What is NixOS?

NixOS is a Linux distro based on Nix package manager (wow). Nix (as package manager) provides the ability to create reproducible environments using functional programming language Nix.

Note: Nix could be used without NixOS on generic Linux distros and macOS.

My first steps in NixOS

Step one: Installation

I recently got a free (for me) laptop with Astra Linux preinstalled, used it for 10 minutes and caught myself thinking that I could try to install NixOS on it (I had never had experience with NixOS before, until I came across Delroth’s configs).

Flashed USB. Booted up. nixos-generate-config. nixos-install.


I didn’t do a very wise thing by installing NixOS on an encrypted partition (because I’ve never installed NixOS before), but it didn’t bring me any problems, Nix (nixos-generate-config) did everything for me (which was a bit surprising).

Step two: Refactoring configuration

Two-file configuration is good for first time, but Nix provides the ability to split configs into modules that I immediately took advantage of. Initially I thought of using a simple script to deploy systems, that copies configs, but then I learned about Nix flakes and any need to use additional scripts has disappeared.

I created common/ for common configurations (like Nix (as package manager), laptop and user-specific configs), roles/ for system roles (like gaming (which installs Wine, Steam and enables 32-bit support in PipeWire and Mesa), development (that installs IDEs and compilers), graphical (that enables my sway configuration) and Yggdrasil (that configures Yggdrasil to use my private peer, that is also configured using Nix)) and machines/ for machine-specific configuration.

Step three: Configuring more machines

Now, when I have separate modules, I can build a working system just by configuring disks, setting the right hostname and creating machine-specific configs using nixos-generate-config.

Using NixOS

Config changes

Each time you rebuild NixOS it doesn’t affect your previous build and if you do something wrong, you can always roll back to the system with previous configuration.

GTK things

Setting up GTK themes was a real pain in the ass because I never read the README about the themes and icons I was trying to install :).


Currently, I’m installing my dotfiles using my script, but it doesn’t seem a right thing, so I should do something about it (or not, I’m good with it).


NixOS is the perfect Linux distribution that I could use as a daily driver. It took only 68 generations to create an ideal habitat for yourself. My configs are available on GitHub.

Screenshot with neofetch

Special thanks to Delroth for providing the beautiful configuration reference.