Nitrux is a distribution that doesn’t revolve around a package manager like other distributions; in Nitrux, the preferred method of obtaining new software is using AppImages. However, we understand that not all software is available as an AppImage. So, by default, we have included various options for users, such as Flatpak and Distrobox, to complement AppImages.

Additionally, Nitrux is an immutable distribution (the root is immutable by default), with the idea being that by making the root immutable, we provide users with a functional system that will not break over an update from a delivery channel we can’t control and that each upgrade to a new version occurs without anomalies, what we call “to have degree of certainty.” In fact, in Nitrux, there is no package manager because, of course, having a package manager that can alter the root wholly defeats the purpose.

Having laid out the context, today’s tutorial will look at how users can manage software in Nitrux.

Difficulty: ★☆☆☆☆

📜 Table of Contents

  1. AppImage
  2. Flatpak
  3. Distrobox
    1. Compiling Software in Nitrux
  4. Waydroid
  5. Zero Install
  6. One more thing…
    1. Support for Other Self-Contained Formats
    2. Support for Other Software Installation Methods


An AppImage is a downloadable file for Linux that contains an application and everything the app needs to run (e.g., libraries, icons, fonts, translations, etc.) that you can’t expect to be part of each target system.

The first method to manage software in Nitrux is by using AppImages. AppImage provides a very simplistic solution to software distribution, a one-click solution to obtain software that is instantly accessible to anyone. AppImages can be obtained from the NX Software Center.

  • The managed locations (and thus the default) for AppImages in Nitrux are /Applications and ~/Applications.
  • AppImages launched from the application menu will be launched using Firejail for sandboxing by default.
  • Some Electron applications or Chromium-based web browsers packaged as AppImages will refuse to run when using Firejail unless the application uses a specific Chromium flag. To run these Chromium-based AppImages, append the following Chromium flag.
electron-app.AppImage --no-sandbox
chromium-based-browser.AppImage --no-sandbox
  • For AppImages that refuse to work and are not Chromium-based, edit the desktop launcher to launch the AppImage directly, i.e., open the applications menu, right-click the launcher to edit, go to the tab ‘Applications ‘and on ‘Program,’ only enter the full path to the AppImage and on ‘Argument(s) ‘leave it blank if no arguments will be passed.
      • ⚠️ Important: We strongly emphasize that we do not recommend running AppImages without the Firejail sandbox, especially anything connected to the internet. Do it at your own risk.
  • The AppImages listed in the software center come from
    • 🔰 Information: If an AppImage downloaded from the NX Software Center does not work out of the box and its creator no longer maintains it, causing segmentation faults or other errors, check our tutorial to use Distrobox and run the AppImage using a container.

NX Software Center.

Disclaimer: We do not create, maintain or host the AppImage files the software center lists. These files are created, maintained, and hosted by third parties, and please let their creators or maintainers know if you have issues with these files.

Additionally to the NX Software Center, the distribution includes Zap. Zap is an AppImage command-line manager.

  • Install AppImages from the AppImage Catalog and AppImage Catalog v2.
  • Update AppImages.
  • Run as a daemon to check for updates (this feature requires Systemd and does not work in Nitrux).

Zap, a CLI manager for AppImages running on Station.

Disclaimer: We do not create, maintain or host the AppImage files Zap lists. These files are created, maintained, and hosted by third parties, and please let their creators or maintainers know if you have issues with these files.


Flatpak builds upon existing technologies such as cgroups, namespaces, bind mounts, and seccomp in the Linux kernel, OSTree from Project Atomic, and the OCI format developed by the Open Container Initiative.

  • Nitrux supports Flatpak by default, and Flathub is also enabled by default. However, the order of preference to obtain end-user software is AppImage first, Flatpak second.
    • ⚠️ Important: Users who want to use bleeding-edge Flatpaks can enable Flathub-beta. Do it at your own risk.
flatpak remote-add --user flathub-beta
  • Users can also use Bauh from the NX Software Center as an AppImage to manage Flatpaks.
    • Nitrux does not come with Bauh by default.
      • 🔰 Information: Since AppImages are executed using Firejail, this may interfere with installing some Flatpak applications, i.e., Bauh may display an error such as “bwrap: execvp /app/bin/apply_extra: Permission denied” when running under Firejail. Run Flatpak from the terminal to install the application, or run Bauh without Firejail to avoid this issue.

Bauh (not included by default).

Disclaimer: We do not develop Bauh or Flatpak. To report bugs about Bauh, create an issue at their bug tracker.


Please note that starting from version 2.6.0 to use a package manager users should use Distrobox.

Distrobox is based on an OCI image and implements concepts similar to ToolBox, built on top of Podman and OCI standard container technologies.

  • If the user requires to use APT (or any package manager), we strongly recommend users use Distrobox; check our tutorial.

neofetch on a Distrobox container.

Compiling Software in Nitrux

We strongly recommend users use containers to compile software. Users can create a container using the following tools.

  • Distrobox (our recommendation).
    • 🔰 Information: Distrobox uses Podman by default. However, Distrobox can also use Docker.
  • Toolbox (as an alternative to Distrobox).

Disclaimer: We do not develop Distrobox. To report bugs about Distrobox, create an issue at their bug tracker.


⚠️ Important: As described in the following issue (#120) in our bug tracker, due to changes in the Liquorix kernel disabling PSI, to use Waydroid users must use another kernel where PSI is enabled in the kernel configuration.

Waydroid is “A container-based approach to boot a complete Android system on a regular GNU/Linux system like Ubuntu.” To start using Waydroid, do the following.

  • ⚠️ Important: Waydroid will not use hardware acceleration when using the Nvidia proprietary drivers.
  • ⚠️ Important: Waydroid will not work in X11 but only in a Wayland session (hence the name, Wayland + Android).
  • ⚠️ Important: Waydroid will not work on the Live session, and it will not work on a virtual machine (except maybe QEMU, please refer to Waydroid’s documentation). Nonetheless, we strongly recommend using physical hardware as that’s where we’ve tested it and where we know it works.
  • 🔰 Information: Waydroid will download its system images to /var/lib; keep the size of this partition in mind.

Waydroid is running on Nitrux.

  • Since Nitrux 2.8.0, we include Waydroid by default.
  • First, install the Android images to use with Waydroid. To do this, click the applications launcher and then click Waydroid.
    • 🔰 Information: When initializing Waydroid using its GUI dialog window, users can choose between a system type, VANILLA (Lineage OS x64 without Google Play Services support) or a GAPPS (Lineage OS x64 with support for Google Play Services) image.
  • Alternatively, open the terminal and type the following command.
#    Initialize Waydroid using the VANILLA image
sudo waydroid init

#    Initialize Waydroid using the GAPPS image
sudo waydroid init -s GAPPS
  • Then, to launch Waydroid in full screen, click the applications launcher and then click Waydroid.
    • Alternatively, open the terminal and type the following command.
waydroid show-full-ui
  • To upgrade the system images that Waydroid uses, run the following command.
#     Upgrade Waydroid images
sudo waydroid upgrade
  • To effectively reset the configuration of Waydroid, run the following commands.
    1. First, stop the Waydroid container service.
    2. Then clean the configuration files.
    3. And finally, start the service and initialize Waydroid again.
#    Stop Waydroid service
sudo rc-service waydroid-container stop

#    Delete Waydroid configuration and images
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/waydroid /home/.waydroid ~/waydroid ~/.share/waydroid ~/.local/share/applications/waydroid ~/.local/share/waydroid || true

#    Start Waydroid service
sudo rc-service waydroid-container start
  • Waydroid provides a command to visualize its log; this is useful for troubleshooting. To visualize the log of Waydroid, run the following command.
#    Visualize Waydroid log
waydroid log

Disclaimer: We do not develop Waydroid. Please file issues with Waydroid at their bug tracker here.

Zero Install

Zero Install or 0install is “a decentralized cross-distribution software installation system available under the LGPL. It allows software developers to publish programs directly from their websites while supporting features familiar from centralized distribution repositories, such as shared libraries, automatic updates, and digital signatures.”

Some of Zero Install features are.

  • Run apps with a single click. Run applications without having to install them first.
  • Anyone can distribute software. Create one package that works on multiple platforms.
  • You control your computer. You don’t have to guess what happens during installation.
  • Security is central. Installing an app doesn’t grant it administrator access.

To use 0install, see the following example.

A 0install application is distributed using a feed file. A feed is an XML file that tells 0install how to run the application and which versions are available. The feed file is usually published online; the URL is the application’s unique identifier.

  • Find a program you want to run on the web.
    • 🔰 Information: Visit the following link for a list of featured apps, 0install tools, and more.
  • Copy and paste the XML URL into the dialog window and click Add.

  • Then click “Download.”

  • Once the download is complete, launch the application from the 0Install Application window.

  • 0install applications are automatically added to the application launcher.

Disclaimer: We do not create, maintain or host the 0install executable files. These files are created, maintained, and hosted by third parties, and please let their creators or maintainers know if you have issues with these files.

One more thing…

As we can see, multiple ways of adding software to Nitrux exist. With the options above, there’s no shortage of software to install and use. Below you can find information regarding other methods to obtain software.

Support for Other Self-Contained Formats

  • Nitrux does not support Snaps as its daemon (snapd) requires systemd.

Support for Other Software Installation Methods

  • Homebrew is a macOS package manager that works on Linux, which allows users to install software to their home directory. Homebrew features are the following:
    • Homebrew can install software to your home directory, and so does not require sudo.
      • 🔰 Information: A package in Homebrew is called a formula. A list of all available formulas can be found here.
    • Install software not packaged by your host distribution.
    • Install up-to-date versions of software when your host distribution is old.
    • Use the same package manager to manage your macOS, Linux, and Windows systems.
      • To install Homebrew for Linux in Nitrux, do the following.
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

#    After downloading and executing the install script, run the following commands to add Homebrew (brew) to your $PATH.
(echo; echo 'eval "$(/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/brew shellenv)"') >> /home/$USER/.zprofile && eval "$(/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/brew shellenv)" && echo -e "\n# Alias for Homwbrew\nalias brew='\/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/brew'\n" >> ~/.zshrc && source ~/.zshrc

# For help run the following command.
brew --help

  • Nix Package Manager (Portable)
    • Nix is a static executable requiring no configuration, privileges, or (user) namespaces.
      • Make it extremely simple to install Nix.
      • Make Nix work in restricted environments (containers, HPC, etc.)
      • Use the official binary cache (by simulating the /nix/store).
      • Make it easy to distribute Nix (via other package managers).
        • The nix-portable executable is a self-extracting archive, caching its contents in $HOME/.nix-portable.
        • Either bubblewrap or proot is used to simulate the /nix/store directory, which resides in $HOME/.nix-portable/store.
        • A default nixpkgs channel is included, and the NIX_PATH variable is set accordingly.
        • Features flakes and nix-command are enabled out of the box.
    • To install Nix (Portable) in Nitrux, do the following.
#    The command will download the binary to the $HOME and create an alias.
axel -o $HOME/.local/bin/nix && chmod +x $HOME/.local/bin/nix && echo -e "\n# Alias for Nix\nalias nix='\$HOME/.local/bin/nix'\n" >> ~/.zshrc && source ~/.zshrc

#    For help run the following command.
nix --help

Disclaimer:  We do not develop or maintain Homebrew for Linux and Nix (Portable). Homebrew for Linux and Nix (Portable) are not installed by default.

That’s it; this concludes today’s tutorial.