NixOS 20.03 “Markhor” Released: A Purely Functional Linux Distribution


NixOS, a purely functional Linux distribution built on top of the Nix package manager, has released its first version for 2020: v20.03 “Markhor”. The new version comes with several new and upgraded services, packages and other changes.

NixOS 20.03 “Markhor”: What’s New?

The stable version 20.03 of NixOS is a result of hard work of 1,014 people with 21,597 contributions. Support for NixOS 20.03 lasts for six months until the next v20.09 releases. Here is the list of new and upgraded packages in v20.3:

  • Linux Kernel 5.4 (from 4.19)
  • GNOME 3.34 (from 3.32)
  • Pantheon 5.1.3
  • Mesa 19.3.3
  • GCC – 9.2.0
  • MongoDB 3.4.24

Additionally, instead of a command-line interface, the graphical installer image starts with a graphical session automatically. Now you don’t have to run ‘systemctl start display-manager’ to enter GUI. You can also disable the display-manager from running by selecting the display-manager quirk on the boot menu.

Among other notable changes, the upgraded OpenSSH 8.1 enhances security and adds new features but with potential incompatibilities. You can also unlock the LUKS-Encrypted file system using a FIDO2 token via boot.initrd.luks.fido2Support.

For comprehensive details, read the official release notes here.

How To Download And Install NixOS?

If you’re already using NixOS, you can upgrade your system by following the instructions here. Also, you must look at the backward incompatibilities before switching to a new version.

But, for a fresh installation, first, download the NixOS 20.03 ISO image from the site and go along with the installation guide here. As of now, NixOS does not have a user-friendly graphical installer. Hence, you must be careful while installing it.

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