When comparing Nix vs MX Linux, the Slant community recommends MX Linux for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux distributions for desktops?” MX Linux is ranked 18th while Nix is ranked 68th.
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 Easy to use
Pro MX Snapshot: lets you make your own distro
Can create your own ISO (snapshot) and use it either as live-session and install back when needed.
With the (pre-installed) Snapshot tool you can easily create an ISO of your running system and then save it to a USB (or other media) and use "your own" distro as a live session or install back whenever you like (even on a different PC with different specs with no issues). You can even give that customized ISO to friends (selecting "non-personal" ISO when creating the snapshot; thus resetting the accounts & passwords and Home folder etc.).
Also you can save that ISO directly encrypted via MX Live USB Maker tool. Again, you can install MX encrypted during installation with just ticking a box, no matter if it's the official ISO or your snapshot.
Pro Supports non-free drivers
Pro Good MX Tools and Package Installer
MX Linux comes with its own set of tools called MX Tools, designed to make life easier for users.
Pro Easy install
Pro Based on Debian
It is based on Debian and not based on Ubuntu.
Pro Very stable
Pro No systemd
Pro Can also be used as an emergency tool
It has almost all tools to repair non booting systems or recover files & folders and save them on a safe place. And when thought together with it starts quick on live-session. In addition, you can do these with "your own", customized distro (snapshot).
Pro Live-Session boots fastest after Puppy
After Puppy Linux (which's aimed to run from RAM and which is smaller in size) the second fastest (head & shoulders) booting one (together with the sister project antiX) and also has the option "toram" to run from RAM. Yes, not only when compared to full distros, even far faster than small sized or tiny distros, especially when booted to "live-session", about 2 - 2.5 times faster on an old single core laptop.
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 Only one Desktop Environment
Con Its XFCE version is too laggy
XFCE is meant to be lightweight, and it's almost true for other XFCE distros but not for MX Linux.
Con Old software
Many software applications are older.
Con Remixed Debian testing
It's mainly a Debian stable with some recompiled/backported Debian testing packages.
Con Includes non-free drivers
Con More than 50 tweaking softwares pre-installed
Con Longer boot time
Con 10s of media players preinstalled
Con Too much preinstalled applications
Con Causes overheating on some hardwares
Other debian based XFCE distros- Xubuntu, Debian XFCE, Devuan leave small footprint on system whereas MXLinux uses too much CPU resources on same system.
Con Installer and configuration tools are different
Installer and configuration tools are different and can take some time getting used to.