Nix NixOS is my go-to Linux distribution, providing a Functional approach to packaging & configuration management.

There are a couple of steps to enable NixOS on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. Running native NixOS is a better approach then to use Nix on Windows (using Ubuntu).

NOTE

An earlier version was published as Nix on Windows 10 in 2019.

Enable WSL if you haven’t done so.

1
wsl --install --no-distribution

The --no-distribution just activates wsl2, see wsl docs.

Reboot your pc.

Import & Install NixOS on WSL2

We are going to use the nix-community/NixOS-WSL base.

  1. Download the latest release

  2. Import the image to WSL

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     wsl --import NixOS .\Downloads\NixOS\nixos-wsl.tar.gz
    
  3. Run NixOS

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     wsl -d NixOS
    
  4. Optionally make NixOS the default

    1
    
     wsl -s NixOS
    

Our first run

  1. Run a nix-channel update as root

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     sudo nix-channel --update
    
  2. You can start using NixOS

    e.g. nix-shell -p htop

Definitely check