introduction to nixOS 2021-01-12

Notes for a talk I gave on nixOS to the plug community.


  • introduce me, GNU style

  • introduce NixOS, Linux style

    • define jargon
    • NixOS tradeoffs
  • nix package manager

    • works on other distros, macOS
  • share my daily experiences

    • NixOS commands
  • demonstrate declarative development environments

    • nix-shell

me in GNU terms

  • tried Ubuntu 7.04 in 2007, NeoOffice too.
  • why pay to play?
    • I own the hardware and will not pay for your software thank you.

NixOS, nix, and friends


  • nix
    • the package manager or expression language
  • channel
    • repository with software packages
  • nix store
    • /nix/store; place where installed software goes


  • old problems solved
    • dependency hell
    • rummager system management
  • new problems to solve
    • kindawell documented language for system management

nix standalone

  • the isolated saved a complicated apache httpd installation on a strange centos 6 derivative
  • macOS support ok

security related qa

  • can I use LUKS?
    • yes. The NixOS manual has a dedicated section here.
  • can I use a Yubikey or other hardware key?
    • yes. Declare udev integration optionally in alternate .nix file

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