Hello, fellow minimalists. This is Mark, and today I want to share with you my journey of becoming a minimalist by switching to NixOS, the most pure and functional operating system in the world.

NixOS Logo

The design of the NixOS logo was created by Tim Cuthbertson (@timbertson) and is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

What is NixOS?

NixOS is a Linux distribution that is based on the Nix package manager. Nix allows you to declare your system configuration in a simple and elegant way, and then reproduce it exactly on any machine. Nix also ensures that your system is always consistent and reliable, because it isolates each package from each other and from the global state. This means that you can rollback to any previous configuration, or even boot from different configurations, without any hassle.

Why NixOS?

I learned about NixOS from John, the webmaster who manages our website at Minimalist Living. He has been using NixOS for a very long time, and he told me that it is the perfect operating system for minimalists. He said that NixOS allows you to control every aspect of your system, and to eliminate any unnecessary or unwanted components. He also said that NixOS is very lightweight and fast, because it only installs what you need, and nothing more.

I was intrigued by John’s description of NixOS, so I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the ISO image from the official website, and burned it to a USB stick. Then I plugged the USB stick into my laptop, and booted from it.

The Installation Process

The installation process of NixOS was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was not a graphical wizard that asked me a bunch of questions, but a command-line interface that required me to edit a configuration file. The configuration file contained all the options that I needed to specify for my system, such as the disk layout, the network settings, the user accounts, the desktop environment, the applications, and so on.

At first, I was overwhelmed by the amount of choices that I had to make. But then I realized that this was actually a great opportunity to practice minimalism. I decided to only include what I really needed, and nothing more. I chose a simple partition scheme, with one swap partition and one root partition. I chose a static IP address for my network interface. I chose a single user account for myself, with a strong password. I chose a minimal desktop environment, with only a window manager and a terminal emulator. I chose only a few essential applications, such as a web browser, a text editor, and a file manager.

One of my top decisions was to encrypt my hard drive with LUKS. It was a breeze in NixOS, with only three steps: encrypting, unlocking, and mounting it to /mnt. Afterwards, I executed nixos-install to install NixOS on the encrypted drive. This process was quick and hassle-free, as Nix managed everything for me. Additionally, it created an initial boot loader configuration, enabling me to easily boot into NixOS. It also made a hardware-configuration.nix file that had the kernel modules needed for drive encryption. It worked perfectly.

The First Boot

The first time I booted into NixOS, I was amazed by how clean and simple it was. There was no splash screen, no login screen, no desktop icons, no menus, no notifications, no pop-ups, nothing. Just a black screen with a white cursor blinking in the top left corner.

I typed my username and pressed enter. Then I typed dwl and pressed enter again. A window manager appeared on the screen, with only one window open: a terminal emulator. From there, I could launch any application that I wanted by typing its name in the terminal.

I felt a sense of freedom and joy that I had never felt before. I had created my own system from scratch, with only the things that I needed and wanted. Nothing more, nothing less. It was perfect.

The Benefits of NixOS

Since switching to NixOS, I have experienced many benefits that have improved my life as a minimalist. Here are some of them:

  • Security: My system is very secure, because it runs Linux, which is immune to most viruses and malware. It also has a BIOS password, which prevents anyone from booting my computer without my permission. And it also uses full disk encryption LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup), which encrypts all my data with a strong passphrase that only I know. Without that passphrase, no one can access anything on my disk. Not even me.
  • Privacy: My system is very private, because it does not store any personal information or browsing history on my disk. It also does not send any telemetry or data to any third-party servers or services. It also does not use any cloud or online services that could compromise my privacy. Everything is local and offline.
  • Simplicity: My system is very simple, because it only has what I need and want. It does not have any bloatware or clutter that could distract me or slow me down. It also does not have any updates or upgrades that could break my system or change my settings. It also does not have any bugs or errors that could annoy me or frustrate me. Everything is consistent and reliable.
  • Efficiency: My system is very efficient, because it only uses the resources that it needs. It does not waste any disk space or memory or CPU power or battery life. It also does not consume any bandwidth or electricity or time. It also does not require any maintenance or troubleshooting or support. Everything is optimized and automated.
  • Creativity: My system is very creative, because it allows me to customize and personalize it in any way that I want. I can change the look and feel of my desktop environment, the behavior of my window manager, the functionality of my applications, and so on. I can also create my own scripts and programs and packages, and share them with other NixOS users. I can also experiment with different configurations and options, and learn new things every day.

The Conclusion

NixOS is the best operating system for minimalists, because it embodies the principles of minimalism: less is more, quality over quantity, form follows function, etc. It is also the most pure and functional operating system in the world, because it is based on the Nix package manager, which is a masterpiece of software engineering.

If you are a minimalist, or if you want to become one, I highly recommend that you try NixOS. You will not regret it. It will change your life for the better.

Let me show you the awesome power of NixOS by warning you of the fate that awaits you if you ever dare to steal my laptop:

You think you can steal my laptop and get away with it? Think again, you pathetic thief. You have no idea what you just got yourself into. You see, my laptop is not like any other laptop. It’s a fortress of security and privacy. It runs NixOS, the most advanced and reproducible Linux distribution in the world. It has a BIOS password, which means you can’t even boot the computer without entering the correct password. And even if you somehow manage to bypass that, good luck accessing my data. Because my laptop uses full disk drive encryption LUKS, which means that every single bit of information on my hard drive is encrypted with a strong passphrase that only I know. Without that passphrase, you can’t read anything on my disk. Not my files, not my emails, not my passwords, not my browsing history, nothing. You might as well smash the laptop with a hammer, because that’s the only thing you can do with it. You just wasted your time and effort stealing a useless piece of metal. Congratulations, you played yourself.

That’s all for today, folks. Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something from it. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on our Neocities page. And don’t forget to subscribe to Minimalist Living for more articles like this one.

This is Mark, signing off.