NixOS on ARM/Installation

From NixOS Wiki


Getting the installer

UEFI iso

Note: On Raspberry Pi devices, the NixOS ISO are not compatible due to hardware limitations rather than issues with the NixOS installer itself. As a result, it is recommended to use the SD card images files (.img) instead for a successful installation experience.

Continue to the UEFI page.

SD card images (SBCs and similar platforms)

For AArch64 it is possible to download images from Hydra.

On the page click on the latest successful build to get a download link under build products.

Installation steps

The .img files can be directly written to a microSD/SD card (minimal recommended size: 4 GB) using dd, once uncompressed from the ZSTD container. The SD card needs to be unmounted first.

Once the NixOS image file is downloaded, run the following command to install the image onto the SD Card, replace /dev/mmcblk0 with the path to the SD card (use dmesg to find it out).

sudo dd if=nixos-sd-image-23.05pre482417.9c7cc804254-aarch64-linux.img of=/dev/mmcblk0

This should be enough to get you started, you may now boot your device for the first time.

The base images are configured to boot up with a serial TTY ( RX/TX UART ) @ 115200 Baud. That way you not necessarily have to have a HDMI Display and keyboard.

Note: If the image has the extension .zst, it will need to be decompressed before writing to installation device. Use

nix-shell -p zstd --run "zstdcat image.img.zst | dd of=/dev/mmcblk0 status=progress"

to decompress the image on-the-fly.

Note: For some platforms, manually editing and adding kernel command-line arguments to /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf may be needed for serial to work, and is "as" supported as would be editing the command-line manually during boot.

Continue with NixOS_on_ARM/Initial_Configuration.