The documentation for guix system reconfigure says:

Build the operating system described in file, activate it, and switch to it.

A cursory search didn't bring up any information on what or where that file is or how to generate it.

As @muru commented, that page also says:

Once you have written an operating system declaration as seen in the previous section

...but that section is Bootloader Configuration and likewise does not tell me where to find that file on my system.

Since this step is part of a normal system upgrade (after runnnig guix pull as described in multiple places), I would've expected something a bit more obvious... but since I am a complete noob in GuixSD, I could easily be wrong.

  • It also says "file must be the name of a file containing an operating-system declaration", and "Once you have written an operating system declaration as seen in the previous section" at the top of the section.
    – muru
    Nov 6, 2019 at 5:13
  • @muru In the documentation I have linked to, the previous section is called Bootloader Configuration and again, I couldn't see anything there on how to generate one. Given that this system is already running, I am kind of baffled I can't do the Guix equivalent of sudo apt upgrade... but again, as I said, I might be looking in completely the wrong place.
    – FriendFX
    Nov 6, 2019 at 5:21
  • The "the" might be a mistake. They're probably referring to other sections in guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/…, such as guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/…, but in any case, it seems to me you must have had such a file in the first place, to have even started this system. Just re-use that.
    – muru
    Nov 6, 2019 at 5:31
  • @muru I'm sure that the file I'm looking for is somewhere on this machine. And now we're finally getting to the meat of my question: Where is it or how do I generate it? I simply followed the standard installation process here, which may have told me where it generated that file but since this was months ago (this is a toy project for now), I can't remember and thought others might bump into the same problem when they come back and want to upgrade their system.
    – FriendFX
    Nov 6, 2019 at 5:34
  • Is this what you're looking for? guix.gnu.org/manual/en/html_node/…
    – muru
    Nov 6, 2019 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


In 3.7 After System Installation, it says:

3.7 After System Installation

Success, you’ve now booted into Guix System! From then on, you can update the system whenever you want by running, say:

guix pull
sudo guix system reconfigure /etc/config.scm

So /etc/config.scm might be what you're looking for.

And in 3.6.2 Proceeding with the Installation:

Next, you have to edit a file and provide the declaration of the operating system to be installed. [...]. We strongly recommend storing that file on the target root file system, say, as /mnt/etc/config.scm. Failing to do that, you will have lost your configuration file once you have rebooted into the newly-installed system.

See Using the Configuration System, for an overview of the configuration file. The example configurations discussed in that section are available under /etc/configuration in the installation image. Thus, to get started with a system configuration providing a graphical display server (a “desktop” system), you can run something along these lines:

# mkdir /mnt/etc
# cp /etc/configuration/desktop.scm /mnt/etc/config.scm
# nano /mnt/etc/config.scm

Which could tell you how you got that file in the first place.

  • Weird system. In 2022, the 3.6.2 is still there in the current documentation, but(!) current install media offers a "graphical" install where you don't touch any file in an editor. So… back to square one: how do I get guix system to write the current configuration into a file in my ~? May 23, 2022 at 9:15
  • 1
    @JürgenA.Erhard do you see anything in /run/current-system/configuration.scm?
    – muru
    May 23, 2022 at 9:50

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