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20 Inicializando

Bootstrapping in our context refers to how the distribution gets built “from nothing”. Remember that the build environment of a derivation contains nothing but its declared inputs (veja Introdução). So there’s an obvious chicken-and-egg problem: how does the first package get built? How does the first compiler get compiled?

It is tempting to think of this question as one that only die-hard hackers may care about. However, while the answer to that question is technical in nature, its implications are wide-ranging. How the distribution is bootstrapped defines the extent to which we, as individuals and as a collective of users and hackers, can trust the software we run. It is a central concern from the standpoint of security and from a user freedom viewpoint.

The GNU system is primarily made of C code, with libc at its core. The GNU build system itself assumes the availability of a Bourne shell and command-line tools provided by GNU Coreutils, Awk, Findutils, ‘sed’, and ‘grep’. Furthermore, build programs—programs that run ./configure, make, etc.—are written in Guile Scheme (veja Derivações). Consequently, to be able to build anything at all, from scratch, Guix relies on pre-built binaries of Guile, GCC, Binutils, libc, and the other packages mentioned above—the bootstrap binaries.

These bootstrap binaries are “taken for granted”, though we can also re-create them if needed (veja Preparing to Use the Bootstrap Binaries).

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