Pre-RFC: A single canonical domain name

You mean the organization being called NixOS instead of Nix organization? I don’t think the historical reasons matter, the point is whether we consider Nix or NixOS being more important. Moving evething to (or whathever TLD) would imply Nix is and that NixOS is kind of a side project.



I argue Nix is long-term more important because, being and ever more becoming a universal tool to underpin sustainable software development, it has a much broader scope and potential impact. At the moment, for a large but particular audience of Linux enthusiasts, undoubtedly NixOS is much more important than Nix itself. See the 2023 community survey results for a vague impression (please check the complete results, there is a lot of room for interpretation):

So it’s not wrong to drive community growth through NixOS as the entry point, but it’s not the only way. (Possibly what we’re observing is a result of driving community growth through NixOS to begin with.) Looking at it from the inside, NixOS as an end-user product is much less well-maintained than any of its constituent parts. I strongly doubt NixOS is the driving force of the ecosystem.

In my opinion, it’s not at all about NixOS, but tooling to make software finally stop sucking – I’d even agree with your provocative claim that NixOS is but a byproduct of that endeavor.


Can you elaborate? It doesn’t seem like anything critical happened as your comment implies.

Ah I didn’t read properly. Here’s the relevant section:

Cost of registration

Since 2003, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) charged its accredited registrars a capped price of US$9.05 per year[19] for each domain name. The registrars may set their charges to end users without restrictions.

In April 2019, ICANN proposed an end to the price cap of .org domains[20] and effectively removed it in July in spite of having received 3,252 opposing comments and only six in favor.[21] A few months later, the owner of the domain, the Public Interest Registry, proposed to sell the domain to investment firm Ethos Capital.[22] After intense criticism from nonprofit groups and significant figures in Internet history, the proposal was scrapped.[23]

Though I think it’s impossible to know about stuff like this in advance, at least .org does have a cap.


I agree with pretty much everything: Nix has a larger scope, but without NixOS we wouldn’t even be here having this discussion.

Now that I think about it, from a semantical point of view, it makes more sense to have “nix” as a domain, since Nix did and has more potential to spawn new subprojects. ( that’s probably too ugly)

Still, I would use a .org, not another new TLD and especially not one owned by google.

It seems to me that “we” need to start a go fund me or some such to acquire these domains or try to negotiate the price down somewhat. Whether we use the domains or not, whatever. Acquiring them and keeping them acquired seems like a worthwhile goal / endeavor. I dunno where to start but I can contribute some USD.

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I very much agree that it would be best for this to be a community decision. Reiterating on what @zimbatm wrote, the foundation will support it :slight_smile:

I’m happy to take point on trying again to reach out to the various higher priced domain owners such as / / other variations that folks have in mind. I do expect that 3 letter domains will be quite high.

Side note - nixos can also stand for nix open source, though I highly doubt that will be intuitively accepted.


Glad to hear that!

Reaching out to other domains would be great, see also Maybe we could get · Issue #8 · nix-rfc-canonical-domain/rfcs · GitHub for previous efforts


Is there a list somewhere of domains you want me to check? I see about 5 names in the issue thread :slight_smile:

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I’ve been going through List of Internet top-level domains - Wikipedia and foundation is one and so is .pizza (joking on that one but would be fun to have) - maybe I dunno, thinking outside the box here. works too if .net would become “cool” again (was it ever?)


please not -
People already have a false perception that Nix by/for dev(op)s . Nix(OS) can be so much more than that

recent evidence: is fine, this RfC is solving a problem that does not exist


There’s also the false perception that Nix is mainly just NixOS, which is why I also don’t think is great.

Really my personal favorite is It’s not NixOS-specific, not dev-specific and affordable. The only problem is that it’s rather long. I have it in the alternatives section:


I think nixos is fine… it’s well know, if you 3 years ago, I might of said it was a good idea…

but now with the growth of adoption, i’d say it probably not the best move.

@ron idea grabbing the other nix domains might be a much better plan. They might be cheaper than you think.

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Nix is the common denominator. You can use Nix without using NixOS. This should be reflected in the “branding” of the project.

“Nix platform” includes all aspects of the project, but is a bit clunky in my opinion.

My vote would be for nix.* where * is any reasonably affordable TLD.


Apparently @toraritte holds, which I think is not bad!

Furthermore, while we don’t know who controls it, but redirects to!

Edit: You can see that these aren’t popular TLD’s, Discourse doesn’t even recognise them as URLs!


Might be just me but this name evokes a controversial public figure.

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If we ever need to change the domain for