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Re: guix on nfs based systems

From: Efraim Flashner
Subject: Re: guix on nfs based systems
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2023 08:32:02 +0200

On Wed, Nov 22, 2023 at 05:32:07PM +0000, Etienne B. Roesch wrote:
> Hi,
> I have been successful in convincing our IT dept to provide guix as
> standard on our vms and research clusters. We use this sophisticated
> platform that allows users to spawn a vm at will, and also use this shared
> ldap user database to allow for people to log on from computers/terminals
> spread on campus. Home directories are basically pulled from the OS (mostly
> ubuntu and centos) as a shared file system on the network, which then
> synchronises changes live. Practically, that means a user will find its
> desktop, preferences and files as they move to different computers.
> Theoretically, a user can connect to several computers at the same time,
> which can lead to conflict issues at times, e.g. firefox doesn't like
> parallel access to its preferences. I haven't fully tested it, but we think
> that a guix profile is specific to a given computer, because of the way it
> links to the store, which is (currently) local to the vm, which isn't
> ideal: the whole point of using vms is for users to kill them when they
> don't need them.
> What would be the recommended way of solving this? Has anybody had a
> similar situation?
> I am thinking we could either:
> - leave it as is, and train users to recreate their profiles whenever they
> use a new vm/computer (after all, that's what guix is for) but it could
> take some time to recompile if binaries aren't available
> - maybe turn /gnu/store as a shared nfs folder

CCing guix-science

One thing we do on the small cluster at UTenn is /gnu and /var/guix (in
addition to the home directories) are exported across NFS and then any
profiles that are installed in the users' home directories have their
symlinks not dangling.

I also have a snippet in my .profile to use GUIX_DAEMON_SOCKET to ssh
back to the head node to use the guix-daemon there, which keeps all the
guix stuff on one machine and easier to manage and make sure the same
software is available on all the machines.

Efraim Flashner   <>   רנשלפ םירפא
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