Guix: Scheme as a uniform OS admin and deployment interface
GNU Guix is a tool implementing the functional package management paradigm pioneered by Nix. It is rooted in the free software world where it has a growing user and contributor community. Guix and the Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) put an emphasis on providing a unified Scheme environment to deal with package management, container and virtual machine provisioning, operating system deployment, configuration, services, and associated activities.
In this talk I will describe the techniques we use to achieve this unified interface, with the intent to blur the user/developer distinction, and our early experience. The oft-discussed advantages of embedding domain-specific languages (DSLs) have allowed us to develop tools and a programming environment that many envy. Our use of Scheme covers domains traditionally associated with C, Perl, or Python: “build scripts”, system initialization code, service management, Linux containers, and more. Pervasive use of Scheme leads to a “multi-tier” programming environment; I will describe our staging techniques, implemented as mere Scheme syntax extensions.