Do any other distros have roll-backs?

I’m very new to NixOS, just playing with it in a VM. The ability to roll back to a previous version is pretty neat.

I wonder if any other distros have this also? Would using ZFS for your / partition (separate from /home) accomplish this?

Yes, you can do rollbacks with any distribution + ZFS.

One big difference - maybe the main big difference - is not the rollbacks themselves, but the fact that in NixOS you can easily diff two system configurations. Good luck doing that with stateful changes distributed across many many files.

I think the only fully working OS that has the same concept of rollbacks as NixOS is guix.

The closest approximation I think you can get is doing snapshot at the volume or filesystem level each time you do anything. In '19 I used snapper over a Btrfs Arch system and it worked okay. That said it’s nothing more than ad-hoc snapshots of mutable data which means you might capture impurities here and there. It also does not capture the entire functionality of Nix.

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File system hackery aside, it’s one of the design principles of Fedora Silverblue, for example. NixOS was first in terms of distros that tried this kind of thing, to my knowledge, but a number of bigger distros have been looking at “atomicness” lately.

There’s of course also GUIX.

openSUSE does this, using btrfs. It takes a snapshot of the filesystem before and after package changes, and I believe around other system changes made with their YaST tool as well. You can view a diff between snapshots, from the command line or from the YaST GUI.