Nix: the package manager

Current version



Multi-user installation (recommended)

Install Nix via the recommended multi-user installation:

$ sh <(curl -L --daemon

We recommend the multi-user install if you are on Linux running systemd, with SELinux disabled and you can authenticate with sudo.

Single-user installation

Install Nix via the single-user installation:

$ sh <(curl -L --no-daemon

Above command will perform a single-user installation of Nix, meaning that /nix is owned by the invoking user. You should run this under your usual user account, not as root. The script will invoke sudo to create /nix if it doesn’t already exist.

Which type of installation should you choose?

This depends on your requirements, but here is a short list of reasons why we recommend multi-user installation:

  • Better build isolation (and that is what Nix is all about)
  • Better security (a build can not write somewhere in your home)
  • Sharing builds between users
  • Requires root to run the daemon
  • More involved installation (creation of nixbld* users, installing a systemd unit, ...
  • Harder to uninstall


Multi-user installation

Install Nix via the recommended multi-user installation:

$ sh <(curl -L

We believe we have ironed out how to cleanly support the read-only root on modern macOS. Please consult the manual on details what the installation script does.

Windows (WSL2)

Single-user installation

Install Nix via the single-user installation:

$ sh <(curl -L --no-daemon


Start a Docker shell with Nix:

$ docker run -it nixos/nix

Or start a Docker shell with Nix exposing a workdir directory:

$ mkdir workdir
$ docker run -it -v $(pwd)/workdir:/workdir nixos/nix

The workdir example from above can be also used to start hacking on nixpkgs:

$ git clone
$ docker run -it -v $(pwd)/nixpkgs:/nixpkgs nixos/nix
docker> nix-build -I nixpkgs=/nixpkgs -A hello
docker> find ./result # this symlink points to the build package

Verify installation

Check the installation by opening a new terminal and typing:

$ nix-env --version
nix-env (Nix) 2.3.15

You may want to verify the integrity of the installation script using GPG:

$ curl -o install-nix-2.8.1
$ curl -o install-nix-2.8.1.asc
$ gpg2 --keyserver hkps:// --recv-keys B541D55301270E0BCF15CA5D8170B4726D7198DE
$ gpg2 --verify ./install-nix-2.8.1.asc
$ sh ./install-nix-2.8.1

The signing key has fingerprint B541 D553 0127 0E0B CF15 CA5D 8170 B472 6D71 98DE. It is also available on GitHub.

NixOS: the Linux distribution

Current version


ISO image

You can install NixOS on physical hardware by burning one of the CD images onto a blank CD/DVD disk, or by copying it onto a USB stick. For installation instructions, please see the manual.

Graphical ISO image

The graphical installation ISO image contains NixOS installer as well as Desktop Environment and several applications. It’s a live CD, so it allows you to get an impression of NixOS (and the Nix package manager) without installing it.

Minimal ISO image

The minimal installation ISO image does not contain the graphical user interface, and is therefore a lot smaller. You have to run the installer from the console. It contains a number of rescue tools.


VirtualBox image includes the Plasma Desktop (was KDE) as well as the VirtualBox guest additions.

To use it

  • Download the OVA file using the button above.
  • Open VirtualBox.
  • Run File → Import Appliance from the menu.
  • Select previously downloaded OVA file.
  • Click Import.
  • You can then start the virtual machine.
  • You can log in as user demo, password demo.
  • To obtain a root shell, run sudo -i in the terminal (konsole).

Amazon EC2

NixOS can be deployed to Amazon EC2 with a pre-generated AMI image that you can select bellow.

Via AWS Management Console

You can create an instance using the AWS Management Console by selecting the region and clicking the Launch button.

Choose region:
Root storage Virtualisation AMI
EBS Hardware ami-0835a3e481dc240f9
EBS Hardware ami-07c95eda953bf5435
EBS Hardware ami-04167df3cd952b3bd
EBS Hardware ami-0680e05531b3db677
EBS Hardware ami-0dc8d718279d3402d
EBS Hardware ami-0155e842329970187
EBS Hardware ami-0e67089f898e74443
EBS Hardware ami-0fcf28c07e86142c5
EBS Hardware ami-0ee83a3c6590fd6b1
EBS Hardware ami-01d0304a712f2f3f0
EBS Hardware ami-00e828bfc1e5d09ac
EBS Hardware ami-0e1ea64430d8103f2
EBS Hardware ami-0f7c354c421348e51
EBS Hardware ami-099756bfda4540da0
EBS Hardware ami-0b20a80b82052d23f
EBS Hardware ami-088ea590004b01752
EBS Hardware ami-0025b9d4831b911a7

Via Command Line

You can also create an instance from the command line. For example, to create an instance in region eu-west-1 using the EC2 API tools, just run:

$ nix-shell -p ec2_api_tools
(nix-shell) $ ec2-run-instances ami-01d0304a712f2f3f0 --region eu-west-1 -k my-key-pair