If anyone actually knows how many Linux OSes there are, then they’re not saying, for whatever reason/s. Seems most numbers I see in print are around 600, i.e. ‘about 600‘ seems to be used a lot. I’m thinking about upping my estimate from over 2,000 to over 3,000.

Linus Torvalds says Fragmentation is Why Linux Hasn’t Succeeded on Desktop: ‘I still wish we were better at having a standardize desktop that goes across all the distributions … It’s more of a personal annoyance how the fragmentation of the different vendors have, I think, held the desktop back a bit … It seems to be that Chromebooks and Android are the paths towards the desktop.

In fact, everything about Linux is Fragmented, from desktop environments to package managers ‘n etc. If you count Distros, Flavors, SPINS, and DE’s then you will probably give up at around 1,899 Linux OSes. Linux is like ‘BarbieOverdosing on Steroids when it comes to Fragmentation.

I test Linux OSes all the time, tho have started slowing down on the test reviews, since most force the annoying “Authenticate” popups and/or ‘Pesky Passwords’ onto desktop users, even on their own home computers. Am no expert, just a “normal” desktop OS user, looking for Linux OSes that are not totally focused on Enterprise users (commercial market).

Anyway, I occasionally come across a Linux OS that has something interesting about it, and enjoy mentioning it in a review here on the Linux Newbie – since 1996 blog. 😉

NixOS 21.11 Linux

I downloaded the NixOS 21.11 Plasma Desktop (nixos-plasma5-21.11.333896.a640d8394f3-x86_64-linux) iso, and quickly discovered it didn’t really have an installer.

I hate doing Linux “Readme” files…most of their “Readme” files are usually more fragmented than Linux OSes are. 😉 No graphical installer usually means lots of terminal work, and I have to be in a rare mood for ‘Dat!

OK…ran a search, looking for some automated script…

Introducing nixos-up, a dead-simple installer for NixOS:

Hats off to “samuela” on creating ‘n providing a “dead-simple” installer!!! Maybe creating dead-simple was easy for “samuela,” but not for 99.999% of the rest of the World! Easy to use tho!

  • Rant 1: Interesting discussion on the password in that Thread also, and like 99.999% of all Linux developers, they end up screwing the “normal” desktop OS user in favor of the Commercial Enterprise’s annoying “Authenticate” popups and/or ‘Pesky Passwords’ enforced by the infamous Linux ‘Nanny ‘n her constant demands. Don’t know who the Linux ‘Nanny is? Ask Roy Munson
  • Rant 2: Why can’t Linux developers simply give a choice to “normal” desktop OS users to opt out of the password/s on their own home computers. Puppy Linux doesn’t require a user or a password, Fedora Cinnamon SPIN only requires a root password (no user), EasyOS requires no user or password, and there are a few more Distros that only require one login as root.
  • Rant 3: Chromebooks require one login and no annoying “Authenticate” popups and/or ‘Pesky Passwords’ after that. None of my Android phones or Tablets have ever required a password to login and/or add apps and/or etc. “normal” desktop OS users don’t want to deal wid a Linux ‘Nanny looking over their shoulders.

Sorry for the Rants…the password discussion in that ThreadMade me do it‘! 😉

Anyway, after the “dead-simple” installation, the new installation booted easily into the Plasma Desktop. Here’s the About pic:

I mentioned earlier that Linux OSes have a lot of different package managers, and NixOS uses Nix Packages:

Package Managers usually take time to get use to using, and I didn’t know anything about the Nix package manager. Have heard some great things about it. GParted installed, but never opened after I entered the password into the annoying “Authenticate” popup. There was no browser either, but really didn’t need one since I was just mainly testing the “samuela” excellent ‘n easy “dead-simple” installer.

It (the command-script) had worked perfectly, but since it was for Password Dependent OS users, I wasn’t going to go thru installing a bunch of packages.

Without the NixOSdead-simple” installer, the other choice I saw was Chapter 2. Installing NixOS. Too difficult looking for lazy me. 🤷‍♂️

OldTechBloke

NixOS also had a GNOME iso, but I haven’t tried it. Wid Linux OSes, sometimes different DE’s work better than others…and the OldTechBloke mentioned a problem he had, wid the Plasma version (I believe). He also made some good points that I found interesting:

NixOS – Sometimes Different is Brilliant

NixOS is different to most of the distros that you may have tried before. But sometimes different is a very good thing. In this case I’d go as far as to say it’s absolutely brilliant.

You build NixOS with config file, just like a standard dot file. And each time you make a change you rebuild your system. All previous builds are still available aand you can choose to launch any of them from the grub screen, or just keep those that you want.

Each build and package installation is essentially sandboxed, so conflicts are a thing of the past. Wow!

The best advice I can offer is try it for yourself. It’s starting to grow on me and I’m going to continue to play with it in the foreseeable future.

My days of installing an OS in the terminal are basically over, but I do occasionally give it a shot tho.

Conclusion

Great job by Samuel Ainsworth wid that “dead-simple” installer. I would’ve never tested NixOS without it.

Most Linux OSes are focused on the commercial market, where passwords are needed, so “normal” people are pretty much forgotten. Even Distros like Manjaro, who focus a lot on simple desktop users, still end up requiring passwords. Some Arch-based Distros do offer a root login, but the ‘Archies‘ are all too unreliable.

CentOS Stream & AlmaLinux have root login options, but the new versions came wid a newer GNOME DE that doesn’t work wid Dash to Panel extension. I may try them again in the future, but they are so huge (8-10 GBs), and I am tired of dealing wid GNOME.

I did find the NixOS site, manual, etc. easy to move around in ‘n to use…there is even a handy ‘n easy to use manual available on the ‘Live’ USB.

BTW, I used Ventoy to create the ‘Live’ USB…so easy to use ‘n clean up afterwards!

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!