NixOS 20.03 comes with Kernel 5.4, KDE 5.17.5, Gnome 3.34, Pantheon 5.1.3 and more

Some days ago the release of the new version of NixOS 20.03 was presented in which it is present a series of package updates quite important of which the update of the Linux Kernel to version 5.4 stands out, the update of the desktop environments used by the distribution, among others.

For those who are unfamiliar with NixOS, they should know that is a modern and flexible GNU / Linux distribution independently developed intended to improve the management of the state of the system configuration via the Nix package manager.

Nix OS started as a research project a few years ago and it has become a functional operating system with a rigid learning curve to manage system services.

Runs in the KDE desktop environment, but it works with its own Nix package manager.

Nix OS has an unusual approach- It is aimed at modernizing system configuration management. The entire operating system, including the kernel, applications, system packages, and configuration files, is created by the Nix Package Manager.

Nix isolates all his packages from each other. Uses its own file structure process too. For example, this distribution does not have the / bin, / sbin, / lib, or / usr directories in its file structure. All packages are kept in / nix / store instead.

Other notable innovations include reliable upgrades, rollbacks, reproducible system configurations, a source-based model with binaries, and multi-user package management.

What's new in NixOS 20.03?

In this new version, we can find the new versions of desktop environments KDE 5.17.5 with KDE Applications 19.12.3, Gnome 3.34 and Pantheon 5.1.3 (when Pantheon is turned on through settings services.xserver.desktopManager.pantheon.enable, the associated login invitation screen turns on automatically).

As well we can find the updated versions of system components, such as the Linux kernel 5.4, gcc 9.2.0, glibc 2.30, table 19.3.3, openssl 1.1.1d, PostgreSQL 11, OpenSSH 8.1.

In addition, it is highlighted that the option code nixos is rewritten in C ++ and is extended with the -r option to show all settings and 46 new services were added, of which are mentioned:

  • kubernetes kube-proxy now supports a new services.kubernetes.proxy.hostname hostname setting which must be set if the node hostname should not be default.
  • UPower configuration is now managed by NixOS and can be customized via services.upower.
  • To use Geary, you need to enable it in programs.geary.enable instead of just adding it environment.systemPackages. It was created so that Geary could function properly outside of GNOME.

Regarding the changes that occur, it can be seen that after installation, the graphical installer automatically starts the graphical session (Previously a console prompt was displayed with the suggestion to start "systemctl start display-manager" if you need a graphical interface). To disable the start of the display manager, the item "Disable display manager" has been added to the start menu.

For ZFS groups, TRIM operation runs weekly for NVME and SSD drives Setting services.zfs.trim.enable.

If ZFS is present in config.boot.initrd.supportedFilesystems or config.boot.supportedFilesystems configuration, scan operations (services.zfs.autoScrub.enable) and automatic snapshot creation (services.zfs.autoSnapshot.enable) also they run periodically.

Finally another of the changes that is presented in this new version is that the images for SD cards are compressed using bzip2 by default.

If you want to know more about the launch of this new version, you can check the details in the following link. 

Download NixOS 20.03

For those who are interested in being able to download this Linux distribution to install or test it under a virtual machine, you can go to the official site of this and in its download section obtain the image.

The size of the full installation image with KDE is 1.2 GB and the reduced version of the console is 540 MB. Similarly on the site you will find documentation that will help you in the installation process. The link is this.

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