Install unstable?

Can I install NixOS such that the installed system is on the unstable branch, with unstable packages?
Or do I need to install the current branch, and then switch the system to the unstable branch after installation?

There are installer images with the unstable channel pre-set available at nixos-unstable release nixos-24.05pre585741.b98a4e1746ac

In stable channel images, I think you can just remove the default channel and add the unstable channel as you would do on an installed system.

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The installer images with the unstable channel pre-set will indeed create a system using the unstable package versions.
But with the stable channel images, simply switching to the unstable channel before installing will not affect the installed system. It will still be with the stable package versions.