Dual booting PopOS or simply Ubuntu with NixOS

I am currently using PopOS and NixOS fascinates me. But I want to be careful about this since I don’t want to encounter any problem when I am using my computer. Is there any problem with NixOS that will interrupt normal use? Like some packages not being available? I saw a guide on how to dual boot Ubuntu on top of NixOS but I am scared of the idea of wiping my current setup. Can I dual boot NixOS on top of PopOS?

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Why not use virtualization?

Oracle VirtualBox is usually the easiest to install and get going…

Run NixOS as a VM on Pop!_OS via VirtualBox???

Safer… Can’t break your Pop!_OS

If you like it enough - then you can get your feet wet and take a risk (there’s always some level of risk with dual booting - it’s why I mostly don’t do it)…


I have already tried it on a VM. I like it. I was hoping for the NixOS installer to have an install alongside option and have the installer do things automatically.

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I dont think you will find that option in many installers.
Looks like you have to be prepared to partition the disk with gparted , being careful to keep the Nixos partition(s), and do an independent install of Popos.
Do a backup first… then you cant really lose anything.
Grub will look after the dual boot issues. Just decide whether you are going to control grub from Nixos or from Popos.

The only other option is to get 2 disks and install one Linux on each disk. Then you can choose which disk to boot with the bios.


OK then - sorry - I can’t be of much help as “as a rule” I don’t dual boot (I do have a spare laptop that I hardly ever use - mostly powered off, that’s got Win10, Ubuntu 23.04 and Gentoo (aborted / halted / postponed completion) ).

On my main two systems, AMD Ryzen 7 running Pop!_OS 22.04 and Thinkpad Ryzen 5 running Ubuntu 23.04 (which I’ll update to 23.10 next month) - they’re the only boot environments…

I think it was the other way around - @Haris_Ali - has Pop!_OS installed, and would like to install NixOS as a 2nd boot option on the same system…


Success! The installer did have an a dual boot option. The dual boot worked. But damn, NixOS is scary.


You are right. I missed that.