nixpkgs VS nixos

Compare nixpkgs vs nixos and see what are their differences.

Our great sponsors
  • InfluxDB - Power Real-Time Data Analytics at Scale
  • WorkOS - The modern identity platform for B2B SaaS
  • SaaSHub - Software Alternatives and Reviews
nixpkgs nixos
969 19
15,511 157
4.4% -
10.0 9.3
6 days ago 7 days ago
Nix Nix
MIT License GNU General Public License v3.0 only
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 nixos. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-06-16.
  • miasma
    6 projects | /r/neovim | 16 Jun 2023
    I don't know. Have been using colorbuddy for ages now and it has always done exactly what I want. I don't need the "instant reaload" that lush advertices, doing :source on the colorscheme file, does the same for me to preview changes instantly. This is my theme, in case you need something to start with: -
  • Looking for a transfer tool for command line
    4 projects | /r/commandline | 22 Aug 2022
    I use this to serve a directory temporarily.
  • Bluetooth headphones problem
    2 projects | /r/NixOS | 8 Jun 2022
    I can't remember why I put that workaround in there, might not be needed any more. The above config is part of my dotfiles, I use my Bose blueutooth headphones by connecting them via the blueman-applet if the don't pair automatically
  • NixOS for selfhosting?
    4 projects | /r/NixOS | 22 Sep 2021
    Yep, I have two different modules with defaults for server and for desktop. Host-specific settings are set in the according /machines//configuration.nix file. Most stuff is modularized into modules that can be reuesed and enabled at will.
    4 projects | /r/NixOS | 22 Sep 2021
    You can find all my configs here
  • Nix-rice: rice your system with nix
    3 projects | /r/NixOS | 15 Sep 2021
    Yep, I'm using the toJSON function already. The problem I had, was that not all applications use JSON as configuration format. Also the nix code gets very long, if you have to write the whole template as a string, which I find quite unreadable. Mustache is a pretty simple frequently used templating language, here is an example template that get's rendered by the nix code above.
  • Ricing with NixOS?
    10 projects | /r/NixOS | 15 Sep 2021
    10 projects | /r/NixOS | 15 Sep 2021
    My system uses a uniform colorscheme defined here. Configs for all applications I use read that and use the same colors. The wallpapers are randomly generated by a tool I wrote, it also automatically matches the colorscheme. Icons and symbols are colored the same way for awesomeWM.
  • My neovim config with a colorscheme created with nix
    4 projects | /r/neovim | 24 Aug 2021
    In case you are interested I use this and this to generate colorschemes, awesome config and a matching wallpaper
  • Dumping Tmux
    3 projects | /r/i3wm | 7 Jul 2021
    Check out wezterm it has replaced tmux for me. Very active development, fast and just the right amount of features for my taste. It is configured in Lua, so if you are doing that for neovim already, it's another plus. I use it in combination with awesomeWM. My (not very special) config is here if you need something to start with.

What are some alternatives?

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

asdf - Extendable version manager with support for Ruby, Node.js, Elixir, Erlang & more

eww - ElKowars wacky widgets

Home Manager using Nix - Manage a user environment using Nix [maintainer=@rycee]

git-lfs - Git extension for versioning large files

wezterm - A GPU-accelerated cross-platform terminal emulator and multiplexer written by @wez and implemented in Rust

easyeffects - Limiter, compressor, convolver, equalizer and auto volume and many other plugins for PipeWire applications

spack - A flexible package manager that supports multiple versions, configurations, platforms, and compilers.

nix-doom-emacs - doom-emacs packaged for Nix

waydroid - Waydroid uses a container-based approach to boot a full Android system on a regular GNU/Linux system like Ubuntu.

digga - A flake utility library to craft shell-, home-, and hosts- environments.

youtube-dl-gui - A cross-platform GUI for youtube-dl made in Electron and node.js