This chapter is for impatient people who don't like reading documentation. For more in-depth information you are kindly referred to subsequent chapters.
Install single-user Nix by running the following:
$ bash <(curl -L https://nixos.org/nix/install)
This will install Nix in
/nix. The install script will create
sudo, so make sure you have sufficient rights. (For other installation methods, see here.)
See what installable packages are currently available in the channel:
$ nix-env -qa docbook-xml-4.3 docbook-xml-4.5 firefox-33.0.2 hello-2.9 libxslt-1.1.28 …
Install some packages from the channel:
$ nix-env -i hello
This should download pre-built packages; it should not build them locally (if it does, something went wrong).
Test that they work:
$ which hello /home/eelco/.nix-profile/bin/hello $ hello Hello, world!
Uninstall a package:
$ nix-env -e hello
You can also test a package without installing it:
$ nix-shell -p hello
This builds or downloads GNU Hello and its dependencies, then drops you into a Bash shell where the
hellocommand is present, all without affecting your normal environment:
[nix-shell:~]$ hello Hello, world! [nix-shell:~]$ exit $ hello hello: command not found
To keep up-to-date with the channel, do:
$ nix-channel --update nixpkgs $ nix-env -u '*'
The latter command will upgrade each installed package for which there is a “newer” version (as determined by comparing the version numbers).
If you're unhappy with the result of a
nix-envaction (e.g., an upgraded package turned out not to work properly), you can go back:
$ nix-env --rollback
You should periodically run the Nix garbage collector to get rid of unused packages, since uninstalls or upgrades don't actually delete them:
$ nix-collect-garbage -d