NixOS Foundation board meeting minutes – 2024-01-02 — 2024-02-03

We’ve been quite behind on publishing our meeting notes in the past few months. Waiting for a more compact summary of last year’s activities, here’s a catch-up of the beginning of this year’s :



  • [RE] Proposal for new board meeting structure
  • [RE] Priorities for Q1/Q2
  • [KP] AP / AR invoices detail standardisation / Helsinki receipt
  • [KP] update: virtual office confidential documents handling & decision forward
  • [KP] Budgeting for 2024 projects
  • [ED] Funding requests
    • will do async
  • [JC] Infra role/update
  • [RL] Official wiki or not?

Key Successes and Events from last year

  • Building a relationship with Amazon/AWS
  • Obtaining grant from AWS ~9k/month for 12 month
  • The initial creation of relationships with fallback replacement providers
    • Cloudflare
    • Other providers on the channel
  • Kicked off event funding program
    • Dozens of smaller events and meetups across the globe - Nix meetups has increased 2x
    • Larger Nix centric events - Nix Camp / Ocean Sprint
    • Emphasize we have a larger budget allocated
  • Expanded NGI programs and hired first program manager
  • NixCon/Foundation working together - supporting financial operations (Tax/tickets/donations/payments)
  • Docs team funding and starting to structure better funding for more projects
  • STF funding! + foundation supporting on the financial operational side
  • Transparent financial reports and P&L plans
  • More transparent foundation operations - updates/open calls/open discussions
    • definition of foundation
  • Building significant relationships with supportive external entities for Nix and getting Nix into large events - Github/AWS/DevOpsDays/SCALE/FOSDEM
  • 20th anniversary global meetups and month of events/announcements
  • Re-bootstrapping the foundation
  • Kicking off wider community and technical governance efforts
  • Admin hiring efforts started

Looking to the Next Year

Priorities and topics

  • Empowering Nix teams
  • Wider funding/grant program
  • Researching Nix hiring
  • Trademark efforts
  • Closing admin hiring
  • Tackling the top 3 community topics from the workshop
  • Nix sponsorship guidelines - only for Nix foundation level (not for community)
  • Increasing fundraising and general Nix budget
  • Incorporating board charters
  • Further relationships with key partners for Nix
  • Nix Infra/S3 long-term solution
Priorities and Topics Priority Q1 Backlog? Leads Column 4 Column 5
Empowering Nix teams High Yes Théophane (?) / Ryan
Wider funding/grant program High Yes Domen / Ron / Ryan
Researching Nix hiring Low No
Trademark efforts Low No
Nix P&L and Budgeting - i.e. How much funding does Infra have? High Yes Ron / Eelco
Nix Infra/S3 long term solution High Yes Jonas / Ryan
Nix sponsorship guidelines - only for Nix foundation level (not for community) Low No
Further relationships with key partners for Nix Mid/continuous No
Incorporating board charters Mid No
Tackling top 3 community topics from the workshop Mid No

workstream groups to share update/action items in the next board meeting.

Optimizing work/hands on

  • Board meeting structure (15 min quick stand up > rest to be spent in separate groups for more momentum on projects needed)
  • Funding requests will majorly move to async unless >500 EUR

budgeting for 2024 projects

during the P&L meeting - the general framework


  • Haven’t heard back yet, but they would give a discount.

Hetzner at Congress <> Nix

  • Jonas will pick it up.
  • They are open to sponsoring with a 90% discount. Next few years sustainability look

Binary cache

  • data gathering phase right now

Official Wiki

  • do we want to establish a more official relationship with Wiki?
  • wiki more crowd-sourced / is more quality documentation/integration focus
  • there should be some agreement document for the team if were to move forward & initiative from the others first not the board members.



Equinix update

  • meeting - not super urgent?
  • ofborg machines from 9 → 5 (permanent machines)
  • hydra scaling back-off (scaling less)
  • stop using ARM64 machines spot market because it’s quite buggy
  • avoid disruptive changes before May 2024 release
  • summary: they are not going in the very short term to cut off the number of machines, but we will have to reduce a bit thing
  • Eelco: I understand this is still important to have other machines on the side
  • hetzner already gave us aarch64 sponsored machine
    • Hetzner: FYI downsized to 2 machines sponsoring
    • because they expanded all the open source budget for the 2024 fiscal year apparently
  • account access: Account is currently owned by Graham, blocker on transferring it. Get in touch with Equinix directly?

Equinix notes

Risk of having our sponsorship reduced there.

Short Term:

  • Shrink OfBorg machines from 9 down to 5
  • Have Hydra’s scaling back off (take 2 machines, 1 for big-parallel and 1 for “normal” workloads), and cycle less frequently
  • Stop using the arm64 spot market

Longer term:

  • Avoid disruptive changes before May 2024 release
  • Get work underway to support the November 2024 release

Arm64 resources:

  • Ed to introduce the team to Ampere

Cole says:

It mostly means they won’t be “shutting us off” basically
For 24.05, they won’t be making major changes to our support, but for 24.11 we might start paying a (hopefully heavily discounted) rate

  • There’s no Equinix Metal account access on the active infrastructure team
    • What are the blockers on the transfer? If there are limitations to the UI, we can setup a call with EM to perform manual intervention on the account
    • Jonas says he can do pinky promise not to touch anything

Status of matrix server

The Matrix homeserver is hosted by EMS, on a legacy pricing plan that is about to disappear, and replaced by something that would be considerably more expensive for us.
The plan is to migrate it away from EMS and self-host it, but Graham (who owns the current infra and pays for it) has some personal data that he’s not comfortable handing out to a third-party.

  • Migrate off EMS to self-hosted Synapse · Issue #325 · NixOS/infra · GitHub
  • EMS extended the deadline to 17th Feb 2024
  • Graham is looking into removing the non encrypted stuff
  • New server: run it on Hetzner either on VM or baremetal - infra team proposal
  • Need to have the database next week so that the infra team has the time to properly migrate stuff away
  • action plan in the meantime:
    • ask element to retrieve? > personal account
    • compromise?

Teams Funding

  • Paying out of their pocket:
    • give teams a small budget (100s) that can be reimbursed without questions being asked.
    • Entity > individual
  • How to scale the budget system
    • be more lenient on small reimbursements & events
      • small subscriptions, small event sponsoring expenses
  • 60k donation/year set line
    • right now negative?
    • We can communicate more and pay out small expenses/projects first depending on leeway.
  • The new budget for NGI0 - direct of SoN? reroute to infra cost as NGI project?
    • Has to be relevant for NGI
  • OpenCollective - 2 projects: event and infra
    • idea: transparent projects mentioned then people can donate in general. but they see which projects are being possibly funded.

Wiki Counter proposal

  • Active contributors waiting for the wiki to start
  • Trial period with new wiki domain. After the period we have a chance to nominate someone as a project person
  • SEO measures on wiki make it a competition and tricky for people.
  • Contributors are demotivated by the stagnation and want to directly ask the board to give them the domain

→ post a ticket and announce on public first for acceptance gathering then the board makes a judgment call

  • acceptance/closing the announcement - not about when but play by ear to see which perspective people can bring in

Cache status update

  • The deduplication would be expensive to do at scale
  • Currently spending 6k every month on the bucket - negative cash flow overall
  • what are the options we have and decisions moving forward (investments etc.)
    • GC might be our final solution
    • Up to the infra team


  • [JC] Wiki
    • OK
  • [JC] Anduril as a sponsor for NixCon North America
    • We are going to talk about it during FOSDEM
  • [RE] NixCon / Foundation Sponsorship
    • Approved Foundation - 5k budget
  • [RE] Fosdem
    • FOSDEM - Lunch Saturday
  • [JC/ED] Matrix server from determinate systems/graham
    • Eelco will reach out to Graham one more time.


  • Anduril-
    • People don’t make the distinction between NixOS Foundation and NixCon.
    • The foundation doesn’t discriminate so comply with the local organizers
    • there was a proposal from Tom with an Apache-like policy which is pretty basic for the entity to be legal
    • do we have community values that we can flesh out as guidelines?
      • must not be hostile to the community and goals and must align with our code of conduct
    • make it transparent how we made the decision and communicate
    • The decision is approved after evaluating the code of conduct, notes, and bylaws of the organizing entity (SCALE)
  • Wiki Update
    • Posted by the wiki team and had quite positive reaction/discussion on the community side
  • Matrix Server
    • Graham is busy and needs to remove personal items before migration
    • Trying to prioritize the migration, so we can move it to the community
    • Meet with the Matrix team
    • Eelco will continue following up
  • Equinox
    • We should sync with the team there to check potential alternative sponsor/funding streams as the current stream is expected to drop by the end of 2024
  • Priorities:
    • Fundraising
    • Team empowerment
    • Financial forecast- Eelco/Ron



  • [KP] virtual office address - need card info
  • [KP] project budgets and financial recap document for 2023 NixOS Financial Summary Recap 2023 -draft - Google Docs
  • [TH] Publishing the meeting notes
  • [RL] Publishing the bylaws
  • [RL] Account owners & access for review
  • [RL] Update on the Matrix server situation
  • [RL] Summer of Nix
  • [RE] NixCon
  • [RE] Fundraising

Virtual office address - need card info

KP to send Eelco information

Project budgets and financial recap document for 2023

RE & KP review meeting next week

Publishing the meeting notes

→ TH working on a few from last time to publish

→ KP to review board meeting document notes - ping Ron to review together

Publishing the bylaws

Virtual address needed to solve avoiding sharing personal info on public - Eelco to pay for subscription

Account owners & access for review

  • Cleanup suggested → fine as long as the committee feels good about it
    • e.g. github Rob’s account
  • Do we want board members as backup owners for critical stuff (GitHub org owners)?
  • board-level - management over that owner access? how do we want to move forward?
    • Better if we have accessible people like board members as backup
    • Need to keep that restricted – more people with access means more liability and more security weaknesses

→ a few board members or the foundation itself are the org owners. but not ALL.

  • RL’s some access to services as board observer: view only access board can be given
  • suggest having some policy to ground the structure around things.
  • inactive team memberships need to be removed and updated frequently

→ can RL contact certain members to step down? yes. more private the better.

Update on the Matrix server situation

  • Graham offered 2 options: pay for the server until he can get rid of the data or help from EMS - 22 Feb deadline
  • VP of Eng will erase the whole personal data from the system
  • suggested action plan: send email to VP of Eng, cc Graham and infra team + foundation, take more initiative towards this issue

Summer of Nix

  • Some community members are a bit confused / wondering about the practical usefulness of SoN

continuous learning opportunity for people who want to learn Nix’s

  • contribution on the channel after learning Nix stops and disappears.
  • is it an effective use of NGI money and time/effort of people who are organizing and putting things together trying to teach others about Nix?
  • Proposal to this: there could be Winter of Nix. span it across 2 events but focusing on the overall Nix system. NGI money use - we do need to execute work packages. we could propose and talk to NGI further.
  • Valentin has some plans to focus more on bigger projects that are more important to the community. available to larger diversity and more public impact overall.
  • summer of Nix is very tailored to newcomers/beginners. can we have experimented/experienced Nix developers join in to give tools to build much bigger projects?
  • need to clearly define the benefit and purpose of this NGI money and producing Nixpkgs. → end goal: useful to the community

Most importantly: This is something for the SoN organizers and NGI to decide on, we can only relay the feedback we got


  • US: a lot signed up
    • No exact number (because no separate registration from Scale), but 180 ppl signed up to grab a $5 t-shirt on Wednesday
  • Moved NixCon to be in a folding room (2 rooms) - 250 ppl + third room could expand to hold more people
  • NixCon Europe: Ron has a meeting with Oxford University for a potential hosting


  • Draft initiative for the whole fundraising structure. Need to be finished and posted to the community.
  • topic to discuss further: introducing more transactional relationships? e.g. sponsorship tiers (above certain donations)
    • need to be consistent in our responses (yes or no) have set guidance around the decision on these relationships?
    • offer acknowledgment but to the point that is not too much. not a celebration. sponsorship page for transparency. commissional support page
    • would be nice to announce this at NixCon America