Booting old NixOS

My between-the-years project was trying to use my old Thinkpad to run some local services, for example MPD. I thought, that the Thinkpad did not even have a drive anymore, and was surprised to find a 256GB SSD inside of it - with nixos still installed!


So, after almost two years, I booted my old Thinkpad, entered the crypto password for the harddrive, and got greeted with a login screen and an i3 instance. Firefox asked whether I want to start the old session again… everything just worked.

I was amazed.

Well, this is not the crazy thing I wanted to write about here. The problem now was: I update and deploy my devices using krops nowadays. This old installation had root login disabled, which is required for krops to work…

But, because nixos is awesome,… I did nothing more than checking out the git commit the latest generation on the Thinkpad was booted from, modified some settings for ssh server and root user … rebuild the system and switched to the new build… and then started deployment for the new nixos 20.09 installation using krops.

All without hassle. I might run out of disk space now, because this deployes a full KDE Plasma 5 installation, but honestly it would surprise me… there should be enough space. I am curious, though, whether KDE Plasma 5 runs on the device. We’ll see…