Putting functional database theory into practice: NixOS

NixOS is a Linux distribution based on Nix, a purely functional package management system. NixOS is an experiment to see if we can build an operating system in which software packages, configuration files, boot scripts and the like are all managaed in a purely functional way, that is, they are all built by deterministic functions and they never change after they have been built. Such an operating system should have all the nice characteristics that the Nix package manager has.

Here are links to:

I found this an extremely readable thesis, light on math but high on insight. I now have an entirely new way of thinking about components and the filesystem, and that's really cool. I'd be very interested in hearing what people with serious deployment/sysadmin experience think about this approach.

(Thanks to Gavin Mendel-Gleason and Martin Bravenboer for posting the original links in the discussions page!)

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PhD Thesis

I have to second that. This is a nice thesis all around.


A very interesting read. Another project that has a similar philosophy to package management is GoboLinux.