nixpkgs VS asdf

Compare nixpkgs vs asdf and see what are their differences.

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nixpkgs asdf
969 339
15,511 20,393
4.4% 2.6%
10.0 7.9
6 days ago 3 days ago
Nix Shell
MIT License MIT License
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of nixpkgs. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-04-02.
  • The xz attack shell script
    5 projects | | 2 Apr 2024
    I'm not familiar with Bazel, but Nix in it's current form wouldn't have solved this attack. First of all, the standard mkDerivation function calls the same configure; make; make install process that made this attack possible. Nixpkgs regularly pulls in external resources (fetchUrl and friends) that are equally vulnerable to a poisoned release tarball. Checkout the comment on the current xz entry in nixpkgs
  • Debian Git Monorepo
    4 projects | | 2 Apr 2024
    NixOS uses a monorepo and I think everyone's love it.

    I love being able to easily grep through all the packages source code and there's regularly PRs that harmonizes conventions across many packages.

    Nixpkgs doesn't include the packaged software source code, so it's a lot more practical than what Debian is doing.

  • From xz to ibus: more questionable tarballs
    5 projects | | 1 Apr 2024
    In this specific case, nix uses fetchFromGitHub to download the source archive, which are generated by GitHub for the specified revision[1]. Arch seems to just download the tarball from the releases page[2].



  • GitHub Disabled the Xz Repo
    5 projects | | 29 Mar 2024
    does depend on lzma.

    A quick glance at

    does not show a direct dependency.

    5 projects | | 29 Mar 2024
    True, but irrelevant -- _some packages_, _somewhere_, do depend on xz, which, if built, requires pulling the source from GitHub (see the default.nix:

    It's not the vulnerability that's a problem right now (NixOS was protected by a couple of factors) but rather GitHub's hamfisted response.

    That is the problem.

  • Combining Nix with Terraform for better DevOps
    4 projects | | 19 Mar 2024
    We’ve noticed that some users have been asking about how to use older versions of Terraform in their Nix setups [1, 2]. This is an example of the diverse needs of people and the importance of maintaining backward compatibility. We hope that nixpkgs-terraform will be a useful tool for these users.
  • Nix is a better Docker image builder than Docker's image builder
    21 projects | | 15 Mar 2024
    I think whateveracct was referring to is this link:

    What that file is doing, is building a package, and it essentially is a combination of what Makefile and what RPM spec file does.

    I don't know if you're familiar with those tools, but if you aren't it takes some time to know them enough to understand what is happening. So why would be different here?

    21 projects | | 15 Mar 2024
    That's doesn't happen in a single thread, but e.g. asynchronous multithreaded code can spit values in arbitrary order, and depending on what you do you can end up with a different result (floating point is just an example). Generally, you can't guarantee reproducibility because there's too much hardware state that can't be isolated even in a VM. Sure, 99% software doesn't depend on it or do cursed stuff like microarchitecture probing during building, and you won't care until you try to package some automated tests for a game physics engine or something like that. What can happen, inevitably happens.

    We don't need to be looking for such contrived examples actually, nixpkgs track the packages that aren't reproducible for much more trivial reasons:

    21 projects | | 15 Mar 2024
    - trim boto3/botocore, to remove all stuff I did not use, that sucker on it's own is over 100MB

    The thing is what you need to understand is that the packages are primarily targeting the NixOS operating system, where in normal situation you have plenty of disk space, and you rather want all features to be available (because why not?). So you end up with bunch of dependencies, that you don't need. Alpine image for example was designed to be for docker, so the goal with all packages is to disable extra bells and whistles.

    This is why your result is bigger.

    To build a small image you will need to use override and disable all that unnecessary shit. Look at zulu for example:

    you add alsa, fontconfig (probably comes with entire X11), freetype, xorg (oh, nvm fontconfig, it's added explicitly), cups, gtk, cairo and ffmpeg)

    Notice how your friend carefully extracts and places only needed files in the container, while you just bundle the entire zulu package with all of its dependencies in your project.

  • Use Ansible to create and start LXD virtual machines
    2 projects | | 12 Mar 2024
    #!/usr/bin/env nix-shell #! nix-shell -i bash #! nix-shell -p sops #! nix-shell -I source "$@"


Posts with mentions or reviews of asdf. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-03-25.
  • Volta – Fastest Node version manager in Rust
    2 projects | | 25 Mar 2024
    Or if you need to manage more than just node, asdf has been around for over a decade and works great. You can use a .tool-versions to change runtimes for each project you have, in addition to managing your global runtime versions

  • Pyenv – lets you easily switch between multiple versions of Python
    20 projects | | 25 Mar 2024 ASDF is better because it works with many more languages, other than only Python, like Rust, Go, Node, etc, and other tools, such as AWS/Google/Firebase/Azure CLIs.
    20 projects | | 25 Mar 2024
    Why not just use a tool like asdf ( or mise (

    These tools have the advantage of not being multi-taskers and can manage version for all your tools. You wouldn’t need pyenv and npm and rvm and…

    We’ve even started committing the .mise.toml files for projects to our repos. That way, since we work on multiple projects that may need multiple versions of the same tool, it’s handled and documented.

  • A Journey to Find an Ultimate Development Environment
    13 projects | | 2 Feb 2024
    The purpose of a version manager is to help you navigate or install any tools for development easily. Version Manager can be one tool for each dependency (e.g. NVM, g) or One tool for all dependencies (e.g. asdf, mise).
  • Beginners Intro to Trunk Based Development
    4 projects | | 4 Jan 2024
    Secondly, our development environments must not drift, because then code may behave differently and a change could pass on our machine but fail in production. There are many tools for locking down environments, e.g nix, pkgx, asdf, containers, etc., and they all share the common goal of being able to lock down dependencies for an environment accurately and deterministically. And that needs to be enforced in our local workflow so we don't have to rely on CI environments for correctness. All developers must have environments that are effectively identical to what runs in CI (which itself should be representative of the production environment).
  • Practical Guide to Trunk Based Development
    4 projects | | 4 Jan 2024
    There are many ways this can be done (e.g nix, pkgx, asdf, containers, etc.), and we won’t get into which specific tools to use, because we'll instead cover the essential essence of preventing environment drift:
  • Criando seu ambiente com ASDF
    4 projects | | 29 Dec 2023
    git clone ~/.asdf --branch v0.13.1
    4 projects | | 29 Dec 2023
  • Kotlin version manager
    2 projects | /r/Kotlin | 7 Dec 2023
    I've really been enjoying asdf, which is a program that allows you to install specified versions of dev utilities as well as dynamically manage them via shims and .tool-versions files.
  • How do i keep my "devops tool" always up to date in a smart way ?
    2 projects | /r/devops | 6 Dec 2023
    I use the asdf version manager.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing nixpkgs and asdf you can also consider the following projects:

SDKMan - The SDKMAN! Command Line Interface

pyenv - Simple Python version management

rbenv - Manage your app's Ruby environment

nvm - Node Version Manager - POSIX-compliant bash script to manage multiple active node.js versions

volta - Volta: JS Toolchains as Code. ⚡

HomeBrew - 🍺 The missing package manager for macOS (or Linux)

mise - dev tools, env vars, task runner

jenv - Manage your Java environment

nvm for Windows - A node.js version management utility for Windows. Ironically written in Go.

fnm - 🚀 Fast and simple Node.js version manager, built in Rust

RVM - Ruby enVironment Manager (RVM)

nix - Nix, the purely functional package manager