dotfiles VS Home Manager using Nix

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

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dotfiles Home Manager using Nix
3 140
- 3,629
- 5.9%
- 9.5
- 5 days ago
- 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 dotfiles. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-07-04.
  • NixOS Questions
    3 projects | | 4 Jul 2022
    Gtk configuration Since you're on Cinnamon, configuring gtk seems like something you'll want to do.
    3 projects | | 4 Jul 2022
    You won’t want to edit the files directly. Instead, you’ll want to set up your Nix configuration to create the configuration files for you. My Dot files might give you some guidance on the matter - I tweak my config almost compulsively.
  • Flake structure for multi system
    7 projects | | 8 Nov 2021
    People have upvoted me, so I guess I better deliver now. My flake includes multiple hosts and multiple independent home-manager configurations. For the machines that are actual nixos machines, I set them up with

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 2023-01-24.
  • Upgrading to NixOS 22.11 Issue
    5 projects | | 24 Jan 2023
    builtins.fetchGit { name = "home-manager-22.11"; url = ""; ref = "refs/heads/release-22.11"; rev = "e891b060e7d11bb8f7dedb86a41d804891a6f5a9"; }
  • Zero to Nix, an unofficial, opinionated, gentle introduction to Nix
    13 projects | | 23 Jan 2023
    13 projects | | 23 Jan 2023
    Nix is pretty usable for both desktops and headless servers. Personally, I even use it on macOS without much trouble.

    My system looks like any other install of Ventura, but all of my configuration, ranging from the terminal and VS Code to macOS-specific system preferences and Safari, is done declaratively in Nix [1]. The overwhelming majority of my installed software also comes from Nix packages, with some exceptions for stuff that is not packaged yet (e.g., I have Podman Desktop, the macOS ZFS port, Lulu, yubikey-manager-qt installed through Homebrew -- fortunately nix-darwin [2] also just lets me have an set of brews/casks in my config).

    It was been a bit of a nightmare at first since the error messages are kind of horrific, and there can be a lack of good examples/docs on flakes. But I think the weekend worth of time I invested was worth it since I no longer need to rely on hacky shellscripts or remember to manually configure anything.

    [1]: <>

    [2]: <>

  • My wife crocheted a NixOS tux for my obsession.
    2 projects | | 16 Jan 2023
    As for declarative usage for KDE or Firefox, while I haven't done it personally yet, it is possible by adding extra modules. Home-Manager has config options for Firefox and Plasma Manager, an home-manager module for KDE.
  • Dotfiles Management
    23 projects | | 8 Jan 2023
    Nice hack, but I still believe that home-manager [0] should be the way to go. It's the gateway drug to the Nix ecosystem and cleanly solves the composability problem which this "one-size-fits-all repo checked out to root" approach will have some trouble with.


  • Any examples of a config in Org on Nix?
    4 projects | | 3 Jan 2023
    Just had a quick look, looks like you are trying to use the programs.emacs module, but you are not importing the emacs overlay into your home-manager environment. So the pkgs variable would not be referring to the same thing in your system packages and your home-manager packages. That would be my guess. I don't have this issue as I simply use home-manager as a module in my system configuration instead of using it as a standalone tool. See installation instructions here for more info on that.
  • How to install GUI apps with nix on non-NixOS systems?
    2 projects | | 30 Dec 2022
    If you use nix to manage the packages for a user on a different distro you can use to manage settings and packages declaratively, and then basically you one need to source a single file in your shell profile (or the profile of your de) which sets up the stuff to find the desktop files and more.
  • Make me install it
    2 projects | | 23 Dec 2022
    If you want to try it out, install Nix on your existing system alongside home-manager. Use home-manager to try to install and configure some software that you want to use. If you like it, then you can consider NixOS, which is configured in pretty much the same way as home-manager, but it controls your whole system rather than just some user installed applications.
  • 24-core CPU and I can’t move my mouse
    2 projects | | 22 Dec 2022
    NixOS and Guix come close to this with a central spot for declaring the entire system state, including program configuration and env vars. Now there's still the $HOME/.config mess, which home-manager[0] tries to tackle.


  • Not a developer, is nix os good for daily regular use without going through the hard stuff ?
    2 projects | | 6 Dec 2022
    It really depends on what applications you use. If you use many applications with custom settings on your system, the reproducibility will appeal to you. I would suggest you have a look at home-manager. If you only use graphical applications which can be installed from an App store for your system, you probably don't want to install those applications using Nix. Not all graphical applications are available for Nix, and Ubuntu is better in that regard.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing dotfiles 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.

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

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

NixOS-WSL - NixOS on WSL(2) [[email protected]]

emacs-overlay - Bleeding edge emacs overlay [[email protected]]

nix-darwin - nix modules for darwin

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

yadm - Yet Another Dotfiles Manager

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

flake-utils-plus - Use Nix flakes without any fluff.

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

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