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Is there a beginner's guide to using Guix with Scheme files?

From: Zachary Kanfer
Subject: Is there a beginner's guide to using Guix with Scheme files?
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2016 00:15:12 -0400

I recently installed Guix, and I must admit I'm feeling somewhat lost. My goal is to not run `guix package -i` manually, but have a scheme file with my entire system configuration in it, and run `guix package -f /path/to/that/file` to install the programs I want on my computer.

I think what I want to start with is here (, but I'm not sure. Looking at it is somewhat confusing, for a few reasons. I'm going to list what I see when reading this in hopes that the documentation can be improved.

1. It starts by discussing how to "define new packages". I would expect that I would only want to *use* packages, and that this would be done by the person adding the package to the software repository.

2. The example given looks like a very complicated way of installing a simple package. There are many properties I don't care about when I'm installing software (homepage, synopsis /and/ description), and things I don't want to care about (arguments, inputs, build-system). To install a package on the command line, it's something simple like "apt-get install emacs". To use Guix, I have to write a 20-line program with a bunch of settings?

3. It goes on to discuss importing other people's package definitions ( But it doesn't say how to do this in a Scheme file. I want my setup to be in a Scheme file, not in a bunch of commands I have to manually run.

4. It discusses running `guix build` to use the package definitions. This appears to be different than `guix package -i`, but I'm at a loss to say how.

Am I missing a useful page somewhere in the documentation? Do I have some wrong assumptions about how Guix is used? Thanks for any help.


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