NixOS 23.11 released (
from to on 29 Nov 2023 22:32

#linux on 29 Nov 2023 22:38 next collapse

I’m new to NixOS. Do I have to do anything extra to update NixOS? Or do I just update my flake and run nixos-rebuild switch --flake like I normally do to update packages? on 29 Nov 2023 22:44 next collapse

I’m not sure (I’m about to install it for the first time - on this computer) - According to this all you need to do is:

# nix-channel --add nixos
# nixos-rebuild switch --upgrade on 30 Nov 2023 03:19 next collapse

This procedure doesn’t work with flakes as they come with “channels included”. on 30 Nov 2023 06:07 collapse

What if I just want to upgrade some packages? Like not change channel, but Firefox needs an update? I’m not op and don’t use flakes btw on 30 Nov 2023 06:51 next collapse

If using flakes you could just for instance add another input. You can also set the input URLs to specific states of the nixpkgs repository by eg referencing specific commits. Then, you should be able to just, e.g., pick Firefox from unstable, another package from the current stable channel, and maybe a broken package from a pull request fixing said package.

If you are not using flakes you can also add system wide channels. IIRC you can then import these channels into your configuration.nix and select packages from the corresponding channels. But here the channels/inputs are not part of configuration itself in contrast to when using flakes. on 30 Nov 2023 17:15 collapse

There’s no command to just update all packages without changing the nixos version? on 30 Nov 2023 17:51 next collapse

Update your channel & rebuild on 30 Nov 2023 23:32 collapse

Is that the equivalent to apt update and apt upgrade? I don’t want to apt dist-upgrade lol on 01 Dec 2023 09:45 collapse

When not using flakes, nixos-rebuild switch --upgrade is equivalent to apt update; apt upgrade. The equivalent to dist-upgrade is nix-channel add $NEW-CHANNEL-URL nixos and then performing a regular update. on 05 Dec 2023 22:26 collapse

Thanks. I’ve done switch many times after editing my config file. I’ve never added --upgrade! on 30 Nov 2023 20:46 collapse

I’m a bit confused about what you actually want? Do you just want to update your packages, but stay on the same NixOS version? Just continue like before. Do you want to stay on your current version, but use some packages from the next version? That should also be possible if you somehow include that channel in your configuration.nix (though I don’t know how this would work in practice).

Personally, I just run with unstable though, then the releases aren’t that important. on 01 Dec 2023 00:03 collapse

I think I thought unstable would mean, well, unstable. Like nightly releases or something. Would you use unstable for Firefox? on 01 Dec 2023 08:27 collapse

I think unstable and the fixed versions use the same Firefox package, so you wouldn’t gain anything. The difference is rather in libraries that get used and how the distribution does things. For example, the changes listed in… just appeared mostly one by one for me; one day, I wanted to update my system and got the error that the fonts option got renamed, so I had to change my configuration.

The fonts.fonts and fonts.enableDefaultFonts options have been renamed to fonts.packages and fonts.enableDefaultPackages respectively.

While when using a fixed point release, these changes won’t happen. Only when you switch releases. That’s what “unstable” refers to. on 30 Nov 2023 13:36 collapse

You can add something like this to your config:…/how-to-add-nixos-unstable-cha…

You just need to have it fetch the tarball for nixos 23.11 instead of nixos unstable. on 29 Nov 2023 22:49 next collapse

You need to update your inputs so that you’re using the 23.11 branch of nixpkgs instead of the old one. In my experience, a couple of things will break, but there’s usually warnings about it. on 29 Nov 2023 23:15 collapse

Oh okay. That makes sense. I should have mentioned im using unstable as my inputs. So I assume I just need to update.

Edit: I just ran neofetch and apparently I’m already running NixOS 24.05. 👍 on 30 Nov 2023 11:19 next collapse

Yeah, as a nixos-unstable user, you’ve been running “23.11” for the past 6 months ;) on 30 Nov 2023 14:16 collapse

yeah if you’re using unstable than it’s rolling release and you just need to update regularly. the point releases shouldn’t matter too much on 30 Nov 2023 03:18 collapse

If you are using flakes you should check your flakes’ inputs (probably the one called nixpkgs) and then change the URL to match the channel for 23.11. Finally, you should of course rebuild your system. on 29 Nov 2023 23:19 next collapse

Seeing this prompted me to do an experiment.

There was a time when Nixpkgs was smaller than the AUR. And, until recently, Nixpkgs was larger than the AUR but still smaller than the combination of the main Arch repos with the AUR.

As it turns out, the current total package count for Arch and the AUR is 85,819.

For nixpkgs unstable, that number is 88,768.

NixOS 23.05 Stable has 83,740.

And considering the mention of 9,147 new packages and 4,015 removed packages, that would mean that 23.11 would have a total of:

88,872 packages. This is more than the current figures for Nixpkgs unstable, but this is going off data from separate sources (NixOS devs and repology, with repology still being slightly outdated)

And, as such, I think it’s fair to say the winner is (drumroll please)…

The USER for having such incredible distributions, giving him the vast breadth of choice for what distro matches their workflow best. on 29 Nov 2023 23:52 next collapse

Gender neutral him moment on 30 Nov 2023 04:28 next collapse

Though the difference is AUR packages aren’t officially supported or tested and are commonly out of date. They also need to be built on your system on 30 Nov 2023 11:03 collapse

To be fair, the level of support for packages in nixpkgs is inconsistent. My config has a number of backported packages overlaid on top of nixpkgs where upstream is not up to date enough for me. on 30 Nov 2023 14:09 next collapse

There may be more but that doesn’t mean that every Arch package is available on Nix on 30 Nov 2023 14:47 collapse

Package count is interesting to look at, but it doesn’t really give a good picture of software availability. Distributions will split or combine packages differently. For example, the AUR has both binaries and source versions available for many packages. on 30 Nov 2023 12:49 next collapse

<img alt="" src=""> on 30 Nov 2023 12:54 next collapse


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Does Nix need user namespaces, and does it allow good Sandboxing like Podman or Flatpak? on 30 Nov 2023 17:42 next collapse

No idea, I use Gentoo on 01 Dec 2023 14:03 next collapse

I’ve used flatpak in the past, and although you basically give up the declarative aspect they worked fine as far as I remember on 01 Dec 2023 17:52 collapse

That was not answering the question 😅 on 01 Dec 2023 18:00 collapse

Ah, I think I see what you meant now. My bad! on 04 Dec 2023 13:17 collapse

Nix packages arent containerized by default. But since every depenedency is clearly defined. there are tools wrap packkages using bublewrap, or tools build layered docker imahes

But building packages happens in sandbox on 04 Dec 2023 16:05 collapse

Great thanks! So Fedora+Nix (maybe some hacky way to symlink it to /var/nix on every boot and it can run on Atomic too)+bubblejail (there is a COPR now for use in secureblue) could be a great setup!

Any info about namespaces? Hardened kernels block these for valid reasons. Flatpaks can use bubblewrap-suid, Podman is supposedly not compatible (not sure about that) on 30 Nov 2023 18:00 next collapse

Okay, folks. NixOS needs your help. No bull. I’m talking documenters, designers, coders, package maintainers. Why? Because the NixOS community has a lot on it’s plate right now.

Like I can understand why flakes haven’t become standardised, why it’s still marked as unstable, even though it’s pretty much feature complete, and that’s because nix is a complex environment builder and the current contributes are taxed to the max.

But what is nix?

Nix’s job is to create reproducible environments where you can put any library, any service, any application. It does this through compile time flags and modifying ELF headers to isolate applications on a system to their own, exclusive UNIX path. These are linked together as clojures, or a dependency graphs, that can share libraries, applications and services intetchangably with each othet, or use another version or patched version without causing any dependency conflicts.

You can fire up pretty much whatever you want and it will be reproducible elsewhere. It’s like if you took a package manager, build environments, as well as VMs and micro services and make them kiss.

You can spin up a nix environment on any supported system and expect it to run 1:1. This however breeds complexity and there’s a lack of NixOS contributors.

If only you spin up a nix environment on a VM or use it to replace your current build systems (because nix can use several build systems in one single environment), and then contribute back with some changes to nixpkgs, then you are helping to bring about the most powerful deployment tool since kubernetes.

No joke. Check out how you can contribute, because at the end of the day learning nix is gaining a new superpower. on 30 Nov 2023 19:55 collapse

Can someone please point me to a repo with a nix configuration for a desktop setup with a minimum of KDE? Bonus points for it being more like Fedora. on 01 Dec 2023 03:36 collapse

There’s an installer that makes a basic config for you where you can choose KDE as your DE.