NixOS/Nix Package Manager

I haven’t seen a thread about Nix here yet, and if I missed one, my apologies.

I recently installed the Nix Package Manager on BL, that is on Sid instead of Buster, via Synaptic that has the binary along with a SystemD setup package that installs with it. Earlier, I installed it via the curl script (will link pages in this post for those who are curious), but for reasons of I being a nOOb, the Nix daemon didn’t automatically start (at least that is what I think, but I could be very well wrong). So I did more further reading as one should lol, and I installed it as I mentioned earlier. Now I am no means an expert on anything Linux, but that never stopped me from doing stuff like this, and I have been curious about Nix for a while, so I took the plunge, and BL is was the prime candidate for it. Even BL with Sid.

Here are some links:

I am using this on a Debian based distro, so the links are more focused on Debian, instead of say, Fedora, and I don’t see at least for me, a reason to use the Nix package manager in Arch. In a way, using the Nix package manager in Debian is kind of like making it like Arch, as from my earlier tests with it, it downloads and compiles packages similar to Arch. Again, I am no expert, so bear with me, but what I also find interesting is that the Nix package manager can also be installed on MacOS and even Windows. From what I have read so far, packages can also be shared in other builds that use the Nix package manager as well as NixOS.

The Debian/Sid install puts the binary packages in the top bin folder, which is different from using the curl script, which symlinks the configs in the $HOME folder. I have read where one can create a Home directory for the NixPM, kind of like a .config folder. I have yet to create one, as well as test the Sid install of it, and I will post notes of my latest foray as I go along.

BL with Nix seems like a fantastic combination, I love running BL without having use MX Linux with it - not because there is anything less ideal doing that, that’s how great and flexible both MX and BL are - it’s just the BL is great on it’s own, and Nix is just another way to live upstream and manage packages. Both Sid and Nix can co-exist without issue, so this is like optimizing it to the Nth degree.

Edit: I just realized I am doing all this without even checking out BL’s forum lol. Again, I don’t use Linux forums much, but if any BL people read this, feel free to chime in. I am gonna pour myself a pint of Guinness and take a peek over there.


Thx for sharing, wasn t aware of Nix/ Package Manager.

1 Like

@drummer Have you tried using ‘topgrade’ ? It’s not Nix… bur it works with both Debian and arch based distros as well as systemd, non-systemd.

@manyroads I haven’t heard of ‘topgrade’, I became aware of Nix reading the forum over at LinuxAudio discussing distros for Digital Audio Workstations. I plan to build one in Linux, and that will be purposed for that environment alone, most likely using a box, like it was an appliance. I don’t have an opinion over systemd vs. non-systemd yet, I was on a Linux hiatus for a few years and might have missed that divide if you will, but purposing the DAW as an appliance can be a non-systemd appliance, so it is a consideration on my list of all things Linux.

Nix from what I understand works on MacOS and Windows, and might possibly not be systemd reliant. The Debian packages I have linked are in the Sid repos, but Nix can be installed via script, without the Debian systemd package, but don’t quote me on that lol. I just built this desktop last night, and starting my own “journey” - to borrow another one of your wonderful things off your Knowledge Base - with it.

You might start a thread if you start a buildup, might be interesting to follow @drummer !

1 Like

@altman Well there is also this:

But I already use Arch, and Nix is not Arch.

Oh, cool. Thx for sharing.

Well I my Sid fragged because I got impatient with packages being held back, and I am getting weary with Debian, at least anything beyond Buster, so I just might do the full NixOS install, but later. Right now the partition that had the Debian/Nix combo is loading Fedora Everything, with a minimal install that doesn’t have GNOME as the default, and you can chose what you want is a sort of package category, like for instance, I chose a bundle for audio production. This might have Nix go along with it, but don’t count on this build being here for longer than a week lulz.

Checking this distro now. Interesting ideas behind. Quite different from other popular distros.

So what is the benefit with the Nix package management over others, and in what situations are Nix doing the job much better than others?

See NixOS - Guides - How Nix works for an overview.

GUIX is a fork developed by GNU that tries to adhere to free (as in speech) software principles:


Thanks for links @Head_on_a_Stick