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6.5 Creating a Channel

Let’s say you have a bunch of custom package variants or personal packages that you think would make little sense to contribute to the Guix project, but would like to have these packages transparently available to you at the command line. You would first write modules containing those package definitions (see Package Modules), maintain them in a Git repository, and then you and anyone else can use it as an additional channel to get packages from. Neat, no?

Warning: Before you, dear user, shout—“woow this is soooo coool!”—and publish your personal channel to the world, we would like to share a few words of caution:

You’ve been warned! Having said this, we believe external channels are a practical way to exert your freedom to augment Guix’ package collection and to share your improvements, which are basic tenets of free software. Please email us at guix-devel@gnu.org if you’d like to discuss this.

To create a channel, create a Git repository containing your own package modules and make it available. The repository can contain anything, but a useful channel will contain Guile modules that export packages. Once you start using a channel, Guix will behave as if the root directory of that channel’s Git repository has been added to the Guile load path (see Load Paths in GNU Guile Reference Manual). For example, if your channel contains a file at my-packages/my-tools.scm that defines a Guile module, then the module will be available under the name (my-packages my-tools), and you will be able to use it like any other module (see Modules in GNU Guile Reference Manual).

As a channel author, consider bundling authentication material with your channel so that users can authenticate it. See Channel Authentication, and Specifying Channel Authorizations, for info on how to do it.


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