NixOS 23.05 Retrospective 🦦

TL;DR: Release retrospective in 17 hours! :otter:


To have a discussion around the stable release, and how to improve the process. This will be very similar in intent to previous retrospectives.


We will hold a 1-hour meeting on Jitsi Meet to facilitate questions and have a discussion around what didn’t work well and how to improve. We’ll start by trying to collect and rank topics, and then walk through them in descending order. To keep the pace of discussion going, we’ll try to time-box the discussion (5 mins initial, with 2 minute extensions), so we don’t end up just talking about one topic the entire time.

Topics should be categorized into three sections:

  • What went well?
  • What was notable even if neutral
  • What went badly?

The desired outcome is to arrive at some “action items” which can be applied to improve the next NixOS release.

If we don’t arrive at the particular topic you were interested in, this doesn’t mean it wasn’t important, we just didn’t get around to it in this meeting. Feel free to post your topic to this thread to get a discussion started.

When? Where ?



Anyone who has valuable feedback on the 23.05 release. If you attempted to contribute, contributed or used the release, you are welcome to participate.

Policy for this Discourse thread

Please feel free to add anything to the following topics in a post:

  • What went well?
  • What do you feel neutral about?
  • What did you feel negative about?

You can also start a discussion to other people’s posts, however, if a particular topic warrants its own thread, then it should probably be moved into its own thread. We would like to mainly keep this thread focused on discussion topics for the retrospective meeting.

Hi there, since being Release Editor for 23.05, I’d want to improve this process.

I am planning to draft up my ideas in a PR to nixos/release-wiki (click here for current entry) next week and really appreciate feedback then.

I’d like to have two things for 23.11’s Release Notes: A styleguide with best-practice examples at least and a linter to better streamline if possible.

In the meantime please do comment on this post, or discuss in the Retrospective and feedback your results here. Thanks!

Edit: I cannot attend tomorrow sadly, that’s why I am posting here…


I will add my things on which I will expand later on:

  • Lack of team in-between Nix and NixOS for NixOS Nix wrappers: nixos-enter, nixos-install, etc.
    • nixos-enter is still broken at the moment.
  • Nix version upgrade policies in nixpkgs
    • a Nix 2.13.3 → Nix 2.15.X was submitted last-minute, while it was not planned for release-23.05, it was not clear from the initial information provided in the PR.
  • EOL policies regarding
  • Tooling for releases:
    • Create a new release notes
    • Tag a release and verify the commit hash is still “the right one” (rebase/tag or tag/rebase)

And maybe some stuff I forgot. :slight_smile:


As I announced quite late the retrospective, no one (EXCEPT @Atemu !!) showed up (not surprising!), therefore, I propose to postpone and do a when2meet: NixOS 23.05 retrospective - When2meet to give a chance to get a complete & comprehensive retrospective.

There were some changes in the kernel that made it possible to use the mainline kernel for Raspberry Pi 4.
They weren’t in the release manual however and a lot of people then weren’t able to build their configuration anymore because the configuration in nixos-hardware isn’t compatible with the 6.1 kernel.
From what I’ve seen on Github and Matrix there were quite a few people who had this problem and I felt a bit bad for the people in the Matrix chat because they had to answer the question so many times.

1 Like

I’m scheduling the new NixOS 23.05 retrospective for:



Unfortunately, only @hexa @JulienMalka answered to the when2meet, so I guess we can have a nice chill chat with last minute joins or we can probably just discuss other things and wrap up this in 15 minutes if necessary.

From the call with @vcunat @hexa @JulienMalka:

We went through the points:

@vcunat points:

  • nix core team will take responsibility for maintaining Nix versions, release-wiki will just contain information about how it will happen and what to do the default Nix version
  • nix version in Hydra, nixos-org-configurations machines
  • instructions for infra team