NixOS development progress for upcoming 21.11 release

The upcoming NixOS 21.11 release will include new packages, modules and some exciting technological changes under the hood. Here is a list of some updates I’m waiting for and some contributions I made in the last few months.

New apps

  • The modern and simple looking Gtk app fragments 1.5 got merged. I also tried to package this in an earlier attempt but discarded it because version 2.0 would made the build process a lot easier. Nevertheless I’m glad version 1.5 will be available in the upcoming NixOS release :)
  • hyperpotamus is a program to automate HTTP requests described in an YML-file. This is useful to test web apps or create simple scripts for automation. As an example, following script will automate the process to authenticate to a captive portal:
- request:
    - jquery: "form[name='login'] input[name='username']"
        macaddress: [ "@value" ]
- request:
    method: POST
      username: <% macaddress[0] %>
      password: helloworld
hyperpotamus KVV-WLAN.yml
  • pdfmixtool is yet an other PDF document manipulation program with an graphical interface. It is more useful to do batch processing of one or more documents with it. It’s quite new and I hope it will get more useful features in the future. There’s still a lack of open source PDF editing solutions on Linux.
  • Other additions are: Blanket, a neat little program to play and mix ambient sounds, ventoy, a program to create multi-boot usb flash drives by simply copying the ISO files to the main partition and checkra1n, program to jailbreak specific iOS devices and the new cups print server fork by OpenPrinting with a lot of new features and bugfixes.

New modules

  • As described in an earlier blog post, opensnitch is a application firewall for Linux. It is already packaged as an application but will be available as a module too. So a simple services.opensnitch.enable = ture; option will be enough to use it. Unfortunately the module seems to have a bug and is missing a unit test.
  • The dokuwiki and wordpress module will both have support to choose between several web server backends. I was able to add support for the web server caddy.
  • Its not really a module but a lot of modules and apps will be affected by this change. The switch from iptables to nftables as a new and modern replacement for the legacy Linux firewall.

Some upcoming stuff

  • I already finished the work to implement a module for the maddy mail server, which is not yet merged. Using this module, it will be even easier to get a full featured mail server up and running by simply using the option services.maddy.enable = true;. The module also includes a unit test which will start maddy and verify its working by sending and receiving test mails.
Unit test running for maddy mail server module

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