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Re: Core-updates, the last metres

From: John Kehayias
Subject: Re: Core-updates, the last metres
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2023 18:51:27 +0000

Dear Andreas and Guix,

On Sun, Apr 23, 2023 at 09:30 AM, Andreas Enge wrote:

> Hello,
> yesterday I updated my system to core-updates. Since I am writing this
> message now, you can deduce that it succeeded. Well, there is no reason
> you should care, but it could encourage you to do the same. :)

As did I! (I'm on x86_64.) And boldly late at night and everything
went smoothly (caveat/tip below). I did build all my profiles and
system beforehand so my reconfigure was just some new minor builds and

Big thanks again to you (Andreas) for really pushing this all through.
I hope our move to more feature branches will make such a job less
onerous or maybe even extinct in the near future.

> I used commands like "./pre-inst-env guix package/system ...", but this
> resulted in strange behaviour; I suppose I may have ended up with a
> mixture between old and new guix.
> I think the safest approach is to use "guix pull --commit=..." with
> a commit from core-updates, or probably just
>    guix pull --commit=core-updates
> Then I would start by updating the system, followed by the user profiles.

I agree here; I reconfigured my system (I switched my channels.scm
over to core-updates or similar for all my channels) but forgot to
update all my user profiles. I think this is what lead to not dropping
back to lightdm after I exited my WM, though the system booted fine. I
updated my profiles and rebooted (had to use some magic keys or I was
too impatient again) and all was good.

So, I also suggest updating everything all together before doing a
restart. I think last time I had some weird stuff as well, likely
because of the deep changes from moving to core-updates.

One noticeable difference was some fonts, perhaps a different
rendering or substitutes for some graphical programs? My terminal
emulator, kitty, also decided to pick some different default font, but
looked fine when I manually specified a font. Perhaps a difference in
some default font picking somewhere in an update? I also did a manual
fc-cache -fv for good measure.

> Please tell us if there is a show-stopper for the merge!

None I'm aware of, other than a few others with the same weirdness
when partially upgrading it seems.

> We already received a first report:
> python-yubikey-manager does not build. It should be repaired very shortly
> after the merge (the fix is there, but would cause too many rebuilds now);
> so if you rely on it, maybe delay updating your system, or hold this one
> package back in your profile ("guix package --do-not-upgrade ... -u").

I have a patch set almost ready for this. I need to do some minor
polishing and try to get some ordering here. It is one of those cases
where an update needed by one package causes others to need updates
and so on. It isn't too bad, about 20 mostly trivial patches. A few
need 10s to 100s of rebuilds, and at least one (python-filelock) will
need 3000 packages rebuilt. This will get us some overdue updates for
the affected packages.

(If you use a yubikey as a gpg smartcard everything should be fine, as
that's what I'm doing. I only use python-yubikey-manager for one time
codes or card setup. Just be aware before you update, or use another
computer/device for codes if need be.)

Likely we'll want to tack on any other core python packages in need of
updates, so please feel free to let me know of those or send patches.
I'll send a bug number here once I submit the series and we can make a
quick feature branch just after the core-updates merge. We do want to
keep this quick and not let it become another huge endevor, but I'm
happy to incorporate what we can.

> As for the architectures, x86_64 looks good; i686 and powerpc64le look
> okay (or at least not much worse than on master; R does not work on
> powerpc64le, and should also be fixed shortly after the merge).
> For aarch64 it is difficult to say, since the build farm has trouble
> keeping up. We brought back a few machines, but they are churning through
> the backlog.
> Andreas

If things continue looking good, are we planning to see the merge in
the next few days? Any other more leaf packages anyone has noticed
needs a fix someone should look at?

Thanks everyone for your great work here!


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