NixOS is a unique Linux distribution emphasizing reproducibility, reliability, and flexibility, thanks to its innovative package management system, Nix.
But what sets it apart from others? Unlike traditional package managers, Nix stores packages in isolation from each other. This design allows users to easily roll back to previous versions and ensures that system upgrades and configuration changes are atomic and reversible.
On top of that, NixOS’s declarative configuration model allows users to describe their entire system configuration in a single file, streamlining system management and replication.
This approach makes NixOS particularly popular among developers and in environments where consistency and precision are crucial. If this has caught your interest, read on because the just-released NixOS 23.11, codenamed “Tapir,” brings a lot to the table.
NixOS 23.11: What’s New?
NixOS, known for its cutting-edge software distribution approach, has launched its latest version, 23.11 “Tapir.” Its developers reported that this update was made possible through the collaborative efforts of an impressive number of 2162 contributors, who have authored 40024 commits since the last release.
We continue with the remarkable numbers. A total of 9147 new and 18700 updated packages have been added to Nixpkgs, alongside the removal of 4015 packages to maintain a balance of security and maintainability.
On top of that, the release also includes 113 new modules, the addition of 1565 options, and the removal of 362, underscoring the constant evolution and refinement of the platform. So, what’s left to add after all this, except that we are truly impressed!
But, of course, NixOS 23.11 stands out not only for its volume but also for its quality. On the desktop side, GNOME has been updated to version 45, introducing a new image viewer and camera app, among other changes. Moreover, Loupe replaces Eye of GNOME as the default image viewer, and Cheese replaces Snapshot as the default camera application.
KDE desktop enthusiasts also have reason to rejoice; they will find its latest up-to-date Plasma 5.27.9 version here. On top of that, the KDE Gear apps collection has also been updated to version 23.08.3, enhancing the user experience.
Under the hood, the distro is powered by Linux kernel 6.1 LTS. The default LLVM version has also been bumped to v16, bringing many new features and improvements for both Linux and Darwin users.
Another major highlight of this release is the introduction of new services and features, such as support for WiFi6 and WPA3-SAE-PK in the “hostapd” package and the introduction of the list-generations subcommand for the
The systemd update to v254 brings numerous changes, and the project has also focused on enhancing security by introducing
sudo-rs, a reimplementation of
sudo in Rust. We also do not fail to mention the transition of PostgreSQL to its 15th major version, enhancing database management capabilities.
Lastly, NixOS 23.11 also addresses a range of backward incompatibilities. It includes many new services, from MCHPRS, a multithreaded Minecraft server, Anuko Time Tracker, a simple open-source time tracking system, and Apache Guacamole, a clientless remote desktop gateway.
Although the ISO images are available exclusively in GNOME (the recommended desktop) and Plasma versions, the provided installer offers the option to install different desktop environments or even to install without any desktop.
Furthermore, the minimal installation ISO image is also available but does not contain the graphical user interface, so you must run the installer from the console.