Experimental package management with Nix and NixOS

Generation Handling

Creating many generations can waste large amounts of file space. The utility that handles this is problem is nix-env, but you should use the wrapper nix-collect-garbage. nix-collect-garbage has the standard delete option that takes away all old generations. You can do this manually, but more useful is the --delete-older-than option. You should set this as a regular script:

nix-collect-garbage --delete-older-than 10d

Using Nix in the Cloud

Nix is not supported by many cloud companies, but many still provide ISO options. NixOS has a page describing which ones are friendly and which ones you can still get started on. The procedure is similar, though getting the disks created is a bit of a chore when full support is not included. The list of services is available at the project website [4].

Conclusion

Nix is very powerful tool for handling diverse configurations. Many developers appreciate the ease at which they can just run the Nix shell and have all dependencies correctly configured every time. Ordinary users will appreciate the power of rollbacks and the possibility to run old software without bending over backwards.

The Author

Mats Tage Axelsson keeps aging hardware for the challenge of handling crashes. Oh, and he also is a cheapskate.

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