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README.md

NixNG

NixNG is a, as of now, GNU/Linux distribution, which may be a considered a late sibling to NixOS. It shares many of its designs and utilizes the Nix package manager at its core. The defining features of NixNG are:

  • A lighter and simpler design, due to the omission of systemd
  • The possibility of multiple init system choices, like runit, OpenRC, or even systemd in the future
  • A "minimal by default" package set. While nixpkgs, and by extension NixOS, takes the "full featured by default" approach
  • Suitable for building containers, due to being lightweight
  • Fully structured configuration for modules, that means no string extraConfig

Current state

NixNG cannot boot on real hardware due to lacking a kernel and initramfs, but it can "boot" as a container, be it LXC or OCI. Some modules are implemented but there is still a lot to be done. If you want to get a feel for it, you can look into ./examples where you will find fully functional systems, mostly catered to be containers.

Testing out

We have built up several functional containers, which showcase the syntax and functionality of NixNG. The sources arelocacted in /examples/. Currently you can build the top-level derivation which you theoretically could activate (don't, your system will break) with:

nix build .#examples.<systemName>.config.system.build.top-level

Or also an OCI image which you can load into Docker, Podman, etc, with:

nix build .#examples.<systemName>.config.system.build.ociImage.build

Alternatively, you can stream the image without saving it into the Nix store with:

nix build .#examples.<systemName>.config.system.build.ociImage.stream && ./result | docker load.

Contributing

I've provided some basic docs in ./doc, start with README.org. There are some open issue which need work, you can also implement new services, those are always welcome. If you have any gripes with how NixOS functions and would them be fixed in NixNG, please also open an issue and we'll see what we can do.

Requesting New Services

If you have a particular service or feature, which you would like to see in NixNG, please open an issue and someone will implement your request.

License

This project is mostly licensed under the MPL, v2, each file has a license header or associated .license file clearly stating its license. I also give explicit permission to the NixOS project to re-license any part of this repository under the copyright of Richard Brežák and NixNG contributors under the MIT license and to include it in nixpkgs or other NixOS organization projects.

Contributing

By contributing, you agree to the terms of the MPL, v2, license plus the exceptions laid out in the section License. You can find some documentation in README.org.

Relation to nixpkgs/NixOS

As already stated in the License section, the NixOS organization can freely relicense all code copyrighted under me or NixNG contributors in this repository under MIT and include it in nixpkgs and other NixOS organization projects. Therefore I encourage upstreaming as much as possible from NixNG to NixOS so that as many people as possible can benefit from my work. I currently see NixNG as a container specific distribution and a playground for new ways of structuring modules. NixNG is to NixOS as Alpine is to Debian, Alpine is seldom used on bare metal and I doubt NixNG will catch on as a bare metal distro, but it's perfect for containers.