Platform Upgrades & What’s New

Here you find information about changes compared to the previous platform version, what to consider and where to take action before upgrading.


Before upgrading a machine, please read the General upgrade remarks and Significant breaking changes. Contact our Support for upgrade assistance.


Why upgrade? Security

Upgrading to the latest platform version as soon as possible is important to get all security package updates and other security-related improvements provided by NixOS (our “upstream” distribution we build on).

We do back-ports for critical security issues but this may take longer in some cases and less important security fixes will not be back-ported most of the time.

NixOS provides regular security updates for about one month after the release. Upstream support for 22.11 ends on 2023-06-30.

New platform features are always developed for the current stable platform version and only critical bug fixes are back-ported to older versions.

How to upgrade?

At the moment, upgrading for customers is only possible by setting the platform version using the API. Ask our Support to schedule an upgrade in a maintenance window or upgrade immediately if you don’t use the API.

We are working on a feature to request upgrades from the customer self-service portal.

General upgrade remarks

Our goal is to make upgrades as smooth as possible without manual intervention but sometimes incompatible configuration has to be fixed before starting an upgrade.

Here are some remarks to make sure that an upgrade will run successfully:

Isolate application deployments

As a general advice: reduce platform dependencies of your application deployment by using Nix-managed service user environments as described in User Package Management or other forms of dependency isolation like containers.

Upgrade staging first

Upgrades should always be checked in a staging environment first. We usually upgrade customer staging machines from our side as soon as the new platform version is ready for general testing. This is announced via our Flying Circus Statuspage where you can also subscribe to updates.

Upgrade to the next platform version

We recommend upgrading platform versions one at a time without skipping versions. Here we assume that you are upgrading from the 22.05 platform.

Direct upgrades from older versions are possible in principle, but we cannot reliably test all combinations for all roles and custom configuration also plays a role here. Usually, problems that occur when skipping versions are only temporary, like service failures that go away with the next system rebuild or a system/service restart.

Check free disk space

About 8-10 GiB should be available on disk before starting an upgrade to avoid triggering a low-disk alarm.

Usually, upgrades have an on-disk size of about 3-6 GiB which may be higher in certain configurations. We keep old system versions and let the Nix garbage collection clean them up, so the additional space will be used for at least 3 days.

Consider performance impact while upgrading

Upgrading may take some time, depending on the number of activated roles and disk speed. For production machines, upgrades are usually done in a maintenance window to reduce impact on regular operations. VM may have degraded performance for some minutes when packages are being downloaded and built.

With NixOS, the switch to the new system happens after a successful system build so most services are unavailable at the same time and only for a small time-window.

Significant breaking changes

These changes often require action before the upgrade. Please review the following common breaking changes and role-specific notes below.

Common breaking changes

  • Deprecated settings logrotate.paths and logrotate.extraConfig have been removed. Please convert any uses to services.logrotate.settings before upgrading.


Nginx now uses the nginx user to run the main process. Before, only worker processes ran as nginx and the main process as root to allow reading SSL certificates from arbitrary directories, like deployments in /srv/s-user, for example.

Normally, the built-in support for Letsencrypt should be used to avoid permission problems and make sure that certificates are rotated automatically.

If using other SSL certificates cannot be avoided, make sure that permissions allow read access for the nginx user, for example by applying setfacl -Rm u:nginx:rX to the certificate directory.

It’s also possible to keep the old behavior for some time by adding as Custom NixOS-native configuration before the upgrade:

# /etc/local/nixos/nginx-master-user-root.nix
  services.nginx.masterUser = "root";

This setting will trigger a deprecation warning on 23.05 and be removed in a later version.


The options to add custom Grafana config have changed.

services.grafana.extraOptions has been removed and free-form config settings moved to services.grafana.settings. For example, services.grafana.smtp.port is now at services.grafana.settings.smtp.port.

For a detailed migration guide, please look at the NixOS 22.11 release notes.


See webgateway.


The postgresql10 role has been removed. Upgrade the database to a newer role version before the platform upgrade.

The postgresql15 role is now available.


All kibana* roles have been removed. Machines that use kibana should stay on 22.05 for now. We are working on OpenSearch/OpenSearch Dashboards roles for 22.11 which will replace Elasticsearch/Kibana in the future.


graylog and loghost* roles have been removed. Machines that use these roles should stay on 22.05. We are working on a new logging stack for 22.11 which will be based on Grafana Loki.

Other notable changes

  • PHP is now built in NTS (Non-Thread Safe) mode by default. For Apache and mod_php usage, we enable ZTS (Zend Thread Safe) mode. This has been a common practice for a long time in other distributions.

  • openssh was updated to version 9.1, disabling the generation of DSA keys when using ssh-keygen -A as they are insecure. Also, SetEnv directives in ssh_config and sshd_config are now first-match-wins.

  • Python now defaults to 3.10, updated from 3.9. Python 3.11 is now stable.

  • PHP now defaults to PHP 8.1, updated from 8.0.

  • OpenSSL now defaults to OpenSSL 3, updated from 1.1.1.

  • The nodePackages package set now defaults to the LTS release in the nodejs package again, instead of being pinned to nodejs-14_x. nodejs-10_x has been removed.

  • For more details, see the release notes of NixOS 22.11.

Significant package updates

  • docker-compose: 1.29 -> 2.12

  • git: 2.36 -> 2.38

  • gitlab: 15.4.6 -> 15.8.4

  • glibc: 2.34 -> 2.35

  • haproxy: 2.5 -> 2.6

  • k3s: 1.23 -> 1.25

  • keycloak: 18 -> 20

  • nix: 2.8 -> 2.11

  • openssh: 9.0 -> 9.1

  • postfix: 3.6.6 -> 3.7.3

  • powerdns: 4.6 -> 4.7

  • rabbitmq: 3.9 -> 3.10

  • roundcube: 1.5 -> 1.6

  • systemd: 250 -> 251

  • telegraf: 1.22 -> 1.24

  • varnish: 7.1 -> 7.2

  • zlib: 1.2.12 -> 1.2.13

  • zsh: 5.8 -> 5.9