kernel: GRUB 2 (it's at the bottom! This step is important!
Block device assignment:
- Root device:
- Turn off all the filesystem/boot helpers.
Now power it back up, picking the Debian configuration. Once it's booted up,
ssh in your server via
ssh root@<your-server-IP-here>. (You can find your
server IP address in your Linode Summary section.) Now you can run the
binary installation as explained in the
sudo apt-get install gpg wget https://sv.gnu.org/people/viewgpg.php?user_id=15145 -qO - | gpg --import - wget https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/guix.git/plain/etc/guix-install.sh chmod +x guix-install.sh ./guix-install.sh guix pull
Now it's time to write out a config for the server. The key information
is below. Save the resulting file as
(use-modules (gnu) (guix modules)) (use-service-modules networking ssh) (use-package-modules admin certs package-management ssh tls) (operating-system (host-name "my-server") (timezone "America/New_York") (locale "en_US.UTF-8") ;; This goofy code will generate the grub.cfg ;; without installing the grub bootloader on disk. (bootloader (bootloader-configuration (bootloader (bootloader (inherit grub-bootloader) (installer #~(const #t)))))) (file-systems (cons (file-system (device "/dev/sda") (mount-point "/") (type "ext4")) %base-file-systems)) (swap-devices (list "/dev/sdb")) (initrd-modules (cons "virtio_scsi" ;needed to find the disk %base-initrd-modules)) (users (cons (user-account (name "janedoe") (group "users") ;; Adding the account to the "wheel" group ;; makes it a sudoer. (supplementary-groups '("wheel")) (home-directory "/home/janedoe")) %base-user-accounts)) (packages (cons* nss-certs ;for HTTPS access openssh-sans-x %base-packages)) (services (cons* (service dhcp-client-service-type) (service openssh-service-type (openssh-configuration (openssh openssh-sans-x) (password-authentication? #f) (authorized-keys `(("janedoe" ,(local-file "janedoe_rsa.pub")) ("root" ,(local-file "janedoe_rsa.pub")))))) %base-services)))
Replace the following fields in the above configuration:
(host-name "my-server") ; replace with your server name ; if you chose a linode server outside the U.S., then ; use tzselect to find a correct timezone string (timezone "America/New_York") ; if needed replace timezone (name "janedoe") ; replace with your username ("janedoe" ,(local-file "janedoe_rsa.pub")) ; replace with your ssh key ("root" ,(local-file "janedoe_rsa.pub")) ; replace with your ssh key
The last line in the above example lets you log into the server as root and set the initial root password. After you have done this, you may delete that line from your configuration and reconfigure to prevent root login.
Save your ssh public key (eg:
<your-username-here>_rsa.pub and your
guix-config.scm in the
same directory. In a new terminal run these commands.
sftp root@@<remote server ip address> put /home/<username>/ssh/id_rsa.pub . put /path/to/linode/guix-config.scm .
In your first terminal, mount the
mkdir /mnt/guix mount /dev/sdc /mnt/guix
Due to the way we set things up above, we do not install GRUB completely. Instead we install only our grub configuration file. So we need to copy over some of the other GRUB stuff that is already there:
mkdir -p /mnt/guix/boot/grub cp -r /boot/grub/* /mnt/guix/boot/grub/
Now initialize the Guix installation:
guix system init guix-config.scm /mnt/guix
Ok, power it down! Now from the Linode console, select boot and select Guix.
Once it boots, you should be able to log in via SSH! (The server config will have changed though.) You may encounter an error like:
$ ssh root@<server ip address> @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @ WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED! @ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING NASTY! Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)! It is also possible that a host key has just been changed. The fingerprint for the ECDSA key sent by the remote host is SHA256:0B+wp33w57AnKQuHCvQP0+ZdKaqYrI/kyU7CfVbS7R4. Please contact your system administrator. Add correct host key in /home/joshua/.ssh/known_hosts to get rid of this message. Offending ECDSA key in /home/joshua/.ssh/known_hosts:3 ECDSA host key for 188.8.131.52 has changed and you have requested strict checking. Host key verification failed.
~/.ssh/known_hosts file, or delete the offending line
starting with your server IP address.
Be sure to set your password and root's password.
ssh root@<remote ip address> passwd ; for the root password passwd <username> ; for the user password
You may not be able to run the above commands at this point. If you have issues remotely logging into your linode box via SSH, then you may still need to set your root and user password initially by clicking on the Launch Console option in your linode. Choose the Glish instead of Weblish. Now you should be able to ssh into the machine.
Hooray! At this point you can shut down the server, delete the Debian disk, and resize the Guix to the rest of the size. Congratulations!
By the way, if you save it as a disk image right at this point, you'll have an easy time spinning up new Guix images! You may need to down-size the Guix image to 6144 MB, to save it as an image. Then you can resize it again to the max size.
That's all for today! We hope you have fun playing with your brand new Guix System Server!
A variant of this guide is available in the Guix Cookbook.
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 kernel Linux, 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.