Replace Debian with NixOS

  • I know it is a longshot, but it might be worth looking into what NixOS is about and how it could be used as the base of OMV. I have been using OMV since version 2.x and my overall issue is that whenever I want to be on the latest version I most likely have to start from scratch. It is even a lot more difficult if someone's OMV is 2 versions or more behind. I am using OMV 5.x right now because at the time of my setup (which was about May 15th 2022) OMV 6.x had issues with allowing me to use GPU acceleration in Plex or Jellyfin. I have run similar steps on OMV 6 and on OMV 5, but I was able to get it working only on OMV5 because OMV 6 had a very new version of Debian that did not yet have support for those packages.


    I definitely don't want to start a heated debate, but from what I have seen, Nix is the Swiss Army Knife of all distros and what I like the most about it is the fact that it has the best way of handling dependencies. One can have any version of any package (and they have most important packages) with any dependencies running in an isolated environment if needed. It can even run something on a shell based environment. I can even run anything once when needed and can cleanup those temporary installations. It can get nix config files from a git repo and has snapshots of all the previous versions of the OS. As long as the hardware does not break (SSD, USB stick or HDD is functional without any bad sectors), you can never break your installation.


    On the other hand, NixOS has a steep learning curve and can be intimidating because one can get lost in all the configs and NixOS is a little different than all the other OS-es. The good thing is that once a config is done, you kind of forget about it. Only after a colleague has shown it to me in action I was able to see how good it can be and how well it can work. My first initial impression was that we don't need another OS that appears to complicate things by trying to be good at everything. Please, please give it a fair chance.

    Riddle me this, riddle me that
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    Testing (latest) OMV 6.x (HURRAY) on an Intel i5820K NAS (currently with proxmox kernel 6.2)

    • Official Post

    To make it short, no.


    Switching to that OS would mean that OMV is needed to build images for ARM devices as well. But this is not wanted, the OMV project does not want to build and maintain that images; instead it is running on the OS images that is shipped by the manufacturers or made by other communities (e.g. Raspberry Pi OS, Armbian, ...).

    • Official Post

    my overall issue is that whenever I want to be on the latest version I most likely have to start from scratch. It is even a lot more difficult if someone's OMV is 2 versions or more behind. I am using OMV 5.x right now because at the time of my setup (which was about May 15th 2022) OMV 6.x had issues with allowing me to use GPU acceleration in Plex or Jellyfin. I have run similar steps on OMV 6 and on OMV 5, but I was able to get it working only on OMV5 because OMV 6 had a very new version of Debian that did not yet have support for those packages.

    There is a thread for people doing gpu acceleration on OMV 6. You do not need to stay on OMV 5 and gpu acceleration is definitely not a reason to switch distros. Upgrades aren't that bad and if someone lets their server fall two versions behind, that is their fault. But they can still upgrade one version at a time to be on latest.


    Please, please give it a fair chance.

    I have played with NixOS for non-OMV reasons and it is not stable enough to be a NAS. Debian or Ubuntu are the only Linux distros I would consider for a NAS. And as Volker mentioned, they are also the only two distros that would be available for most arm boards.

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  • There is a thread for people doing gpu acceleration on OMV 6. You do not need to stay on OMV 5 and gpu acceleration is definitely not a reason to switch distros. Upgrades aren't that bad and if someone lets their server fall two versions behind, that is their fault. But they can still upgrade one version at a time to be on latest.

    I had clear instructions back then and they did not work on the state that the underlying Debian distro had back then with OMV 6.x. There were issues with the Debian packages. I had a clean installation, I think I did it twice because I kind of broke the OS once while trying to get it to work. I preferred to use the older version instead of having to either wait or troubleshoot a fairly new Debian install to get things working. It was a calculated choice, knowing that I will most likely have to reinstall everything if I ever want to move to OMV 7.x.


    Upgrades have always been an issue for OMV, I have read a lot of posts here about them. Maybe some lack the knowledge or the patience to do everything as described. Maybe some depend on plugins that are no longer supported in the newest version of OMV.


    I have played with NixOS for non-OMV reasons and it is not stable enough to be a NAS

    One could not necessarily be on the latest and greatest version of NixOS. NixOS is a double edged sword, it is its advantage and its weak point at the same time.


    Switching to that OS would mean that OMV is needed to build images for ARM devices as well

    I had to ask and I know that on ARM devices OMV can be installed on a compatible distro. ARM is well supported on NixOS and one does not really need to use the provided images to use NixOS.




    Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I knew the idea would get a NO from Volker, but I still had to ask, since there were no discussions about it. If I were in the developer's shoes this far in the project, I would also reply with NO to such an idea.

    Riddle me this, riddle me that
    Who is afraid of the big, black bat?
    I write on a blog (Romanian mostly)
    Testing (latest) OMV 6.x (HURRAY) on an Intel i5820K NAS (currently with proxmox kernel 6.2)

    • Official Post

    I had clear instructions back then and they did not work on the state that the underlying Debian distro had back then with OMV 6.x. There were issues with the Debian packages. I had a clean installation, I think I did it twice because I kind of broke the OS once while trying to get it to work. I preferred to use the older version instead of having to either wait or troubleshoot a fairly new Debian install to get things working. It was a calculated choice, knowing that I will most likely have to reinstall everything if I ever want to move to OMV 7.x.

    I don't know what you are following but I can't think of anything that would require a reinstall when setting up gpu accel.

    Upgrades have always been an issue for OMV, I have read a lot of posts here about them. Maybe some lack the knowledge or the patience to do everything as described. Maybe some depend on plugins that are no longer supported in the newest version of OMV.

    For some. No one posts when their upgrade goes well. So, of course you read about failed upgrades. Many of those upgrades fail because of the Debian upgrade not the OMV upgrade. Many of those upgrades are Armbian or Raspberry Pi OS which seem to be more prone to failure.


    One could not necessarily be on the latest and greatest version of NixOS. NixOS is a double edged sword, it is its advantage and its weak point at the same time.

    While gpu accel people do not want to be on the latest and greatest, the majority do want to be on the latest and greatest. Obviously we can't make every happy and have to focus on the majority. unfortunately for you, gpu accel is very small percentage of OMV users.

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  • I am using a 1060 3GB for GPU acceleration and packages support for that very new Debian version was not there at the time of my install.


    A moderator can lock this thread, it has served its purpose. There is no need to divert it from its actual intended purpose.

    Riddle me this, riddle me that
    Who is afraid of the big, black bat?
    I write on a blog (Romanian mostly)
    Testing (latest) OMV 6.x (HURRAY) on an Intel i5820K NAS (currently with proxmox kernel 6.2)

    • Official Post

    I am using a 1060 3GB for GPU acceleration and packages support for that very new Debian version was not there at the time of my install.

    It was with the right kernel.


    Have you read this guide - RE: [HowTo] Nvidia hardware transcoding on OMV 5 in a Plex docker container


    This thread might also be useful - omv6 and nvidia gpu

    omv 7.4.0-1 sandworm | 64 bit | 6.8 proxmox kernel

    plugins :: omvextrasorg 7.0 | kvm 7.0.14 | compose 7.2.1 | k8s 7.2.0-1 | cputemp 7.0.2 | mergerfs 7.0.5 | scripts 7.0.8


    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github - changelogs


    Please try ctrl-shift-R and read this before posting a question.

    Please put your OMV system details in your signature.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

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