Guix at FOSDEM 2024
It's not long to FOSDEM 2024, where Guixers will come together to learn and hack. As usual there's some great talks and opportunities to meet other users and contributors.
FOSDEM is Europe's biggest Free Software conference. It's aimed at developers and anyone who's interested in the Free Software movement. While it's an in-person conference there are live video streams and lots of ways to participate remotely.
The schedule is varied with development rooms covering many interests. Here are some of the talks that are of particular interest to Guixers:
Saturday, 3rd Febuary
- "Making reproducible and publishable large-scale HPC experiments" by Philippe Swartvagher (10:30 CET). Philippe will talk about the search for reproducible experiments in high-performance computing (HPC) and how he uses Guix in his methododology.
Sunday, 4th February
The Declarative and Minimalistic Computing track takes place Sunday morning. Important topics are:
- Minimalism Matters: sustainable computing through smaller, resource efficient systems
- Declarative Programming: reliable and reproducible systems by minimising side-effects
Guix-related talks are:
- "Scheme in the Browser with Guile Hoot and WebAssembly" by Robin Templeton (11:00 CET). A talk covering bringing Scheme to WebAssembly through the Guile Hoot toolchain. Addressing the current state of Guile Hoot with examples, and how recent Wasm proposals might improve the situation in the future.
- "RISC-V Bootstrapping in Guix and Live-Bootstrap" by Ekaitz Zarraga (11:20 CET). An update on the RISC-V bootstrapping effort in Guix and Live-bootstrap. Covering what's been done, what's left to do and some of the lessons learned.
- "Self-hosting and autonomy using guix-forge" by Arun Isaac (11:40 CET). This talk demonstrates the value of Guix's declarative configuration to simplify deploying and maintaining complex services. Showing guix-forge, a project that makes it easy to self-host an efficient software forge.
- "Spritely, Guile, Guix: a unified vision for user security" by Christine Lemmer-Webber (12:00 CET). Spritely's goal is to create networked communities that puts people in control of their own identity and security. This talk will present a unified vision of how Spritely, Guile, and Guix can work together to bring user freedom and security to everyone!
This year the track commemorates Joe Armstrong, who was the principal inventor of Erlang. His focus on concurrency, distribution and fault-tolerence are key topics in declarative and minimalistic computing. This article is a great introduction to his legacy. Along with "The Mess We're In", a classic where he discusses why software is getting worse with time, and what can be done about it.
On Sunday afternoon, the Distributions devroom has another Guix talk:
- "Supporting architecture psABIs with GNU Guix" by Efraim Flashner (14:30 CET). Guix maintainer Efraim will be giving a talk about improving Guix's performance. Demonstrating how to use psABI targets that keep older hardware compatible while providing optimized libraries for newer hardware.
Guix Days (Thursday and Friday)
Guix Days will be taking place on the Thursday and Friday before FOSDEM. This is an "unconference-style" event, where the community gets together to focus on Guix's development. All the details are on the Libreplanet Guix Wiki.
Come and join in the fun, whether you're a new Guix user or seasoned hacker! If you're not in Brussels you can still take part:
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 Hurd or the Linux kernel, or it can be used as a standalone operating system distribution for i686, x86_64, ARMv7, AArch64, and POWER9 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.