Should organizations relating to the defense sector being able to sponsor NixOS?

@TravisWhitaker, I totally missed this series of comments. I think it’s only fair that you get a response.

That sounds like a good outcome. In particular, it’s good for us in the community to know that, when we come together in solidarity, we can cow Anduril.

These snowclones are cute but missing the point; it’s not about offense, it’s about bodily harm to civilians.

As it happens, your whataboutism is orthogonal to the issue in front of us, so such labels would be quite astute.

It wouldn’t change my position nor remove my signature from the open letter, no.

At this point, I think it might be worthwhile to share a recent anti-war poem; I don’t think that it’s a bad thing that your argumentation is analogous to “crawling,” being “on [your hands and] knees,” or “begging [for] mercy.”


I attempted to edit to the past post, and waited an hour to do so.
It seems to be impossible with the current settings, so I enlarge my post hereby.

Completely regardless on your stance on this topic - I am pro ban of MIC, and this doesnt matter - this is a complete catastrophe, if it comes into the media.

If you want the perfect recipe for destruction of NixOS,
you will be served well at the current political climate.

And the storm will hit us maybe way more, than we theoretically deserve.
So no matter what you think on the matter: You have to consider this very real possibility.

This is a very clear decision.

Our image is over, if we become the warmongering, right extremist party supporting distribution.
Lots of people do not want to be associated to that, and either leave or not come in.

On a further note, I think this is the reason why, we, as the community can only go one step further to increase the clarity of our position.

I think first, that the acceptance of the first sponsorship should be enough reason, to call in the whole foundation and question these people onto the matter.

And so far as I am aware, did this happen.

So far as I am aware further, did the foundation not consider taking the necessary steps towards clearly distancing us all from defense contractors/MIC, and so far as I am concerned should this result in the immediate and exemplary removal of the foundation members.

At least of those, that defend this position.
I call for that now, and even more than I would had at the previous point.

We have gone the slippery slope even further since then, and some people
seem to prefer to dance salsa on this slope. :roll_eyes:

Second, I think it is not enough, considering the eminent danger due to the split within our organisation, to simply a) do nothing, and b) ditch MIC as potential sponsors.

Those are both no sufficient actions, in the face of this admittedly imagined scenario, that is considerably informed on controversies within the open source community in the past.

We do complain about such issues loud and clear, and many people are very passionate about that, and will do everything in their power, to shut a project like this down.

Make no mistake, this is a serious situation in more than just the personal preference, in my humble opinion.

In order to protect the project, I think simply going back to square one is considered to be a half-assed at this point, and the people who see this topic critical, can possibly think that we truly do support those issues further, and just retreat for a second, still the storm is over.

As this is usually the case, in such situations. :slightly_smiling_face:

My proposal is to go one step further, and re-license the components of NixOS to make them require, to behave in a humane and peaceful way, in order to use our services.

In simple terms, I imagine the infrastructure that NixOS provides, to be explicitly available (in legal terms) only for companies, persons and any other entities, that comply with said license.

I know this would be tricky to enforce, and as you can imagine, is this another can of worms, that is to open and dissect, before we move on. For now, just consider this as an obvious talking point.

Completely regardless on your stance on this topic - I am pro ban of MIC, but this doesnt matter - this is a complete catastrophe, if this comes into the media.

This is a way - the only way that I see - how we can make crystal clear, that we decide, as community, to play no part in anti-immigration technology, discrimination, and ultimately even issues like ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

I know this is a difficult topic, and yeah: There are also other industries and entities, that we currently provide services to, and I am aware that the arms industry is only one of many, and we facilitate many other atrocities this way currently, and that we all like to do better.

If its not too late already.


I strongly oppose the MIC sponsorship of NixOS/NixCon.

I am from Peru. In December 2022, the US sponsored the regime change of a democratically elected president. Causing massive protests.
I participated in the protests in Andahuaylas, one of the poorest regions of Peru, and I personally saw the military shot into a crowd, where there were children and women. My sister was beaten. My brother beaten and arrested for participating in peaceful protests. It was one of the few times I genuinely feared for my life.
The balance was 69 deaths and thousands of injured.
All with the full support of the US.

Likewise, in the ongoing genocide in Palestine, US is providing unconditional support to Israel’s genocidal atrocities in Gaza. Anduril, led by a crypto-fascist troll, is using Gaza as testing ground.

I just want to show you that these debates have a real impact on the lives of real people.
I know it can be difficult to see this from the perspective of the oppressed and colonized people.

I contribute to NixOS out of love, I am not paid in any way.
I was deeply disappointed by Anduril sponsorship of NixCon 2023, and I’ve explored migrating my stuff to Guix, and it’s doable.

If the NixOS Foundation, despite the request of multiple users/contributors, aims to allow MIC sponsorship. I’ll immediately abandon any form of contribution. I don’t plan to be an accomplice.


This approach, which clearly is to intimidate based on personal political views, could send a discouraging signal to potential contributors, ultimately harming the NixOS community. I suggest reconsidering your position with the broader community’s wellbeing in mind.


More than 25% of last years nixpkgs contributions came from people on the open letter, let’s maybe listen to current contributors first. If anything, I know several people who have been turned away from nix because of anduril, I also know part of my reasoning not to want nixlang wiki stuff to be “official” is because of things like anduril still being a problem despite the strong community backlash.

The board doesn’t listen to the community because Anduril has money and power, and the NixOS foundation is run by companies with a profit motive that seems fine sacrificing community goodwill to improve their market position.

But we’re not here to give free commits to the companies of the board, and I’m sure most of the community isn’t looking to turn NixOS into a commercial product. So why should we accept that the wishes of the community aren’t respected?

I think the ultimate question isn’t whether or not the community is harmed, it’s how harmed the relationship between the community and the board are, and where that lands will determine whether the project should even be seen as a “community” going forward IMO.

If the communities wishes aren’t respected, then they’re just being used.

Anduril is not the community.



If you want NixOS to actually be successful (which I would imagine is the main mission of the community)

i don’t see the foundation’s statutes on the site or github (while the chamber of commerce paywalls it), but i for one am not cheering for more military equipment to switch to NixOS, so i do wonder if that is (or should be) its goal.


We do complain about such issues loud and clear, and many people are very passionate about that, and will do everything in their power, to shut a project like this down.

technology is not neutral, NixOS included. in a scenario of drones vs civilians (as is currently a reality), NixOS seems more likely to aid the side operating the drones, not unlike how Anduril is running it already.

although one might frame measures hampering bad impact as counter-productive (as with the sponsorship), at some point, measures (perhaps including such a hypothetical split) might be justified, if not necessary, if not insufficient - we may need to actually consider the impact of our technology overall if not on the level of specific pull requests.


Multiple people in this thread explicitly say the mission of the NixOS project is not to be industry standard, and they are fine keeping it as their hobby project. Contributors who signed the letter want it to be their personal hobby project, as a mentioned example of Haskell, and they want to feel proud that NixOS politics match their personal politics.

This is fine if this is what the NixOS project is to be, but then be explicit about it! Create a different license and say upfront in caps lock at the top of the website that your main mission is NOT primarily a better OS and better dependency management.

People use open-source tools and learn them if they believe those solutions are ultimately better than everything else. They hope this will solve their technical issue and that it will grow so they can actually work full-time using this cool new tech in their jobs at some point.

Many people like myself who were promoting NixOS for their clients as the future and had high hopes should know it’s different from the project goal. No commercial entity should risk using NixOS, which is comfortable as a forever niche. This drama shows that activists in the community can potentially force license change at any point if they get loud enough. Engineers who are simply users and not activists should also understand this before wasting their time learning it.

Even now, before any decisions are made, it’s decent and honest to state at the top of the website that the NixOS community is in flux, deciding on its purpose and license. Say it in a big warning popup that the open-source model doesn’t fully match the community ethics, so please consider alternatives if you hope to use it commercially one day, as the NixOS project mission is being discussed whether open source is a right fit.

Anyone who spends time learning and using Nix/NixOS, hoping they can use it as a hobby, has any right to feel cheated and lied to right now. Foundation has to go one way or the other, as right now, no company/engineer who hoped to use it professionally cannot risk it with such a community, and the community is also unhappy to keep contributing to this project.

Unfortunately, trying not to go strongly in any direction (which the NixOS Foundation tried to do) will mean neither will work, and both sides will be unhappy. It cannot be a commercial solution anymore if an open source license change is always a risk with such voices in the community, and it cannot be a pure hobbyist project matching personal politics, either if it’s an open source project.

I strongly ask to make it explicit on all NixOS websites if there is no clear decision what’s the primary mission is after the Wednesday call. I understand making such a decision may take time, but all least be honest and upfront with people who see a technical marvel which they assume plans to grow in the time you are making this decision as this is deeply unfair to the people who don’t usually spend time on forums with activists and simply wanted an open source project.


The script used to calculate your supposed “25%” includes commiters, not authors. If you do the calculation based on authorship it drops to about 7%. This is another blantant example of the attempts I’ve already pointed out in my previous post to inflate the notion of “consensus” where there really is none.


I love how you imply reviews aren’t contributions


may as well document how to calculate the figure::

  1. procure a github token from
  2. snapshot the list of github users who PR’d to the open letter: GH_TOKEN=... nix run '.#gh' -- pr list --repo NixOS-Users-Against-MIC-Sponsorship/ --json author --state merged -L 1000 --jq '.[].author.login' | sort | uniq > signers.
  3. add the author of the repo, since that was a direct commit instead of a PR: echo samueldr >> signers.
  4. turn this into a github query filter (pardon my sed): cat signers | sed 's/^/involves:/' | xargs. use author: instead of involves: if you don’t want to consider the committer’s involvement.
  5. show the list of PRs for these authors:>%3D2022-01-01 and append the filter query from line 4.
  6. take that number v.s. the number of all PRs (from 5).
  7. do something about the r-ryantm PRs.

if i use author: only, and keep r-ryantm commits, i reproduce your 7% figure. if i use author: and remove r-ryantm commits, i get 10%. if i use involves: to count either the committer or the author, and remove r-ryantm, i get 35%.

do what you want with these numbers. consider that they don’t survey the entire community, just that portion of the community who saw and was comfortable signing that survey. any of those numbers seem worth paying attention to in the context of this community, IMO.



Don’t be fooled by Travis’ wording. The retaliation he fears is not violence or harassment, but the shame of being known as a warmonger among one’s peers. At no time are Anduril’s employees in danger just from attending NixCon NA, and SCALE’s policies are sufficient to protect them.

So, no, I am keeping “the broader community’s wellbeing in mind,” and that includes recognizing that some community members don’t care about the wellbeing of other community members, or worse, actively promote harm by participating in “defense contracting” (building war machines) or “the intelligence community” (espionage).


That’s not the implication at all, nor is it the reason for my post. Moreso it is to point out the obvious political motivation in finding a number that is as big as possible, and disregard all the other angles and measures of “contribution”.

Indeed, it is a fairly well known fact that there has never really be a long term, fully agreed upon methodology for measuring contribution at all. Is it lines of code? Is it number of commits? Is it code review? Is it merely your precense? The point of my post is that to ignore this nuance and pretend the 25% has any significant meaning seems to be merely a political tactic afaict.

As I’ve said before elsewhere, I fundamentally reject the notion that is oft repeated that software is somehow inherently political. Furthermore, the history of software is much more built on a culture aligned with “leave your politics at the door”. Therefore, we don’t really have an historical precendence to show that moving in a more political direction is somehow helpful in any way.

If you really wish to argue the political, I would ask that we do so elsewhere, as it is my personal belief that this community is not the appropriate venue. We can link back to the discussion of the bits that might be relavent here, but the conversation on the whole is wildly inappropriate for, what I believe, should be a politically neutral space. And by “politically neutral” I do not mean that the individual is neutral, merely that we do not engage in our politic agendas in this space for the sake of maximizing productivity. As I’ve already pointed out, you seem to completely ignore the (likely significant) contigent of folks who would tend to agree, which would wildly skew any statistical findings based on posts in some thread somewhere.

I will say, however, that so much as politics is an attempt to control and push rhetoric to achieve a certain aim, the truth seems completely antithetical to that goal, and is often disregarded entirely for the sake of whatever political agenda. I should hope it is self evident why that kind of posture might be actively harmful to a community whose fundamental foundation is built on logic and reasoning toward some of kind of reproducible truth (i.e. computer science).


I think your approach reflects a specific viewpoint that may not align with everyone’s perspectives, potentially leading to a lack of consideration and respect for others. It’s crucial to prioritize the safety of our members, and it’s highly inappropriate to engage in behavior that could be perceived as shaming.

A member here highlighted that only 7% of nixpkgs contributions come from individuals sharing your viewpoint, indicating that your stance may not represent the majority within the community. This observation, supported by discussions on Reddit, suggests that the broader community might not support your position. There’s a concern that this could deter new contributors. It might be beneficial for the community’s growth if we all consider making space for diverse opinions to foster a more welcoming environment, wouldn’t you agree?


While this is kinda off-topic here, I cannot let this stay uncommented

The free software movement was started as an inherently political movement. The FSF, EFF, GPL, the concept of “open source” and so much more are very much political. Everything has political consequences, all the way down to small questions like whether to host binary artifacts for proprietary software or not (compare Nixpkgs and Guix here).

(Btw this does not imply that you can’t make a point about not wanting certain political topics in software and want people to keep some of their personal opinions for themselves. It is perfectly fair to want projects like Nix to be agnostic towards the politics of their sponsors.)


Moderation notice: A couple of users complained here about not being able to edit their messages because of the slow mode. I initially could not reproduce this, but that is because the system apparently does not enforce timers on me as a moderator.

I have now found and disabled this feature, and edits will not be counted as part of the slow mode message timer anymore. The message cooldown is there to prevent the discussion devolving into a messy real-time chat. I trust you all to be considerate with your message edits and to not abuse it to reply to people who posted after you.


FOSS (Free and open-source software) is a term for both open-source and free software which even in the name shows those differ if there is a need to name them seperatly.

There a very big difference between different licenses… MIT and GPL2 vs GPL3 or GNU license.

Free Software movement is very different from Open-Source movement. One is inherently political, the other not so much. Linus said many times he hates GPL v3 while Stallman hates MIT and L/GPL v2.

Nixpkgs repo is licensed under MIT, while Nix repo is licensed under LGPL-2.1, those licenses are inherently more on Open Source side rather then on Free Software movement.

This is a subtle change, but very profound and current Nix/OS licensing doesn’t suggest political motivations. It suggest avoiding it. It’s not a Free Software licensing, it’s Open-Source one.

Linux Foundation, or Cloud Native Computing Foundation are open-source proponents, both heavly used by all commercial entities, governements, armies and military contractros.

Free software licenses on the other hand tend to have infection style licensing which makes it unusable by any commercial entity, military connected or not. Explained by Stallman himself: Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

Yes Free Software movement is inherently political, but current NixOS licensing is not Free Software, but Open Source which avoids politics and works with corporates, govs, and militaries very well in order to establish itself as a common industry standard.

Companies who actually have lawyers use software such as SNYK to make sure the license is fine with their use case. Usually Free Software licenses have some specific political requirements in the license, while Open Source license are more liberal and fine for most companies.


to the degree this analogy reflects anything: when a friend or colleague has a cherished value which i don’t understand, but accomodating it causes less pain for me than rejecting it would cause pain to them, i often do change my behavior for them. if the scale of colleagues we see here were instead asking that NixOS not accept sponsorship from the agriculture industry, i would genuinely be happy to grant them that even though it’s not an issue i can relate to.

at the risk of being too transparent, i did not sign that letter because i’m anti-military in the moral sense. i should just link my commit message, because it already summarizes what i see the crux of this issue to be.

i really do place this one on Anduril (i say, having more than one IRL friend who works there). they had every chance to see that sponsorship would cause exactly this schism, yet they drove that wedge in anyway. morals, politics, everything else aside: that’s just irresponsible.

does the Foundation need to come out with a public statement that “NixOS is anti-military”? maybe not, maybe there are gentler solutions than a formal, all-encompassing stance like that – but i can’t speak for the other letter signers. my own push is to get rid of what i see to be the most immediate problem – this Anduril sponsorship – and then contribute to the effort of establishing process that will prevent schisms like this into the future. i think that would buy us some much-needed runway, even if it leaves some questions open.

am i onto anything? is there any way to get rid of future Anduril sponsorships without you feeling like i’m forcing my own values onto you?


This topic is now going on for near a week and almost reaching 200 posts. That’s a lot. By this point, everything worth saying on the topic has been said and the discussion is mostly running in circles (but with fresh people) or losing itself in side tangents.

Currently, this is mostly a time and energy sink for the moderation team with little productive coming out of it. We have thus decided to wrap up this conversation.

We will shortly be setting the cooldown timer to 24h and locking the thread the next day. This will allow everybody to make one last final statement to close this discussion. Thank you for your participation.

The moderation team

P.S.: Discourse has a feature to schedule posts with a timer. This may be useful to use here. If any technical difficulties arise please contact us out of band (either on Discourse or on Matrix)


This presumes Anduril expected this week’s sponsorship to anger a large swath of the Nix community, yet insisted on it anyways - I don’t think that’s quite right. I don’t speak for him or anyone else at Anduril, but the impression I got from Daniel Fullmer was that he didn’t feel the online outrage last year represented a majority (or even a plurality) of the folks he interacted with at NixCon 2023.

I can guarantee that Travis and the rest of the Anduril folks don’t fear the shame from any of this. We believe in what we’re doing, and we’ll keep using Nix to do it. One of the ironies here is that the founding goal of Anduril is to change the defense industry, and curb the worst excesses of the military industrial complex.

But when the conversation shifts from “what conference sponsor policy best aligns with the views of the Nix community?” to “How can we shame other members of the community for having a different worldview than I do?”, we’ve lost the plot.


I think folks should probably know that Anduril has the fortune of being one of the most recognizable defense contractors (or at least want-to-be contractors) kinda only due to their media presence and whatnot but they are absolutely tiny in the defense world.

None of General Electric, Siemens, Microsoft, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Georgia Tech, Motorola, Verizon, Carnegie Mellon, HP, nor IBM accept less than, say, ten billion (some hundreds) dollars a year from the US government for defense related services and products and yes, these include services and products that kill people. Anduril would love to accept that much, I’m sure, but they don’t get it; they get contracts in the millions and even hundreds of thousands. They are not a major player in the defense industry. Remember this when it comes time to decide to accept money from Microsoft.

Also, in reality, Anduril has probably already gotten what they want from this sponsorship, which is the attention granted by the anti-Anduril and outrage shown in this thread. They couldn’t ask for better publicity.

I say this as someone who is actually pro-defense and very pro-Anduril, at least as it relates to the situation in Ukraine. So I say keep up the discussion!