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Showing posts from July, 2018

Setting Up A Private Nix Cache

I recently went through the process of setting up a private Nix binary cache. It was not obvious to me how to go about it at first, so I thought I would document what I did here. There are a few different ways of going about this that might be appropriate in one situation or another, but I’ll just describe the one I ended up using. I need to serve a cache for proprietary code, so I ended up using a cache served via SSH.Setting up the serverFor my cache server I’m using an Amazon EC2 instance with NixOS. It’s pretty easy to create these using the public NixOS 18.03 AMI. I ended up using a t2.medium with 1 TB of storage, but the jury is still out on the ideal tradeoff of specs and cost for our purposes. YMMV.The NixOS AMI puts the SSH credentials in the root user, so log in like this:ssh -i /path/to/your/key.pem root@nixcache.example.comTo get your new NixOS machine working as an SSH binary cache there are two things you need to do: generate a signing key and turn on cache serving.Gener…

Simplicity

I'm reposting this here because it cannot be overstated.  I've been saying roughly the same thing for awhile now.  It's even the title of this blog!  Drew DeVault sums it up very nicely in his opening sentences:
The single most important quality in a piece of software is simplicity. It’s more important than doing the task you set out to achieve. It’s more important than performance. Here's the full post: https://drewdevault.com/2018/07/09/Simple-correct-fast.html

I would also like to add another idea.  It has been my observation that the attributes of "smarter" and "more junior" tend to be more highly correlated with losing focus on simplicity.  Intuitively this makes sense because smarter people will tend to grasp complicated concepts more easily.  Also, smarter people tend to be enamored by clever complex solutions.  Junior engineers usually don't appreciate how important simplicity is as much as senior engineers--at least I know I didn't! …