Reproducible Dev Environment for Clojure with Guix and Emacs


The Goal is to make a development environment (for Clojure project), which can be shared with another person or the whole team with minimal effort. Not the ideal, but at least good enough, so we can improve it later.

Parts of Dev Environment

  • Compiler/Interpreter/VM/lang PM?.
  • IDE/Code Editor and language specific plugins.
  • Auxiliary Tools (psql, linter, make).

What we Need Upfront?


Any version.

guix shell


The place, where reproducibility leaks a little (the tool should be installed outside of dev environment).

Configured with .envrc.

Why not Docker?

  • Expensive to extend the image.
  • Hard to GUI.
  • Hard to integrate with IDE.
  • Dockerfile not reproducible.

Clojure, JVM and Packages

Guix Channels


Technically the reproducibilty can leak here. Especially true for -SNAPSHOT versions.



Aux Tools

psql, make, whatever.

Should be controlable by env vars.

Sharing secrets

It's a separate question.

Emacs and CIDER

The trickiest part.

Features to check:

  • clojuredoc.
  • go to definition.

Emacs Configuration as a Package

Trick with Env Variables

Get different envs from one guix.scm.

What to Do Next?

Deploy the same versions of packages to production with guix pack or guix deploy.


  • Making a reproducible env isn't that hard (at least almost reproducible).
  • Reproducibility slightly leaks.
  • With guix we can easily go from dev env to prod/deploy env.