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Re: Developing free non-gnu operating systems

From: Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli
Subject: Re: Developing free non-gnu operating systems
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2021 19:04:43 +0200

On Sun, 26 Sep 2021 05:08:32 -0500 wrote:

> Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli <> writes:
> >> How is the ReactOs package manager different from package managers
> >> on unix-like systems?
> > If I recall well, at the time they didn't host the software that was
> > available in their package manager at all. 
> >
> > Their "package manager" was merely a tool to download software from
> > various URLs and execute their installers. However the interface was
> > quite similar to existing graphical package manager frontends.
> >
> > The technical advantage of implementing in this way is that it
> > requires way less work.
> Oh! So it was similar to what Guix is?  Guix also downloads the
> software from various non-Guix URLs, if the package you want to
> install does not have a compiled version.  And if has a compiled
> version hosted in Guix servers, there are so many factors in the
> compilation that it is impossible to audit for freedom in a rigorous
> way for every package.
Not really. Guix is a real package manager with code to build software
and so on. The idea with Guix is that, even if there are some official
repositories of compiled packages, you are free to run your own or use
the ones you want, etc.

Unlike Guix, ReactOS had nothing to do with the creation of these
binaries in the first place, it just had a software that downloaded
binaries that contained installers and executed these binaries.

So it closer to something like that:
$ wget https://[...]/gimp-2.10.28-setup.exe
$ chmod +x gimp-2.10.28-setup.exe
$ ./gimp-2.10.28-setup.exe

With something graphical on top that looked like graphical package
managers (like gnome-software, synaptic, etc).

It probably also checked some checksums or did some verification along
the way.

Note that I didn't check if gimp-2.10.28-setup.exe was fully free or
not or if it can be built with only free software on FSDG distributions.

PS: For FSDG compliant ways to build and run software for Windows, Guix
    can do that with guix build / guix pack --target=i686-w64-mingw32
    or --target=x86_64-w64-mingw32 <name of the package> and run the
    result with wine or wine64.

    I only tested that with the 'hello' package and it worked fine
    with wine/wine64. I also tested other software that didn't work. I
    don't know how far that can go but it may be able to build bitcoin
    because as I understand the support for building for Windows was
    added for bitcoin.

    The neat thing is that Guix is so flexible that it even supports
    GNU/Hurd as operating system (not just for building software).
    Though even if it's well integrated, it's experimental, so I guess
    that probably not all packages will work on HURD, but it's probably
    the best way to try HURD as Guix is FSDG compliant.


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