When comparing Nix vs Artix Linux, the Slant community recommends Artix Linux for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux distributions for desktops?” Artix Linux is ranked 2nd while Nix is ranked 64th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro No side effects when building packages
Nix is a purely functional package management system. This means that the act of building a package does not have side effects, such as destructively updating or deleting files that may be used by other packages.
Pro Isolated development environments
Nix allows the creation of project-specific shell and build environments which are isolated from the rest of the system. These environments are defined declaratively to ensure reproducibility.
Pro Can replace docker in some places
Pro Can use multiple versions of the same package
Because of the functional approach it takes, Nix makes it easy for systems to use multiple versions of the same package simultaneously, and ensure that updating or removing a package can't break other packages.
Pro The configuration works on "All machines"
No more of the traditional: "it works on my machine". When it says reproducible, this is the real deal.
Pro No systemd
Artix actively supports the runit init system known from Void Linux. (Equally besides the OpenRC init system known from Gentoo).
Only the software you would need like Terminal emulator, file manager, media player and a browser.
Pro Compatible with Arch Repositories
It is fully compatible with almost all packages from community, extra, multilib and AUR.
Pro Close to bare Arch Linux
No learning curve if you're coming from Arch or any of its derivatives.
Pro Rolling distro
You can have a functional system in less than 10 mins using GUI installer OR you can do it "the Arch way".
Con Does not work well for services on non-NixOS systems
When using Nix with anything other than NixOS you can run into difficulties with trying to start up services. For example, you can install docker with Nix, but it won't integrate with the host system's systemd leaving you to handcraft awkward workarounds in order to start the background service that docker requires. This seems like a critical flaw when using Nix on anything that is not NixOS, and it's unfortunate because this affects many of the packages many users would be most interested in using Nix to handle.
Con Steep learning curve
Con Cannot handle filetypes that have different semantics across different versions
While the functional approach that Nix takes is great for sandboxing binary artifacts of packages, it seriously lacks any power in handling configuration files or user data. It's difficult to upgrade and downgrade files where semantics and syntax can change between versions. Especially in Debian/Ubuntu it can cause severe problems where the upgrade process blocks and the user needs to resolve the 3-way merge.
Con Feels slightly over-complicated
Con No systemd
Some packages flat out won't work because systemd is non existent, sadly pipewire needs systemd to run. Hopefully Pipewire becomes usable soon. Edit: Pipewire does work but you will have to make a startup script.
Con Few Arch packages might not be available yet
Developers are working migrating all packages into their own repositories while ensuring there's no systemd malware.