My PhD supervisor makes his slides using a very old package. This package is not supported anymore and he can't update his LaTeX distribution because he wouldn't be able to compile his old slides anymore. (1/2)


He would like to have a way of having two distributions on the same machine, an old one for his old slides and a new one. I suggested using a small VM, but that might be overkill. He also found this ( but I'm not sure how stable and maintainable this solution is.

Would there be another solution we haven't thought about?


@typochon docker? a chroot-like approach (the article makes something similar)?

@typochon Guix/Nix is lighter than containers and let us have multiple versions of a package at the same time. We can pin packages and keep older versions ‘forever’; at the same time pins don’t interfere and don’t block updates.

We can install Guix/Nix on any distro next to a native package manager. There will be no problems because everything is kept separately under /{guix,nix}/store…

@kmicu @fresheyeball Yes, I had forgotten about Nix. I've never used it personally but I'll make the suggestion to him. Thanks for the links @kmicu !

@typochon @kmicu it could be tricky to get a nice expression for the old old latex. But if you can get that but done, it will work perfectly; with no container or vm. Lightweight and fast via nix-build or nix-shell.

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