NixOS Series 2: How to Install NixOS on a Virtual Machine

NixOS Series 2: How to Install NixOS on a Virtual Machine

NixOS is an open-source Linux distribution that has gained a tremendous amount of popularity amongst developers for its cutting-edge package management system. It can be used to create reproducible systems that are easy to setup and maintain. In this guide, we will discuss how to set up NixOS on a virtual machine.


  • A virtual machine running Linux (such as VirtualBox).
  • A iso-image of the NixOS installation.

Step 1: Create the Virtual Machine

Create a virtual machine in the virtual machine software of your choice. This guide will assume VirtualBox is being used.

Step 2: Download the NixOS iso-image

Download the NixOS 19.09 iso-image from the NixOS Downloads page. This will provide you with the necessary software to install NixOS.

Step 3: Set up Network Settings

Set up the network settings for the virtual machine. This can typically be done by adding an additional Ethernet cable to the virtual machine or by selecting the Connection Type – ‘Ethernet’.

Step 4: Insert the NixOS iso-image

Insert the NixOS iso-image into the virtual machine. This will make the NixOS interpreter available in the virtual machine.

Step 5: Set up the Installation

Open the NixOS interpreter in the virtual machine. This will start the installation process. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Step 6: Configure NixOS

Once the installation is complete, you will need to configure NixOS. This can be done by editing the /etc/nixos/configuration.nix file and setting up the necessary parameters.

Step 7: Reboot the System

Once the configuration is complete, reboot the system. After the reboot, NixOS will be up and running on the virtual machine.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed NixOS on a virtual machine. Enjoy exploring the endless possibilities of NixOS and all its features!