Skip to main content

Run NixOS in a DigitalOcean Droplet


This little tutorial will show you how to turn an Ubuntu Droplet (VM) on DigitalOcean into a NixOS Droplet using nixos-infect. NixOS is a Linux distribution declaratively configured using a specification written in the Nix expression language describing the system’s desired state. It supports automatic upgrades and rollbacks.

Aside from DigitalOcean, you can run NixOS on most common computers . It’s possible to run NixOS on ARM64 computers, like on the Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 4 .

This tutorial will transform Ubuntu 18.04 LTS into NixOS 19.09 Loris.

Prepare #

Create a Droplet on DigitalOcean. I’d recommend a minimum of 2GB RAM, running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Transform into NixOS #

First, clone the nixos-infect repository:

$ git clone

Then simply run nixos-infect:

cd nixos-infect/

Give it some time, and you’ll eventually have a NixOS installation on your Droplet. Please note that this is highly experimental and not for any production use.

You can provide loads of configuration options to nixos-infect and NixOS itself. Please refer to the nixos-infect documentation and the NixOS documentation.

Good luck! 😀

Revision #

2023-08-31 Revised language