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nix(1) General Commands Manual nix(1)

Warning: This program is experimental and its interface is subject to change.


nix - a tool for reproducible and declarative configuration management


nix [option…] subcommand

where subcommand is one of the following:

Main commands:

  • nix build (./ - build a derivation or fetch a store path

  • nix develop (./ - run a bash shell that provides the build environment of a derivation

  • nix flake (./ - manage Nix flakes

  • nix help (./ - show help about nix or a particular subcommand

  • nix profile (./ - manage Nix profiles

  • nix repl (./ - start an interactive environment for evaluating Nix expressions

  • nix run (./ - run a Nix application

  • nix search (./ - search for packages

  • nix shell (./ - run a shell in which the specified packages are available

Infrequently used commands:

  • nix bundle (./ - bundle an application so that it works outside of the Nix store

  • nix copy (./ - copy paths between Nix stores

  • nix edit (./ - open the Nix expression of a Nix package in $EDITOR

  • nix eval (./ - evaluate a Nix expression

  • nix fmt (./ - reformat your code in the standard style

  • nix log (./ - show the build log of the specified packages or paths, if available

  • nix path-info (./ - query information about store paths

  • nix registry (./ - manage the flake registry

  • nix why-depends (./ - show why a package has another package in its closure

Utility/scripting commands:

  • nix daemon (./ - daemon to perform store operations on behalf of non-root clients

  • nix describe-stores (./ - show registered store types and their available options

  • nix hash (./ - compute and convert cryptographic hashes

  • nix key (./ - generate and convert Nix signing keys

  • nix nar (./ - create or inspect NAR files

  • nix print-dev-env (./ - print shell code that can be sourced by bash to reproduce the build environment of a derivation

  • nix realisation (./ - manipulate a Nix realisation

  • nix show-config (./ - show the Nix configuration

  • nix show-derivation (./ - show the contents of a store derivation

  • nix store (./ - manipulate a Nix store

Commands for upgrading or troubleshooting your Nix installation:

  • nix doctor (./ - check your system for potential problems and print a PASS or FAIL for each check

  • nix upgrade-nix (./ - upgrade Nix to the latest stable version


Create a new flake:

# nix flake new hello
# cd hello
Build the flake in the current directory:

# nix build
# ./result/bin/hello
Hello, world!
Run the flake in the current directory:

# nix run
Hello, world!
Start a development shell for hacking on this flake:

# nix develop
# unpackPhase
# cd hello-*
# configurePhase
# buildPhase
# ./hello
Hello, world!
# installPhase
# ../outputs/out/bin/hello
Hello, world!


Nix is a tool for building software, configurations and other artifacts in a reproducible and declarative way. For more information, see the Nix homepage ( or the Nix manual (


Many nix subcommands operate on one or more installables. These are command line arguments that represent something that can be built in the Nix store. Here are the recognised types of installables:

Flake output attributes: nixpkgs#hello
These have the form flakeref[#attrpath], where flakeref is a flake reference and attrpath is an optional attribute path. For more information on flakes, see the nix flake manual page (./ Flake references are most commonly a flake identifier in the flake registry (e.g. nixpkgs), or a raw path (e.g. /path/to/my-flake or . or ../foo), or a full URL (e.g. github:nixos/nixpkgs or path:.)
When the flake reference is a raw path (a path without any URL scheme), it is interpreted as a path: or git+file: url in the following way:
If the path is within a Git repository, then the url will be of the form git+file://[GIT_REPO_ROOT]?dir=[RELATIVE_FLAKE_DIR_PATH] where GIT_REPO_ROOT is the path to the root of the git repository, and RELATIVE_FLAKE_DIR_PATH is the path (relative to the directory root) of the closest parent of the given path that contains a flake.nix within the git repository. If no such directory exists, then Nix will error-out.
Note that the search will only include files indexed by git. In particular, files which are matched by .gitignore or have never been git add-ed will not be available in the flake. If this is undesirable, specify path:<directory> explicitly;
For example, if /foo/bar is a git repository with the following structure: . └── baz ├── blah │  └── file.txt └── flake.nix
Then /foo/bar/baz/blah will resolve to git+file:///foo/bar?dir=baz
If the supplied path is not a git repository, then the url will have the form path:FLAKE_DIR_PATH where FLAKE_DIR_PATH is the closest parent of the supplied path that contains a flake.nix file (within the same file-system). If no such directory exists, then Nix will error-out.
For example, if /foo/bar/flake.nix exists, then /foo/bar/baz/ will resolve to path:/foo/bar
If attrpath is omitted, Nix tries some default values; for most subcommands, the default is packages.system.default (e.g. packages.x86_64-linux.default), but some subcommands have other defaults. If attrpath is specified, attrpath is interpreted as relative to one or more prefixes; for most subcommands, these are packages.system, legacyPackages.*system* and the empty prefix. Thus, on x86_64-linux nix build nixpkgs#hello will try to build the attributes packages.x86_64-linux.hello, legacyPackages.x86_64-linux.hello and hello.
Store paths: /nix/store/v5sv61sszx301i0x6xysaqzla09nksnd-hello-2.10
These are paths inside the Nix store, or symlinks that resolve to a path in the Nix store.
Store derivations: /nix/store/p7gp6lxdg32h4ka1q398wd9r2zkbbz2v-hello-2.10.drv
Store derivations are store paths with extension .drv and are a low-level representation of a build-time dependency graph used internally by Nix. By default, if you pass a store derivation to a nix subcommand, it will operate on the output paths of the derivation. For example, nix path-info prints information about the output paths:

# nix path-info --json /nix/store/p7gp6lxdg32h4ka1q398wd9r2zkbbz2v-hello-2.10.drv
If you want to operate on the store derivation itself, pass the --derivation flag.
Nix attributes: --file /path/to/nixpkgs hello
When the -f / --file path option is given, installables are interpreted as attribute paths referencing a value returned by evaluating the Nix file path.
Nix expressions: --expr '(import <nixpkgs> {}).hello.overrideDerivation (prev: { name = "my-hello"; })'.
When the --expr option is given, all installables are interpreted as Nix expressions. You may need to specify --impure if the expression references impure inputs (such as <nixpkgs>).

For most commands, if no installable is specified, the default is ., i.e. Nix will operate on the default flake output attribute of the flake in the current directory.

Nix stores

Most nix subcommands operate on a Nix store.

TODO: list store types, options


  • --help
    Show usage information.
  • --offline
    Disable substituters and consider all previously downloaded files up-to-date.
  • --option name value
    Set the Nix configuration setting name to value (overriding nix.conf).
  • --refresh
    Consider all previously downloaded files out-of-date.
  • --version
    Show version information.

Logging-related options:

  • --debug
    Set the logging verbosity level to ‘debug’.
  • --log-format format
    Set the format of log output; one of raw, internal-json, bar or bar-with-logs.
  • --print-build-logs / -L
    Print full build logs on standard error.
  • --quiet
    Decrease the logging verbosity level.
  • --verbose / -v
    Increase the logging verbosity level.

Options to override configuration settings:

  • --accept-flake-config
    Enable the accept-flake-config setting.
  • --access-tokens value
    Set the access-tokens setting.
  • --allow-dirty
    Enable the allow-dirty setting.
  • --allow-import-from-derivation
    Enable the allow-import-from-derivation setting.
  • --allow-new-privileges
    Enable the allow-new-privileges setting.
  • --allow-symlinked-store
    Enable the allow-symlinked-store setting.
  • --allow-unsafe-native-code-during-evaluation
    Enable the allow-unsafe-native-code-during-evaluation setting.
  • --allowed-impure-host-deps value
    Set the allowed-impure-host-deps setting.
  • --allowed-uris value
    Set the allowed-uris setting.
  • --allowed-users value
    Set the allowed-users setting.
  • --auto-optimise-store
    Enable the auto-optimise-store setting.
  • --bash-prompt value
    Set the bash-prompt setting.
  • --bash-prompt-suffix value
    Set the bash-prompt-suffix setting.
  • --build-hook value
    Set the build-hook setting.
  • --build-poll-interval value
    Set the build-poll-interval setting.
  • --build-users-group value
    Set the build-users-group setting.
  • --builders value
    Set the builders setting.
  • --builders-use-substitutes
    Enable the builders-use-substitutes setting.
  • --commit-lockfile-summary value
    Set the commit-lockfile-summary setting.
  • --compress-build-log
    Enable the compress-build-log setting.
  • --connect-timeout value
    Set the connect-timeout setting.
  • --cores value
    Set the cores setting.
  • --diff-hook value
    Set the diff-hook setting.
  • --download-attempts value
    Set the download-attempts setting.
  • --enforce-determinism
    Enable the enforce-determinism setting.
  • --eval-cache
    Enable the eval-cache setting.
  • --experimental-features value
    Set the experimental-features setting.
  • --extra-access-tokens value
    Append to the access-tokens setting.
  • --extra-allowed-impure-host-deps value
    Append to the allowed-impure-host-deps setting.
  • --extra-allowed-uris value
    Append to the allowed-uris setting.
  • --extra-allowed-users value
    Append to the allowed-users setting.
  • --extra-experimental-features value
    Append to the experimental-features setting.
  • --extra-extra-platforms value
    Append to the extra-platforms setting.
  • --extra-hashed-mirrors value
    Append to the hashed-mirrors setting.
  • --extra-ignored-acls value
    Append to the ignored-acls setting.
  • --extra-nix-path value
    Append to the nix-path setting.
  • --extra-platforms value
    Set the extra-platforms setting.
  • --extra-plugin-files value
    Append to the plugin-files setting.
  • --extra-sandbox-paths value
    Append to the sandbox-paths setting.
  • --extra-secret-key-files value
    Append to the secret-key-files setting.
  • --extra-substituters value
    Append to the substituters setting.
  • --extra-system-features value
    Append to the system-features setting.
  • --extra-trusted-public-keys value
    Append to the trusted-public-keys setting.
  • --extra-trusted-substituters value
    Append to the trusted-substituters setting.
  • --extra-trusted-users value
    Append to the trusted-users setting.
  • --fallback
    Enable the fallback setting.
  • --filter-syscalls
    Enable the filter-syscalls setting.
  • --flake-registry value
    Set the flake-registry setting.
  • --fsync-metadata
    Enable the fsync-metadata setting.
  • --gc-reserved-space value
    Set the gc-reserved-space setting.
  • --hashed-mirrors value
    Set the hashed-mirrors setting.
  • --http-connections value
    Set the http-connections setting.
  • --http2
    Enable the http2 setting.
  • --ignored-acls value
    Set the ignored-acls setting.
  • --impersonate-linux-26
    Enable the impersonate-linux-26 setting.
  • --keep-build-log
    Enable the keep-build-log setting.
  • --keep-derivations
    Enable the keep-derivations setting.
  • --keep-env-derivations
    Enable the keep-env-derivations setting.
  • --keep-failed
    Enable the keep-failed setting.
  • --keep-going
    Enable the keep-going setting.
  • --keep-outputs
    Enable the keep-outputs setting.
  • --log-lines value
    Set the log-lines setting.
  • --max-build-log-size value
    Set the max-build-log-size setting.
  • --max-free value
    Set the max-free setting.
  • --max-jobs value
    Set the max-jobs setting.
  • --max-silent-time value
    Set the max-silent-time setting.
  • --min-free value
    Set the min-free setting.
  • --min-free-check-interval value
    Set the min-free-check-interval setting.
  • --nar-buffer-size value
    Set the nar-buffer-size setting.
  • --narinfo-cache-negative-ttl value
    Set the narinfo-cache-negative-ttl setting.
  • --narinfo-cache-positive-ttl value
    Set the narinfo-cache-positive-ttl setting.
  • --netrc-file value
    Set the netrc-file setting.
  • --nix-path value
    Set the nix-path setting.
  • --no-accept-flake-config
    Disable the accept-flake-config setting.
  • --no-allow-dirty
    Disable the allow-dirty setting.
  • --no-allow-import-from-derivation
    Disable the allow-import-from-derivation setting.
  • --no-allow-new-privileges
    Disable the allow-new-privileges setting.
  • --no-allow-symlinked-store
    Disable the allow-symlinked-store setting.
  • --no-allow-unsafe-native-code-during-evaluation
    Disable the allow-unsafe-native-code-during-evaluation setting.
  • --no-auto-optimise-store
    Disable the auto-optimise-store setting.
  • --no-builders-use-substitutes
    Disable the builders-use-substitutes setting.
  • --no-compress-build-log
    Disable the compress-build-log setting.
  • --no-enforce-determinism
    Disable the enforce-determinism setting.
  • --no-eval-cache
    Disable the eval-cache setting.
  • --no-fallback
    Disable the fallback setting.
  • --no-filter-syscalls
    Disable the filter-syscalls setting.
  • --no-fsync-metadata
    Disable the fsync-metadata setting.
  • --no-http2
    Disable the http2 setting.
  • --no-impersonate-linux-26
    Disable the impersonate-linux-26 setting.
  • --no-keep-build-log
    Disable the keep-build-log setting.
  • --no-keep-derivations
    Disable the keep-derivations setting.
  • --no-keep-env-derivations
    Disable the keep-env-derivations setting.
  • --no-keep-failed
    Disable the keep-failed setting.
  • --no-keep-going
    Disable the keep-going setting.
  • --no-keep-outputs
    Disable the keep-outputs setting.
  • --no-preallocate-contents
    Disable the preallocate-contents setting.
  • --no-print-missing
    Disable the print-missing setting.
  • --no-pure-eval
    Disable the pure-eval setting.
  • --no-require-sigs
    Disable the require-sigs setting.
  • --no-restrict-eval
    Disable the restrict-eval setting.
  • --no-run-diff-hook
    Disable the run-diff-hook setting.
  • --no-sandbox
    Disable sandboxing.
  • --no-sandbox-fallback
    Disable the sandbox-fallback setting.
  • --no-show-trace
    Disable the show-trace setting.
  • --no-substitute
    Disable the substitute setting.
  • --no-sync-before-registering
    Disable the sync-before-registering setting.
  • --no-trace-function-calls
    Disable the trace-function-calls setting.
  • --no-use-case-hack
    Disable the use-case-hack setting.
  • --no-use-registries
    Disable the use-registries setting.
  • --no-use-sqlite-wal
    Disable the use-sqlite-wal setting.
  • --no-warn-dirty
    Disable the warn-dirty setting.
  • --plugin-files value
    Set the plugin-files setting.
  • --post-build-hook value
    Set the post-build-hook setting.
  • --pre-build-hook value
    Set the pre-build-hook setting.
  • --preallocate-contents
    Enable the preallocate-contents setting.
  • --print-missing
    Enable the print-missing setting.
  • --pure-eval
    Enable the pure-eval setting.
  • --relaxed-sandbox
    Enable sandboxing, but allow builds to disable it.
  • --repeat value
    Set the repeat setting.
  • --require-sigs
    Enable the require-sigs setting.
  • --restrict-eval
    Enable the restrict-eval setting.
  • --run-diff-hook
    Enable the run-diff-hook setting.
  • --sandbox
    Enable sandboxing.
  • --sandbox-build-dir value
    Set the sandbox-build-dir setting.
  • --sandbox-dev-shm-size value
    Set the sandbox-dev-shm-size setting.
  • --sandbox-fallback
    Enable the sandbox-fallback setting.
  • --sandbox-paths value
    Set the sandbox-paths setting.
  • --secret-key-files value
    Set the secret-key-files setting.
  • --show-trace
    Enable the show-trace setting.
  • --stalled-download-timeout value
    Set the stalled-download-timeout setting.
  • --store value
    Set the store setting.
  • --substitute
    Enable the substitute setting.
  • --substituters value
    Set the substituters setting.
  • --sync-before-registering
    Enable the sync-before-registering setting.
  • --system value
    Set the system setting.
  • --system-features value
    Set the system-features setting.
  • --tarball-ttl value
    Set the tarball-ttl setting.
  • --timeout value
    Set the timeout setting.
  • --trace-function-calls
    Enable the trace-function-calls setting.
  • --trusted-public-keys value
    Set the trusted-public-keys setting.
  • --trusted-substituters value
    Set the trusted-substituters setting.
  • --trusted-users value
    Set the trusted-users setting.
  • --use-case-hack
    Enable the use-case-hack setting.
  • --use-registries
    Enable the use-registries setting.
  • --use-sqlite-wal
    Enable the use-sqlite-wal setting.
  • --user-agent-suffix value
    Set the user-agent-suffix setting.
  • --warn-dirty
    Enable the warn-dirty setting.