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


nix flake init - create a flake in the current directory from a template


nix flake init [option...]


  • Create a flake using the default template:

    # nix flake init
  • List available templates:

    # nix flake show templates
  • Create a flake from a specific template:

    # nix flake init -t templates#simpleContainer


This command creates a flake in the current directory by copying the files of a template. It will not overwrite existing files. The default template is templates#templates.default, but this can be overridden using -t.

Template definitions

A flake can declare templates through its templates output attribute. A template has two attributes:

  • description: A one-line description of the template, in CommonMark syntax.

  • path: The path of the directory to be copied.

  • welcomeText: A block of markdown text to display when a user initializes a new flake based on this template.

Here is an example:

outputs = { self }: {

  templates.rust = {
    path = ./rust;
    description = "A simple Rust/Cargo project";
    welcomeText = ''
      # Simple Rust/Cargo Template
      ## Intended usage
      The intended usage of this flake is...

      ## More info
      - [Rust language](https://www.rust-lang.org/)
      - [Rust on the NixOS Wiki](https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Rust)
      - ...

  templates.default = self.templates.rust;


  • --debugger
    start an interactive environment if evaluation fails

  • --template / -t template
    The template to use.

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.