What can I expect from NixOS?

Hello there! You could call me an indecisive Linux user. Currently running Arch btw but I’m thinking of switching to NixOS. Before I do that though… I have a few questions.

  1. How is the community, numerous times I had to deal with grief in Arch space so I don’t have high standards. I don’t mind people being rude I just need the answers to my questions I don’t mind rudeness. Where are the best places to get them? I noticed the subreddit isn’t that populated as of now however the forum looks nice, and most topics have answers which is great but I’m more curious about the matrix server, never been in one before so… How frequent and fast are the replies?

  2. Let’s say there is a package I like to have that isn’t in Nix repos. What do I do? Should I ask for it in a specific place? Or can I at least package it myself for the masses? Don’t get me wrong Nix has almost everything but I tend to find the most unpopular programs and get attached to them.

  3. How frequently do the fundamentals of NixOS change? I’m open to change but from what I see NixOS despite being 20 years old and still rapidly evolving I like to be informed on such occasions without being spammed for trivial changes.

  4. Is there a NixOS Wiki like the Arch Wiki? If so how inclusive is it of general use cases? Is it only for Nix-related articles or is there literally anything like Arch?

  5. Does the Calamares installer have separate and encrypted home partition options? It’s a small thing I know and I can do that manually too but just wanted to ask.

Thank you for your time and effort.

Some hints here Should I use nix os? as an Arch user asked something similar a few hours ago.

Where did you read about NixOS by the way? It seems there is a lot of activity on the discourse today from people asking about starting NixOS :smiley:

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ChrisTitusTech and TheLinuxExperiment. Both are great YouTube channels. I believe CTT was sponsored, no? If so, that was a great marketing investment :smiley:

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Matrix is great for quick questions or more clear-cut issues (e.g. help with error messages). Speed of replies depends on how many people are active, how obscure question you are asking and how well you ask (i.e. provide enough details so that people can answer).

Discourse is better for more complex issues or open-ended questions. It also allows people in different timezones to reply. Again, the better you formulate the question, the better chance of fast response.

You can ask for a package on the issue tracker. Or you can package it yourself. Either locally, or contribute it to Nixpkgs. The process and requirements are roughly similar to AUR contributions.

Fundamentals do not change very often. You can follow changes to the release notes.

There is an unofficial wiki. It is mostly for Nix-related articles. Not much point of duplicating Arch wiki, which is pretty great and we still recommend people to peruse it for general Linux knowledge.

For specific questions like this, you are probably better of starting a separate discussion, where it is more likely someone who knows can reply. Or just give it a try in a VM.


Never contributed to AUR, could you enlighten me a little on that?
Also by issue tracker do you mean this?

Unofficial wiki highly appreciated!

Will do, I’ll go with the VM route.

I just meant that it is open for contribution to anyone, with little limitations. See CONTRIBUTING.md in the repo and Contributing to Nixpkgs section of the manual.



Thank you very much!