Nix package manager
2.3.12 / June 1, 2021
Nix is a cross-platform package manager that utilizes a purely functional deployment model where software is installed into unique directories generated through cryptographic hashes. It is also the name of the tool's programming language. A package's hash takes into account the dependencies, which is claimed to eliminate dependency hell. This package management model advertises more reliable, reproducible, and portable packages.
Nix packages are defined through a lazy functional programming language specifically designed for package management. Dependencies are tracked directly in this language through an intermediate format called "derivations". A nix environment keeps track of references automatically, which allows unused packages to be garbage collected when no other package depends on them. At the cost of greater storage requirements, all upgrades in Nix are guaranteed to be both atomic and capable of efficient roll-back. This also enables multiple users to safely install software on the same system without administrator privileges.
Nixpkgs is the package repository built upon the Nix package manager. According to Repology, as of July 2021 it contains more than 70,000 packages, and is the most up-to-date package repository.
- Maak: a build automation utility similar to make, designed to build complex software systems.
- GNU Guix: another declarative package manager using GNU Guile for configuration and customization.
- Runbook automation: a functionality in Nix.
- Dolstra, Eelco (2021-06-01). "Release 2.3.12" (Mailing list). Retrieved 2021-06-08.
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- Dolstra, E. The Purely Functional Software Deployment Model. PhD thesis, Faculty of Science, Utrecht, The Netherlands. January 2006. ISBN 90-393-4130-3.
- Dolstra, E. and Löh, A. "NixOS: A Purely Functional Linux Distribution." In ICFP 2008: 13th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming, pages 367–378, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. September 2008.