The Linux distribution NixOS is going its own way and the latest version 22.11 (“Racoon”) is based on the current desktop Gnome 43.0 as well as its own package manager and atomic updates. With its unorthodox way of working, the free operating system stands out from other distributions on the market.
A particularly high pace of development
NixOS 22.11 (“Racoon”) still follows the approach of a declarative system configuration to ensure reproducible and reliable system configurations and consequently smooth system updates.
The operating system is also special for its is known for its high development speed and has been declared by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as one of over 30 leading open source projects with the highest possible development speed since 2017.
The current work environment Gnome 43.0 serves as the standard desktop, while the KDE Plasma 5.26.4 with the Wayland display server protocol is available as an alternative. Additional desktops can be installed if desired.
The basis for NixOS 22.11 is the LTS kernel Linux 5.15, which will be supported until October 2023. It has replaced the Linux 5.10 system kernel from the 2021 version and also supports the current hardware from AMD, Intel and Nvidia.
In addition to the current applications such as the Mozilla Firefox 107 browser and the Mozilla Thunderbird 102 e-mail client, important packages such as the free and open-source graphics library Mesa 3D have also been updated. PHP 8.1, Python 3.10 and PostgreSQL version 14.6 are now part of the basic equipment of the independent Linux distribution.
Independent package manager
NixOS does a few things differently than most conventional Linux distributions, as can be seen in the independent package manager Nix.
NixOS provides more than 60,000 software packages via its in-house Nix Packages Collection Nixpkgs . Fedora and openSUSE have also followed suit.
This type of data management deviates from the usual structure of the file tree, as specified in the File System Hierarchy Standard (FHS). NixOS links the directories /bin, /sbin and /usr/sbin to /usr/bin, which means that executable files can only be found in this directory.
Atomic updates enable blazing-fast rollbacks
Another feature of NixOS and its Nix package manager are atomic updates, which make it possible to roll back a complete system update, for example if it is faulty.
Leave major changes evaluate yourself in advance, parallel to the ongoing installation, in a specially designed virtual machine of the QEMU type. After a reboot, NixOS will offer the user both the new and older system states as boot options.
NixOS 22.11 is available for download< /h2>
In addition to the regular 2.3 or 2.4 GB system images optimized for AMD64, NixOS 22.11 Gnome (ISO) and NixOS 22.11 KDE Plasma (ISO) with a pre-installed desktop are available the makers of NixOS offer their operating system as a freely configurable minimal system (ISO) with a size of only 825 MB.
More information can be found in the current release notes and the official announcement of NixOS 22.11.