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

Name

nix shell - run a shell in which the specified packages are available

Synopsis

nix shell [option...] installables...

Examples

  • Start a shell providing youtube-dl from the nixpkgs flake:

    # nix shell nixpkgs#youtube-dl
    # youtube-dl --version
    2020.11.01.1
    
  • Start a shell providing GNU Hello from NixOS 20.03:

    # nix shell nixpkgs/nixos-20.03#hello
    
  • Run GNU Hello:

    # nix shell nixpkgs#hello -c hello --greeting 'Hi everybody!'
    Hi everybody!
    
  • Run GNU Hello in a chroot store:

    # nix shell --store ~/my-nix nixpkgs#hello -c hello
    
  • Start a shell providing GNU Hello in a chroot store:

    # nix shell --store ~/my-nix nixpkgs#hello nixpkgs#bashInteractive -c bash
    

    Note that it's necessary to specify bash explicitly because your default shell (e.g. /bin/bash) generally will not exist in the chroot.

Description

nix shell runs a command in an environment in which the $PATH variable provides the specified installables. If not command is specified, it starts the default shell of your user account.

Options

  • --command / -c command args
    Command and arguments to be executed, defaulting to $SHELL

  • --ignore-environment / -i
    Clear the entire environment (except those specified with --keep).

  • --keep / -k name
    Keep the environment variable name.

  • --unset / -u name
    Unset the environment variable name.

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.