21.05 Has been Released!

NixOS 21.05 released

Hey everyone, I’m Jonathan Ringer, the release manager for 21.05. As promised, the latest stable release is here: NixOS 21.05 “Okapi”.

The 21.05 release was possible due to the efforts of 1745 contributors in 33474 commits. We would especially like to thank our top 10 contributors: Fabian Affolter, Frederik Rietdijk, Sandro Jäckel, Tim Steinbach, Jonathan Ringer, Martin Weinelt, Mario Rodas, Robert Schütz, Jan Tojnar, Sterni.

NixOS is already known as the most up to date distribution and is in the top three by total number of packages.

This didn’t stop us. In the last six months:

  • 12985 packages were added
  • 14109 packages were removed
  • 16768 packages were updated

Likewise, our NixOS module system got bigger and better:

  • 1527 options were added
  • 290 options removed
  • 400 options were updated

Stabilization Contributors

Stabilization of the NixOS happens a month before the planned release. The goal is to have as little as possible continuous integration (Hydra) jobs failing before the release is cut.

Individuals who contributed to stabilizing this release: Fabian Affolter, Sterni, Stéphan Kochen, Robert Schütz, Martin Weinelt, Jonathan Ringer, Alyssa Ross, Andrew Childs, Thomas Tuegel, Malte Brandy, and 431 others!

Special Thanks

I would like to give a special thanks to Jan Tojnar and others for the Gnome 40 stabilization effort. Another special thanks should be given to Thomas Tuegel and many others for bringing Plasma 5.21 to NixOS.

Reflections and Closing

I think the RFC80 and RFC85 changes to the release process were successful in limiting risk and making the release more deterministic. This is the first release since 17.03 to have released in the intended month, although the rendered manual and official announcement were delayed a day. In the future, I hope to make the release as “boring” as possible, and have it be a time to improve the quality of nixpkgs’ unstable and stable channels.

NixOS announcement: NixOS - Blog → Announcements

EDIT: markup cleanup


I just downloaded the Gnome version and it landed in a grub prompt. No GUI.

1 Like

Got the same outcome as @etrigan63, a grub prompt shell when using the Gnome image.

looks like iso-image: Fix issues with UEFI installer image by samueldr · Pull Request #124076 · NixOS/nixpkgs · GitHub wasn’t backported


Thanks for this pointer. I tried the minimal version and end up with the same result too.

At the very least, that’s the only PR which touched nixos/modules/installer/cd-dvd after branchoff

Hi, I just downloaded the ISO and ran into the same issue. Sorry if I don’t understand the release process very well, but do we have an estimate when the ISO will be updated? Thank you so much!

You can download the image with the fixes here or use this direct link.

We are waiting on just 1 build to finish (ungoogled-chrome) https://hydra.nixos.org/eval/1675052#tabs-unfinished


A new channel release has happened, the website (still) points to the latest image, which now has the fixes.


Hello @jonringer,

i’m trying to install nixos 21.05 (current website links)

  • The desktop is “standard ThinkStation” + nvidia gpu

plasma 5

  • shows the usb boot screen but after pressing enter → the normal boot of the current installation (with ssd password)


  • start into tty
    – after switch (alt + F7) there is the login - nixos user - clicking this user → black screen with frozen mouse

cc @jtojnar for gnome issues.

but do you mind taking a look at systemctl status display-manager.service? may show why it was failing to launch the display manager

Gdm: GdmDisplay: Session never registered, failing 
gkr-pam: couldn't change password for the login keyring.

journalctl -xb | grep -i error
nixos kernel: error: unable to locate IOAPIC for GSI -1

dmesg | grep -i ioapic

looks like gnome-keyring-daemon has issues.

is services.gnome.gnome-keyring.enable = true; set?

nixos-option services.gnome.gnome-keyring.enable
Value: true