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2.1 Binary Installation

This section describes how to install Guix on an arbitrary system from a self-contained tarball providing binaries for Guix and for all its dependencies. This is often quicker than installing from source, which is described in the next sections. The only requirement is to have GNU tar and Xz.

Note: We recommend the use of this shell installer script. The script automates the download, installation, and initial configuration steps described below. It should be run as the root user.

Installing goes along these lines:

  1. Download the binary tarball from ‘’, where system is x86_64-linux for an x86_64 machine already running the kernel Linux, and so on.

    Make sure to download the associated .sig file and to verify the authenticity of the tarball against it, along these lines:

    $ wget
    $ gpg --verify guix-binary-1.1.0.system.tar.xz.sig

    If that command fails because you do not have the required public key, then run this command to import it:

    $ wget \
          -qO - | gpg --import -

    and rerun the gpg --verify command.

    Take note that a warning like “This key is not certified with a trusted signature!” is normal.

  2. Now, you need to become the root user. Depending on your distribution, you may have to run su - or sudo -i. As root, run:
    # cd /tmp
    # tar --warning=no-timestamp -xf \
    # mv var/guix /var/ && mv gnu /

    This creates /gnu/store (see The Store) and /var/guix. The latter contains a ready-to-use profile for root (see next step.)

    Do not unpack the tarball on a working Guix system since that would overwrite its own essential files.

    The --warning=no-timestamp option makes sure GNU tar does not emit warnings about “implausibly old time stamps” (such warnings were triggered by GNU tar 1.26 and older; recent versions are fine.) They stem from the fact that all the files in the archive have their modification time set to zero (which means January 1st, 1970.) This is done on purpose to make sure the archive content is independent of its creation time, thus making it reproducible.

  3. Make the profile available under ~root/.config/guix/current, which is where guix pull will install updates (see Invoking guix pull):
    # mkdir -p ~root/.config/guix
    # ln -sf /var/guix/profiles/per-user/root/current-guix \

    Source etc/profile to augment PATH and other relevant environment variables:

    # GUIX_PROFILE="`echo ~root`/.config/guix/current" ; \
      source $GUIX_PROFILE/etc/profile
  4. Create the group and user accounts for build users as explained below (see Build Environment Setup).
  5. Run the daemon, and set it to automatically start on boot.

    If your host distro uses the systemd init system, this can be achieved with these commands:

    # cp ~root/.config/guix/current/lib/systemd/system/guix-daemon.service \
    # systemctl start guix-daemon && systemctl enable guix-daemon

    If your host distro uses the Upstart init system:

    # initctl reload-configuration
    # cp ~root/.config/guix/current/lib/upstart/system/guix-daemon.conf \
    # start guix-daemon

    Otherwise, you can still start the daemon manually with:

    # ~root/.config/guix/current/bin/guix-daemon \
  6. Make the guix command available to other users on the machine, for instance with:
    # mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
    # cd /usr/local/bin
    # ln -s /var/guix/profiles/per-user/root/current-guix/bin/guix

    It is also a good idea to make the Info version of this manual available there:

    # mkdir -p /usr/local/share/info
    # cd /usr/local/share/info
    # for i in /var/guix/profiles/per-user/root/current-guix/share/info/* ;
      do ln -s $i ; done

    That way, assuming /usr/local/share/info is in the search path, running info guix will open this manual (see Other Info Directories in GNU Texinfo, for more details on changing the Info search path.)

  7. To use substitutes from or one of its mirrors (see Substitutes), authorize them:
    # guix archive --authorize < \
  8. Each user may need to perform a few additional steps to make their Guix environment ready for use, see Application Setup.

Voilà, the installation is complete!

You can confirm that Guix is working by installing a sample package into the root profile:

# guix install hello

The binary installation tarball can be (re)produced and verified simply by running the following command in the Guix source tree:

make guix-binary.system.tar.xz

... which, in turn, runs:

guix pack -s system --localstatedir \
  --profile-name=current-guix guix

See Invoking guix pack, for more info on this handy tool.

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