Flatpak and snapd packages are available on other distributions because their respective package managers being built for installation on multiple distros [1][2]. Is this also true for the Guix package manager?

I remember hearing that Guix packages were (or will be) installable on Debian, but I can't find a reference.

[1] http://flatpak.org/index.html#about

[2] http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/goodbye-apt-and-yum-ubuntus-snap-apps-are-coming-to-distros-everywhere/

3 Answers 3


I'm an occasional Guix contributor. Yes, you can run Guix packages on top of other distributions (GuixSD is a standalone distribution of Guix, whereas Guix itself is a package manager, so it can be used under any other distribution). The Binary installation section shows you how to easily set up Guix on top of another GNU/Linux distribution. You can also run Guix without splatting it over your root filesystem; see the "Running Guix Before It Is Installed" section. (There are other tutorials out there; I've even written my own, you can search for it if you so care.)

So yes, Guix can be run as a userspace packaging system on top of a more "traditional" distribution. (You do need the daemon running as root and the worker users and etc, but once you have that, different users can installing packages for themselves without clobbering each other.)

However, you might notice that maybe it's a bit more work than desirable to get Guix running. It would be much nicer if you could apt-get install guix or install from yum, pacman, etc. That would reduce some steps! Guix could be packaged for other distributions; Diane Trout was working on this for Debian. However, for good reasons (maybe too long to go into here?) Guix does not follow the Filesystem Heirarchy Standard, and for that reason alone will probably not be installed in the main repositories of Debian at least soon. Maybe some day this will change.

Hope that helps!

  • 1
    Can you give some reference to read up further on the reasons? (the ones you mentioned too long to go into here) Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 4:29
  • 2
    I know this answer is several years old, but I thought I should mention that I just did a apt-get install guix. It's done :) Commented Apr 2 at 21:42

Two years after this question had been answered, it is now easier than ever before to run software made in Guix on another distribution of Linux. Rather than installing Guix on the other Linux distribution, instead we use guix pack to transform the Guix Package into either a stand-alone tarball, or a docker image. They are even aware of the comparison to Snap/Flatpack, which you will find some comments about in the section "Tarballs vs. Snap, Flatpak, Docker, & co." Explained here: https://guix.gnu.org/blog/2018/tarballs-the-ultimate-container-image-format/

  • 1
    Your use of the term "we" implies an affiliation with the project; is there one?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 18:29
  • No affiliation. By "we" I was referring to Guix users. Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 20:11

Yes, Guix packages are installable on other linux distros.

For example, if you have a distro with apt, then you can just run

sudo apt-get install guix
guix install <package_name>

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .