2023-03-25 (Saturday) Nix meetup at TUHH – Hamburg, Germany


Saturday 2023-03-25

13:30-17:30 Europe/Berlin

TUHH building F (NIT)
Room 1.17
Kasernenstr. 12, Hamburg

Capacity: 9(+1)/14 people (we may get a larger room if needed)


Schedule (WIP)

  • Lightning talk: What is Nix and why do I care? (@fricklerhandwerk)
  • Q&A, Snacks and Drinks
  • Lightning talk: Ideas on unifying the three declarative configuration frameworks (@fricklerhandwerk)
  • Discussion: Brainstorming on setting up more community teams
  • Discussion: Regular meetups in Hamburg

Feel free to propose lightning talks or discussion items, such as questions you’d like to have answered!

I can offer insights on what’s wrong going on with documentation and report from the Nix team.


I have only heard about Nix or I‘m very new to Nix – is this for me?

Do you write software using a huge toolchain that’s full of magic? Hell yes, you’ll like it. Bonus points if you’ve experienced your tools break unprompted and for impenetrable reasons.

This all sounds really technical and obscure. Won‘t that be boring or confusing for beginners?

Depending on the baseline knowledge in the group we can make an introduction that your grandma will understand. Promised. (No grandmas were harmed during the making of this introduction.)

You still probably will have more fun with the rest of the schedule if you’ve experienced the pain of trying to work with computers for real.

PS: We have another meetup one week later, in the evening: 2023-03-31 (Friday) Nix Hacker Talk at freiheit.com – Hamburg, Germany

1 Like

I am interested However, I am not in the area until 3/28.

I’m planning to join. Looking forward to it!

1 Like

Planning to join as well, thanks for organizing & looking forward to it :sunglasses:

1 Like

We’re doing a live stream of the first part until we dissolve into uncoordinated chatter. Feel free to join in German: Jitsi Meet

1 Like

It was nice, super happy to have met some awesome people!


Very nice and informative event!

Looking forward for the next one (I can attend).


I second (triple) this, it was very fun to discuss Nix from ground up together, cheers for initiating this @fricklerhandwerk and I’m definitely up for adding some hands-on session next time😎


Meeting report

With some delay to do the writeup, here’s a brief summary of the event.

tl;dr We got to know each other better, discussed and philosophised a lot, and intend to hold regular meetups.

We had 11 attendees with different levels of Nix experience, starting with complete beginners, ranging to curious enthusiasts, up to long-time users.

I opened the meetup by presenting a grassroots theory of what Nix is by outlining what it does:

  1. Dependency management
  2. Build isolation
  3. Deployment

We then discussed the “Nix model” by framing the Nix store in terms of a “lambda calculus on file system objects”, and dissected the claim that Nix is a Purely Functional Package Manager:

On top of that, we traced the history of ideas around the Nix language, Nixpkgs, and NixOS (as well as the other declarative configuration frameworks).

After a snack break, we collected questions and discussion items.

  • What is a Derivation?
  • What are Flakes and how do they fit into that picture?
  • How can Nix be used by sysadmins?
  • What is the NixOS module system?
  • What are alternatives for Nix and how do they compare?

We went through the questions one by one, collecting ideas on the whiteboard, trying to avoid going too deeply down the rabbit holes to keep Nix beginners in the loop. The debates were interpersed with breaks for more snacks and chatting.

Quote of the day:

Dependency hell is a room full of old computers

(Manufacturing companies are are known to make their old software immutable by mothballing the hardware it was run on.)


At the and we had a brief feedback round. The event was deemed insightful and exciting, and the group expressed a desire to repeat it on a regular basis, with more hands-on hacking.

Next time, we want to install Nix and NixOS with those who are interested. We still have to decide on a cadence and a location, because the the south of Hamburg is not easily reachable for everyone due to time constraints.

Feel free to discuss on this thread or write me a direct message if you want to help out with organising the next meetup.

Hosted by Flying Circus.