Getting started with NixOS

Hey there,

I’m a newbie in this area. I’m using windows 10 64bit, and Linux is installed on my system. I just upgraded to the later version of the windows from windows 7. Can I still use nix on this device? Or, should I use only linux in my system to use nix?
I can see on the web that nixos is a linux distribution built up. Can I use it with windows? I said above that I’ve installed both windows and linux on my system. How can I get started with nix? How it’s different from unix? I’ve used unix and then changed to linux. I know this is easy to use but seems a little difficult to cope with. It may be the inexperience, and I’ve been using windows so far. You know, it always makes us difficult to change from one to another.
Anyway, I wish to learn more about nix. I’ve searched for more detail on the web but didn’t get some convincing information about it. That information makes me very confusing. Can you help me out to get started with nix?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks a lot.


A lot of questions.

  1. Can I use it with Windows ?

Yes and No. You can install nix/nixos inside WSL2. Not outside, it requires some features only available in a POSIX filesystem.

  1. How can I get started with nix ?

Just install it as the web site explains it. maybe it is easier to use nix alone at first to understandand its behaviour and later swictch to nixos completely if it suits you. Beware, nixos is radically different to the way you use a system using classic Linux distributions.

  1. How is it different from UNIX ?

UNIX needs a certification, Linux never had it. This is why it is called UNIX-Like. It follows most of the principles, but does not have the certification. Nix changes nothing about it. The only visible aspect is with regard to the FHS (Filesystem Hierarchy Standard), which nix(os) doesn’t follow. What do you find simpler with UNIX than Linux ?

  1. “Documentation”

Yes it is a known problem, and it is currently worked on so hopefully it will improve soon. At the moment, you can use technical information from the manuals :

From this discourse forum and from the IRC #nixos room on freenode.

For more user focused information (use cases, some howtos …), I personnally use:

  1. Can you help me out to get started with nix ?

Yes of course, just ask questions here or IRC and you’ll get answers from the community

Welcome on board !


Thanks for your time. Let me go through the sources shared, and I will come to you. I may have many questions.

Also, if you wonder if you can use Nix under Linux with dual-boot: yes, Nix can easily work on a non-NixOS Linux distribution without breaking the system packages, and it doesn’t care how exactly that distribution is booted.