Previous: , Up: Introduction   [Contents][Index]

1.2 GNU Distribution

Guix comes with a distribution of the GNU system consisting entirely of free software3. The distribution can be installed on its own (see System Installation), but it is also possible to install Guix as a package manager on top of an installed GNU/Linux system (see Installation). When we need to distinguish between the two, we refer to the standalone distribution as Guix System.

The distribution provides core GNU packages such as GNU libc, GCC, and Binutils, as well as many GNU and non-GNU applications. The complete list of available packages can be browsed on-line or by running guix package (see Invoking guix package):

guix package --list-available

Our goal is to provide a practical 100% free software distribution of Linux-based and other variants of GNU, with a focus on the promotion and tight integration of GNU components, and an emphasis on programs and tools that help users exert that freedom.

Packages are currently available on the following platforms:


Intel/AMD x86_64 architecture, Linux-Libre kernel.


Intel 32-bit architecture (IA32), Linux-Libre kernel.


ARMv7-A architecture with hard float, Thumb-2 and NEON, using the EABI hard-float application binary interface (ABI), and Linux-Libre kernel.


little-endian 64-bit ARMv8-A processors, Linux-Libre kernel.


GNU/Hurd on the Intel 32-bit architecture (IA32).

This configuration is experimental and under development. The easiest way for you to give it a try is by setting up an instance of hurd-vm-service-type on your GNU/Linux machine (see hurd-vm-service-type). See Contributing, on how to help!

mips64el-linux (deprecated)

little-endian 64-bit MIPS processors, specifically the Loongson series, n32 ABI, and Linux-Libre kernel. This configuration is no longer fully supported; in particular, there is no ongoing work to ensure that this architecture still works. Should someone decide they wish to revive this architecture then the code is still available.


little-endian 64-bit Power ISA processors, Linux-Libre kernel. This includes POWER9 systems such as the RYF Talos II mainboard. This platform is available as a "technology preview": although it is supported, substitutes are not yet available from the build farm (see Substitutes), and some packages may fail to build (see Tracking Bugs and Patches). That said, the Guix community is actively working on improving this support, and now is a great time to try it and get involved!

With Guix System, you declare all aspects of the operating system configuration and Guix takes care of instantiating the configuration in a transactional, reproducible, and stateless fashion (see System Configuration). Guix System uses the Linux-libre kernel, the Shepherd initialization system (see Introduction in The GNU Shepherd Manual), the well-known GNU utilities and tool chain, as well as the graphical environment or system services of your choice.

Guix System is available on all the above platforms except mips64el-linux and powerpc64le-linux.

For information on porting to other architectures or kernels, see Porting.

Building this distribution is a cooperative effort, and you are invited to join! See Contributing, for information about how you can help.



The term “free” here refers to the freedom provided to users of that software.

Previous: , Up: Introduction   [Contents][Index]