Tailscale with nix-env

Hi, I’m currently migrating away from snaps and direct deb installs towards nix packages on my Ubuntu Mate 22.04 machine. One challenge I’m facing though is that services that need to be run by root (tailscaled in this case) can not be started after I’ve installed them with nix-env.

Here is what I’m getting:

~$ tailscale status
failed to connect to local tailscaled; it doesn't appear to be running (sudo systemctl start tailscaled ?)
~$ sudo systemctl start tailscaled
Failed to start tailscaled.service: Unit tailscaled.service is masked.

Is there a setting or solution for this?

Tailscale is a system service and Nix is not managing your system environment if you’re on Ubuntu.

You’d need to do some hackery like installing tailscale to the default profile and symlinking its unit file if you want to build a chimera.

I’d recommend you to keep using Ubuntu for system services though and rather start by migrating user packages first. Once you’re comfortable with home-manager, you can likely switch over to NixOS without too much trouble and at that point Nix would be managing your system environment and Tailscale enablement via Nix would become trivial.


Thanks. I was thinking something along those lines would be the reason. Anyway, probably time to get familiar with home-manager.