Nix Package Manager

This standalone package manager is absolutely stunning and I can’t believe I’m just now discovering it’s true power.



curl -L | sh

Note: I’d recommend multi-user install if it prompts for it.

Finding Packages

I’d recommend using their website to find packages to install, but make sure to click the “unstable” button has NixOS stable is a Linux Distribution few use.

Or from terminal you can list all packages with nix-env -qaP then just grep what you are looking for. Example: nix-env -qaP | grep hugo


Here is the basic usage of nix, most revolve around the nix-env command. These are manually managed and require user intervention

  • List Installed packages nix-env -q
  • Install Packages nix-env -iA nixpkgs.packagename
  • Erase Packages nix-env -e packagename
  • Update All Packages nix-env -u
  • Update Specific Packages nix-env -u packagename
  • Hold Specific Package nix-env --set-flag keep true packagename
  • List Backups (Generations) nix-env --list-generations
  • Rollback to Last Backup nix-env --rollback
  • Rollback to Specific Generation nix-env --switch-generation #

Help and Manual

Official Manual is here. You can also get more details with man nix or man nix-env.


Programs not showing up in start menu

NIX stores all the .desktop files for the programs it installs @ /home/$USER/.nix-profile/share/applications/ and a simple symlink will fix them not showing up in your start menu.

ln -s /home/$USER/.nix-profile/share/applications/* /home/$USER/.local/share/applications/

Walkthrough Video