There's a New Package Manager in Town

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 26, 2012

Every now and again a project springs forth to tout the advantages of a generic or all-distribution package manager. A one-size-fits-all approach was the Holy Grail of Linux for a while and several ideas came and went silent. However, hope springs again and Guix is its name.

Ludovic Courtès introduced the new project Friday with his post to the new Guix mailing list. In it he explained since Guix is approaching its first alpha release, it was time to meet the public. Courtès said that Guix will not only provide standard package management capabilities, but also things like "transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection."

The main concept of Guix and the part that makes it universal is that dependencies will travel with the application files (if I understood correctly). Binaries won't be installed in a central directory like /usr/bin, but instead all will be in their own. This allows for multiple versions of applications to be installed and useful at any given time. It helps developers insure no missing dependencies and makes rolling-back possible and safe.

If any of this sounds familiar, you aren't crazy. Guix, pronounced "geeks" btw, is based on Nix, the basis of NixOS, and like Nix will come on top of a small free GNU/Linux system. 

Ludovic Courtès explains more in a video of his Guix talk at the GNU Hackers' Meeting in July 2012. Source code is currently available with an alpha (0.1) due out next month. 0.2 is planned for February/March 2013 and 0.9 for June. The 1.0 release is expected in September 2013.