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NixOS 15.09 Released: Ships Updated Desktops, Linux 3.18 Kernel

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  • NixOS 15.09 Released: Ships Updated Desktops, Linux 3.18 Kernel

    Phoronix: NixOS 15.09 Released: Ships Updated Desktops, Linux 3.18 Kernel

    NixOS, the "purely functional Linux distribution" built around the Nix package manager, is out with a new release...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...15.09-Released

  • #2
    I'm all for choice, but it's really difficult from the article and from the website nixos.org to gather what compelling reasons if any there are to use or care about nixos.

    If any user was solely interested in the package manager I would think Arch or Gentoo would offer superior selection.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ElectricPrism View Post
      If any user was solely interested in the package manager I would think Arch or Gentoo would offer superior selection.
      IMO their package manager nix is really superior to others, it's the way to go. To mention some advantage, (1) I'll never get again compatibility problems between libraries, that usually limit also the versions of installed software, (2) you cannot brake your system just installing something, because everything is reversible + infinite configuration you can switch to, (3) copy your config file to another PC -> get the same system, (4) non-root software installation <- why if I want to use firefox do I need to be root to install it? (5) really simple package format, speed up packaging time

      I think these are the main reason. I'm corrently using arch, elementary + nix, nixOS. And I believe that nix is the future of the package managers.

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      • #4
        It would be cool to have GNU/Linux distributions walkthroughs on phoronix with presentation of pros an cons. They are a lot of distributions that appear in articles and that I would like to use but it's difficult to know if it's worth it

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ElectricPrism View Post
          If any user was solely interested in the package manager I would think Arch or Gentoo would offer superior selection.
          As a Gentoo developer, I'm actually very curious about nixOS though not quite enough to try it right now. It sounds like a cleaner model, at least on paper, but I suspect it doesn't work quite so perfectly in practise. It's unconventional approach also makes it totally unlike any other distribution out there. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I can imagine they have a lot of trouble with upstream assumptions about what a Linux system should look like.

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          • #6
            Nice to see somebody who is already using nix.
            Just two questions regarding nix:
            1) does nix have its own linker or is it using the standard linux ld-command.
            2.) if two lib-versions are using the same config-file in /etc/... and you install both of them. But the new version has new config options in the config file which causes Problems when using the old lib. How can nix solve such Problems?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nico202 View Post

              IMO their package manager nix is really superior to others, it's the way to go. To mention some advantage, (1) I'll never get again compatibility problems between libraries, that usually limit also the versions of installed software, (2) you cannot brake your system just installing something, because everything is reversible + infinite configuration you can switch to, (3) copy your config file to another PC -> get the same system, (4) non-root software installation <- why if I want to use firefox do I need to be root to install it? (5) really simple package format, speed up packaging time

              I think these are the main reason. I'm corrently using arch, elementary + nix, nixOS. And I believe that nix is the future of the package managers.
              interesting.
              then why does no other distro use it? is it too new / unstable?
              or why did they need to make their own distro for it, why not corporate with another new distro?

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              • #8
                Kernel 3.18?
                Is there some kind of bleeding-edge repository?

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                • #9
                  I am a long time user of Archlinux and recently put one of my machines on NixOS, so I can answer some questions.
                  I am quite happy with it and didn't had any big problem so far.
                  Of course everything is not perfect and there still are a few issues, but it work quite good for a normal desktop.

                  I'm all for choice, but it's really difficult from the article and from the website nixos.org to gather what compelling reasons if any there are to use or care about nixos.
                  The about page on the official site is a good introduction to NixOS specificities. http://nixos.org/nixos/about.html

                  For me, the killer features are:
                  • ability to rollback the system at a previous version
                  • multiple versions of the same software at the same time
                  • declarative configuration
                  • nix-shell development environment


                  Originally posted by tomtomme View Post

                  interesting.
                  then why does no other distro use it? is it too new / unstable?
                  or why did they need to make their own distro for it, why not corporate with another new distro?
                  GNU GuixSD is based on the same ideas of NixOS.
                  Also it is possible to install nix, the package manager only, on other distros and on mac os.

                  Kernel 3.18?
                  Is there some kind of bleeding-edge repository?
                  One interesting point of NixOS is the declarative configuration file, it is very easy to use a different kernel by adding one setting.
                  For example to use kernel 4.1 one just need to put the following in configuration.nix:

                  Code:
                  boot.kernelPackages = pkgs.linuxPackages_4_1;
                  And rebuild the system with one command to be on kernel 4.1.

                  There is also an unstable channel available that act like a rolling release.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sunrising View Post
                    I am a long time user of Archlinux and recently put one of my machines on NixOS, so I can answer some questions.
                    I am quite happy with it and didn't had any big problem so far.
                    From wikipedia page
                    "The Nix build language used by NixOS specifies how to build packages from source. This makes it easy to adapt the system to user needs. However, building from source is being a slow process, the package manager automatically downloads pre-built binaries from a cache server when they are available. This gives the flexibility of a source-based package management model with the efficiency of a binary model."

                    Do you know if this process of using pre-built binaries is automatic or the user need to set something?

                    EDIT: Is it possible to users upload their compiled binaries (with compiled options, dependencies etc)?
                    Last edited by rudregues; 01 October 2015, 09:36 AM.

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