NixOS at first

First steps with NixOS

Published: Sunday, Jan 22, 2023 Last modified: Sunday, Jun 9, 2024

Day 1

  1. unzstd -c nixos-sd-image-22.11.1611.a83ed85c14f-aarch64-linux.img.zst | sudo dd of=/dev/sdb bs=4M
  2. After booting the Raspberry Pi 3, there was no HDMI output
  3. I didn’t know, but there is a sshd running by default. Once I dropping in my pubkeys into /root/.ssh/authorized_keys, I was able to login as root


  1. Why is there stuff in /nix/store?
  2. Why does it use dhcpd and not systemd-networkd?
  3. Why is there no /etc/nixos/configuration.nix?

The break though came with nixos-generate-config

Day 2



More questions

What did I learn

There doesn’t seem to be a cli installer. Even Arch has one! My first install failed

So umount does take multiple arguments, but if you umount two partitions on the same disk there’s a race condition that causes it to say the target is busy! Something I’ve never discovered before helping you on this stream :D

I didn’t know you could have /boot on sda3.

GNU parted actually seems kinda ok from a cli perspective.

tmate with @MatthewCroughan !!


[root@vnixos:~]# nix search rnix-lsp
error: experimental Nix feature 'nix-command' is disabled; use '--extra-experimental-features nix-command' to override


cat .config/nix/nix.conf
experimental-features = nix-command flakes

Zeroconf / Bonjour doesn’t seem to work

[root@vnixos:~]# ping t14g3.local
ping: t14g3.local: System error

[root@vnixos:~]# ping t14g3.local
PING t14g3.local ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from t14g3.local ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.135
64 bytes from t14g3.local ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.418
64 bytes from t14g3.local ( icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.301
--- t14g3.local ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 2103ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.135/0.284/0.418/0.116 ms

Different ways of searching doesn’t show any options re system.stateVersion comment in configuration.nix.

nix-shell -p nixpkgs#alejandra

versus new flake API:

nix shell nixpkgs#alejandra

Getting to the source

Or how things work, oh there is a man page:

man configuration.nix

Tool to explain what the config nix-shell -p nixos-option or manix does:

[nix-shell:~]# nixos-option services.avahi.enable

How does services.smokeping.enable implemented?

[nix-shell:~]# nixos-option services.smokeping.enable




text = "Whether to enable smokeping service.";

Declared by:
[ "/nix/var/nix/profiles/per-user/root/channels/nixos/nixos/modules/services/networking/smokeping.nix" ]

Defined by:
[ "/etc/nixos/configuration.nix" ]

Which corresponds to:

(Not sure how you to know the mapping)

Getting a nix IDE

Try someone else’s neovim config:

nix shell github:kranzes/nix-config#neovim