This update is the third in a series of regular updates on the state of the project.

Usually, only changes that have been accepted and merged in Mobile NixOS in the given month are chronicled here. There’s always more work currently in-progress.

Notable changes

Only 1 PR was merged during the month. Though, keep on reading, as one of the biggest PR, started in mid-December, was the main focus of the month.

New Stage-1 init

This is quite the misnomer, while true, that the PR mainly introduced a completely re-done init, it brought much more.

  • "New-style" USB gadget (gadgetfs) handling.

  • USB Networking for newer devices.

  • Vendor partition firmware loading.

  • Logs multiplexing and saving in stage-1.

  • Proper reboot and poweroff in stage-1.

  • Actual handling of NixOS-configured specialFileSystems.

This new init is built using a dependencies-based system, reducing the complexities from the inflexible "big script" approach of the previous init. With this new approach, we can simply dump all of the things we need to happen in the init, tell them how they’re linked, and boot. The current implementation is naïve, but even with a naïve approach, the benefits are apparent. First, the developer does not need to care about the ordering of things, only describing what has to be, and what to do. Then, the relatively surprising part: this made things a bit quicker to boot.

This reduced reliance on sleep and wait times during the boot to provide assurance that things were ready, meaning that steps happen much quicker in succession. To the annoyance of the author, this means that the well-choreographed boot images whizz by too quickly, reducing their meaningfulness.

In the end, this is a hidden change, that serves mainly to ensure a rock-solid foundation for what’s coming soon.

See the PR for more details.

Upcoming changes

Speaking of coming soon, As previewed in a tweet, work is in progress to provide a graphical interface that can be used in early boot. This can be used to make a "recovery" system tailored to the project’s need, and more importantly, allow interaction in the boot process.

The main focus of early interaction is to allow selecting a generation to boot into. This is part of the NixOS experience, and is currently missing. Another benefit to an early UI is that it will give us the opportunity to enter a passphrase to unlock an eventually coming encrypted system.

Keep your eyes peeled for the coming PR!


No new port were made in January. There is still a total of 10 devices you can build for.