NixOS 21.05 arrives with GNOME 40, updates and more

Few days ago the launch of the new version of the Linux distribution «NixOS 21.05» was announced in which a lot of updates have been made of the system packages and of which those of the desktop environments stand out, as well as the inclusion of services and other changes.

For those who are unfamiliar with this Linux distribution, they should know that It is based on the Nix package manager and that provides a series of proprietary developments that simplify the configuration and maintenance of the system.

For example, NixOS uses a single system configuration file (configuration.nix), provides the ability to quickly roll back updates, supports switching between different system states, supports the installation of individual packages by individual users (the package is placed in the home directory), multiple versions of the same program can be installed simultaneously, playable compilations are provided.

When using Nix, packages are installed in a tree or subdirectory of directories / nix / store separate in the user's directory. The GNU Guix package manager takes a similar approach, which builds on the work of Nix.

Dependencies can be determined between packages, while scanning for hash identifiers in the installed packages directory is used to find the presence of already installed dependencies.

It is possible to download ready-made binary packages from the repository (when binary package updates are installed, only delta changes are downloaded) or compile from source with all dependencies.

Main news of NixOS 21.05

In this new version of NixOS 21.05 12985 packages were added, 14109 packages were removed, and 16768 packages were updated.

Of these, we can find that the updated versions of the different components distribution, including gcc 10.3.0, glibc 2.32, table 21.0.1. The basic kernel of Linux has been updated from version 5.4 to 5.10, and kernel 5.12 which is offered as an option, although it is mentioned that it should be noted that it is not currently officially supported for use with the zfs file system. If zfs is used, a different kernel version must be used (either the LTS kernel or track a specific one).

On the part of desktop environments, we can find that they have been updated to KDE 5.21.3 + KDE Applications 20.12.3, Cinnamon to version 4.8.1 and the GNOME desktop environment has been updated to 40. With the latter, it must be taken into consideration that there is no backward compatibility, so if you want to update the system from a previous version, this must be taken into account.

In addition to new services were added with GNURadio 3.8, Keycloak Authentication Server and Discourse Discussion Platform.

Another important change that is mentioned is the Python optimizations that were disabled again. Builds with optimizations enabled are not playable, although optimizations can now be enabled with an option.

Of the other changes that stand out:

  • The configuration services.openssh.authorizedKeysFiles now also affects the keys that security.pam.enableSSHAgentAuth will be used.
  • PowerDNS has been updated from 4.2.x to 4.3.x.
  • xfsprogs was updated from 4.19 to 5.11. Now enables reflink support by default on file system creation.
  • Support for reflinks with an experimental state was added to kernel 4.9 and was considered stable in kernel 4.16.

Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it About this new version of NixOS 21.05, you can check the details, as well as the documentation and distribution details in the following link

Download NixOS 21.05

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 full install image with KDE is 1,4 GB, GNOME is 1,8 GB, and the short console image is 660 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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