Warning: This program is experimental and its interface is subject to change.


nix bundle - bundle an application so that it works outside of the Nix store


nix bundle [option...] installable


  • Bundle Hello:

    # nix bundle nixpkgs#hello
    # ./hello
    Hello, world!
  • Bundle a specific version of Nix:

    # nix bundle github:NixOS/nix/e3ddffb27e5fc37a209cfd843c6f7f6a9460a8ec
    # ./nix --version
    nix (Nix) 2.4pre20201215_e3ddffb
  • Bundle a Hello using a specific bundler:

    # nix bundle --bundler github:NixOS/bundlers#toDockerImage nixpkgs#hello
    # docker load < hello-2.10.tar.gz
    # docker run hello-2.10:latest hello
    Hello, world!


nix bundle, by default, packs the closure of the installable into a single self-extracting executable. See the bundlers homepage for more details.


This command only works on Linux.

Flake output attributes

If no flake output attribute is given, nix bundle tries the following flake output attributes:

  • bundlers.<system>.default

If an attribute name is given, nix bundle tries the following flake output attributes:

  • bundlers.<system>.<name>


A bundler is specified by a flake output attribute named bundlers.<system>.<name>. It looks like this:

bundlers.x86_64-linux = rec {
  identity = drv: drv;

  blender_2_79 = drv: self.packages.x86_64-linux.blender_2_79;

  default = identity;

A bundler must be a function that accepts an arbitrary value (typically a derivation or app definition) and returns a derivation.


  • --bundler flake-url
    Use a custom bundler instead of the default (github:NixOS/bundlers).

  • --debugger
    start an interactive environment if evaluation fails

  • --out-link / -o path
    Override the name of the symlink to the build result. It defaults to the base name of the app.

Common evaluation options:

  • --arg name expr
    Pass the value expr as the argument name to Nix functions.

  • --argstr name string
    Pass the string string as the argument name to Nix functions.

  • --eval-store store-url
    The Nix store to use for evaluations.

  • --impure
    Allow access to mutable paths and repositories.

  • --include / -I path
    Add path to the list of locations used to look up <...> file names.

  • --override-flake original-ref resolved-ref
    Override the flake registries, redirecting original-ref to resolved-ref.

Common flake-related options:

  • --commit-lock-file
    Commit changes to the flake's lock file.

  • --inputs-from flake-url
    Use the inputs of the specified flake as registry entries.

  • --no-registries
    Don't allow lookups in the flake registries. This option is deprecated; use --no-use-registries.

  • --no-update-lock-file
    Do not allow any updates to the flake's lock file.

  • --no-write-lock-file
    Do not write the flake's newly generated lock file.

  • --override-input input-path flake-url
    Override a specific flake input (e.g. dwarffs/nixpkgs). This implies --no-write-lock-file.

  • --recreate-lock-file
    Recreate the flake's lock file from scratch.

  • --update-input input-path
    Update a specific flake input (ignoring its previous entry in the lock file).

Options that change the interpretation of installables:

  • --derivation
    Operate on the store derivation rather than its outputs.

  • --expr expr
    Interpret installables as attribute paths relative to the Nix expression expr.

  • --file / -f file
    Interpret installables as attribute paths relative to the Nix expression stored in file. If file is the character -, then a Nix expression will be read from standard input. Implies --impure.