nixpkgs VS Home Manager using Nix

Compare nixpkgs vs Home Manager using Nix and see what are their differences.

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nixpkgs Home Manager using Nix
969 181
15,511 5,821
4.4% 5.6%
10.0 9.8
6 days ago 2 days ago
Nix Nix
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 "$@"

Home Manager using Nix

Posts with mentions or reviews of Home Manager using Nix. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-12-06.
  • How do I actually update home-manager?
    2 projects | /r/NixOS | 6 Dec 2023
    $ home-manager --version 23.05 $ nix-channel --add home-manager $ nix-channel --update $ nix-shell '' -A install [...] All done! The home-manager tool should now be installed and you can edit /home/MY-USERNAME/.config/home-manager/home.nix to configure Home Manager. Run 'man home-configuration.nix' to see all available options. $ home-manager --version 23.05
  • Possible to use KDE plugins on nixos?
    3 projects | /r/NixOS | 6 Dec 2023
    Unfortunately until we find more volunteers in this area, it is hard to see status quo changing. See also and this ongoing project
  • An Overview of Nix in Practice
    9 projects | | 12 Nov 2023
    > Channels are, AFAIU, a reference to some point-in-time/commit/version of nixpkgs

    It's not specifically nixpkgs, but any Nix code generally.

    Per the Nix manual[0]:

    > Channels are a mechanism for referencing remote Nix expressions and conveniently retrieving their latest version.

    e.g. home-manager's suggested channel is just the github tarball for the relevant branch[1]:

      nix-channel --add home-manager
  • Fake recruiter Lazarus lured aerospace employee with trojanized coding challenge
    4 projects | | 1 Oct 2023
    It sounds like you'd benefit a lot from Nix/NixOS [1], if not just home-manager[2].



  • Need help on home manager neovim config
    2 projects | /r/NixOS | 11 Sep 2023
    I'm using flakes and home manager and not really sure how to go about managing my neovim configuration. I've read through some other posts, github issues, and various articles trying to suss out a good way to do this. Reading through other people's configs and posts was somewhat helpful but there is a lot going on I don't understand and everyone's examples I've seen vary wildly.
  • I want to like NixOS but... I can't and I need some help
    3 projects | /r/NixOS | 12 Jul 2023
    I can't answer all your questions, but home-manager does have a dconf module that would probably be better to use than that external tool. Everything inside the options block are the things you can pass to the dconf module.
  • Silverblue users: why?
    4 projects | /r/Fedora | 23 Jun 2023
    This is indeed a blind spot. Thanks for pointing that out! Silverblue -to my knowledge- doesn't do a lot to address this. Though, 3rd-party tools like Home Manager and the suite of applications developed by the folks over at uBlue might be able to limit this to a minimum. Though I'm not sure if it surpasses NixOS in this regard; for the uninitiated. Though, to my knowledge, this requires special attention and depends on the specifics of the NixOS system in question.
  • My First Impressions of Nix
    33 projects | | 19 Jun 2023
  • I have a few beginner question, what is the difference between nix shell/env and what is the difference between flakes/home-manager?
    2 projects | /r/NixOS | 18 Jun 2023
    home-manager is a tool to manage your home with modules. It is like NixOS but for your home. It doesn't really have much to do with flakes except that you can use it with flakes.
  • Need some Help !
    4 projects | /r/NixOS | 13 Jun 2023
    By default, you can just configure everything in your profile the way you would in a normal Linux distro (dotfiles). The only exception is /etc (you need to manage those files from NixOS options). However, if you want to use Nix for your dotfiles, you can use home-manager.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing nixpkgs and Home Manager using Nix you can also consider the following projects:

Ansible - Ansible is a radically simple IT automation platform that makes your applications and systems easier to deploy and maintain. Automate everything from code deployment to network configuration to cloud management, in a language that approaches plain English, using SSH, with no agents to install on remote systems.

GNU Stow - GNU Stow - mirror of savannah git repository occasionally with more bleeding-edge branches

nixos-flake-example - This is a demo NixOS config, with optional flakes support. Along with notes on why flakes is useful and worth adopting.

NixOS-WSL - NixOS on WSL(2) [maintainer=@nzbr]

emacs-overlay - Bleeding edge emacs overlay [maintainer=@adisbladis]

chezmoi - Manage your dotfiles across multiple diverse machines, securely.

nix-darwin - nix modules for darwin

NixOS-docker - DEPRECATED! Dockerfiles to package Nix in a minimal docker container

yadm - Yet Another Dotfiles Manager

zinit - Flexible and fast Zsh plugin manager with clean fpath, reports, completion management, Turbo, annexes, services, packages.

AppImageLauncher - Helper application for Linux distributions serving as a kind of "entry point" for running and integrating AppImages

guix-nonfree - Unofficial collection of packages that are not going to be accepted in to guix