Fast, Declarative, Reproducible, and Composable Developer Environments (by cachix)

Devenv Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to devenv

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better devenv alternative or higher similarity.

devenv reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of devenv. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-04-27.
  • Install Asdf: One Runtime Manager to Rule All Dev Environments
    10 projects | | 27 Apr 2024
    Sounds like nix using devenv[1] also would solve this problem.

  • Show HN: Is_ready – Wait for many services to become available – 0 Dependencies
    6 projects | | 27 Apr 2024
    It works on MacOS/Windows, unlike systemd. Therefore it's well suited for development environment setups for polyglot teams. is one example that uses it to do just that.

  • Fast, Declarative, Reproduble and Composable Developer Environments Using Nix
    5 projects | | 12 Apr 2024
    I gave devenv multiple tries, and I am sorry to say there are multiple annoying issues that forced me to give up every time.

    Some of these 200+ issues are unsolved for a fairly long time.

  • Nix – A One Pager
    6 projects | | 6 Apr 2024
    Software developers often want to customize:

    1. their home environments: for packages (some reach for brew on MacOS) and configurations (dotfiles, and some reach for stow).

    2. their development shells: for build dependencies (compilers, SDKs, libraries), tools (LSP, linters, formatters, debuggers), and services (runtime, database). Some reach for devcontainers here.

    3. or even their operating systems: for development, for CI, for deployment, or for personal use.

    Nix provision all of the above in the same language, with Nixpkgs, NixOS, home-manager, and devShells such as What's more, Nix is (

    - reproducible: what works on your dev machine also works in CI in prod,

    - declarative: you version control and review your configurations and infrastructure as code, at a reasonable level of abstraction,

    - reliable: all changes are atomic with easy roll back.

  • Show HN: Lapdev, a new open-source remote dev environment management software
    7 projects | | 23 Mar 2024 and nix in general are great for setting up dev environments.
  • Show HN: Flox 1.0 – Open-source dev env as code with Nix
    17 projects | | 13 Mar 2024
    > but worried that the development is not moving forward

    There is an open v1.0 PR:

  • What's the Next Vagrant?
    1 project | | 15 Jan 2024
    2) A way to run services apps depend on (databases, job runners, cache etc).

    I am going to suggest one of the Nix based tools that do those things:

      - (I use this at work)
  • Ask HN: How can I make local dev with containers hurt less?
    7 projects | | 11 Jan 2024
    Yup, I haven’t tried it but there is which is built on top of nix and makes it simple.
  • Flakes aren't real and cannot hurt you: using Nix flakes the non-flake way
    6 projects | | 9 Jan 2024
    Although Guix reads better than Nix (after all, it's Lisp), I found the support and resources available for learning severely lacking.

    Plus, you have to jump through hoops to install non-free software, which goes against the ethos of Guix anyway.

    IMHO, Nix is clearly "the winner" here and we'll see more and more adoption as it improves. Lots of folks are doing exciting work (see,, And the scale and organization around nixpkgs is damn impressive.

  • NixOS has one fatal flaw
    3 projects | | 15 Dec 2023
    I don't think you can ever get Nix as simple as PNPM, simply because native libraries are sometimes annoying, need to be configured at build time to a greater degree and because the problem space it attacks is so much larger than PNPM, which only deals with the JS/Node.js ecosystem.

    However, I do think that there exist reasonable levels of abstraction that sacrifice some expressive power for simplicity and such systems could maybe expose a PNPM-like CLI. One example that comes to mind is devenv.nix [1]. While it doesn't yet have a CLI, its configuration file is YAML and relatively simple. I think there's more to be done in this space and I hope for tools that are easier to grasp in the future.

    > Nix package files evaluate down to configuration for the Nix package manager, but I haven’t ever seen a good explanation for the basic essentials underneath all the abstraction. Every guide I’ve learned from and all the package defs I’ve read seem to cargo cult many layers of mysterious config composing config. Without easy to learn essentials it’s difficult to grok the system as a whole.

    To me it sounds like the essential that you're referring to is the 'derivation' primitive, which is almost always hidden behind the mkDerivation abstraction from nixpkgs. This [2] blog post is an exploration of what exactly that means.

    I'd also love for the documentation situation to be much better, in particular in terms of official, curated resources. But I'm not convinced that you actually need to know the difference between derivation and mkDerivation to make effective use of Nix, because in practice you would always use the latter. That said, mkDerivation and the whole of nixpkgs is essentially a huge DSL (I believe this is what you meant when you said 'config composing config') that you do need to know and is woefully underdocumented.

    > I would love to adopt Nix for developer tooling for Notion’s engineers, but today it’s about infinity times easier to work around the limitations mentioned of Docker+Ubuntu+NPM than to work around the limitations of Nix.

    One approach I have taken to is to specify the environment in Nix, but then generate Docker devcontainers from it, so most people don't come into contact with Nix if they don't want to.



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Basic devenv repo stats
5 days ago

cachix/devenv is an open source project licensed under Apache License 2.0 which is an OSI approved license.

The primary programming language of devenv is Nix.

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