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


nix store make-content-addressed - rewrite a path or closure to content-addressed form


nix store make-content-addressed [option...] installables...


  • Create a content-addressed representation of the closure of GNU Hello:

    # nix store make-content-addressed nixpkgs#hello
    rewrote '/nix/store/v5sv61sszx301i0x6xysaqzla09nksnd-hello-2.10' to '/nix/store/5skmmcb9svys5lj3kbsrjg7vf2irid63-hello-2.10'

    Since the resulting paths are content-addressed, they are always trusted and don't need signatures to copied to another store:

    # nix copy --to /tmp/nix --trusted-public-keys '' /nix/store/5skmmcb9svys5lj3kbsrjg7vf2irid63-hello-2.10

    By contrast, the original closure is input-addressed, so it does need signatures to be trusted:

    # nix copy --to /tmp/nix --trusted-public-keys '' nixpkgs#hello
    cannot add path '/nix/store/zy9wbxwcygrwnh8n2w9qbbcr6zk87m26-libunistring-0.9.10' because it lacks a signature by a trusted key
  • Create a content-addressed representation of the current NixOS system closure:

    # nix store make-content-addressed /run/current-system


This command converts the closure of the store paths specified by installables to content-addressed form.

Nix store paths are usually input-addressed, meaning that the hash part of the store path is computed from the contents of the derivation (i.e., the build-time dependency graph). Input-addressed paths need to be signed by a trusted key if you want to import them into a store, because we need to trust that the contents of the path were actually built by the derivation.

By contrast, in a content-addressed path, the hash part is computed from the contents of the path. This allows the contents of the path to be verified without any additional information such as signatures. This means that a command like

# nix store build /nix/store/5skmmcb9svys5lj3kbsrjg7vf2irid63-hello-2.10 \
    --substituters https://my-cache.example.org

will succeed even if the binary cache https://my-cache.example.org doesn't present any signatures.


  • --from store-uri

    URL of the source Nix store.

  • --json

    Produce output in JSON format, suitable for consumption by another program.

  • --stdin

    Read installables from the standard input. No default installable applied.

  • --to store-uri

    URL of the destination Nix store.

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.

  • --debugger

    Start an interactive environment if evaluation fails.

  • --eval-store store-url

    The URL of the Nix store to use for evaluation, i.e. to store derivations (.drv files) and inputs referenced by them.

  • --impure

    Allow access to mutable paths and repositories.

  • --include / -I path

    Add path to the Nix search path. The Nix search path is initialized from the colon-separated NIX_PATH environment variable, and is used to look up the location of Nix expressions using paths enclosed in angle brackets (i.e., <nixpkgs>).

    For instance, passing

    -I /home/eelco/Dev
    -I /etc/nixos

    will cause Nix to look for paths relative to /home/eelco/Dev and /etc/nixos, in that order. This is equivalent to setting the NIX_PATH environment variable to


    It is also possible to match paths against a prefix. For example, passing

    -I nixpkgs=/home/eelco/Dev/nixpkgs-branch
    -I /etc/nixos

    will cause Nix to search for <nixpkgs/path> in /home/eelco/Dev/nixpkgs-branch/path and /etc/nixos/nixpkgs/path.

    If a path in the Nix search path starts with http:// or https://, it is interpreted as the URL of a tarball that will be downloaded and unpacked to a temporary location. The tarball must consist of a single top-level directory. For example, passing

    -I nixpkgs=https://github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/archive/master.tar.gz

    tells Nix to download and use the current contents of the master branch in the nixpkgs repository.

    The URLs of the tarballs from the official nixos.org channels (see the manual page for nix-channel) can be abbreviated as channel:<channel-name>. For instance, the following two flags are equivalent:

    -I nixpkgs=channel:nixos-21.05
    -I nixpkgs=https://nixos.org/channels/nixos-21.05/nixexprs.tar.xz

    You can also fetch source trees using flake URLs and add them to the search path. For instance,

    -I nixpkgs=flake:nixpkgs

    specifies that the prefix nixpkgs shall refer to the source tree downloaded from the nixpkgs entry in the flake registry. Similarly,

    -I nixpkgs=flake:github:NixOS/nixpkgs/nixos-22.05

    makes <nixpkgs> refer to a particular branch of the NixOS/nixpkgs repository on GitHub.

  • --override-flake original-ref resolved-ref

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

  • --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.

  • --output-lock-file flake-lock-path

    Write the given lock file instead of flake.lock within the top-level flake.

  • --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.

  • --reference-lock-file flake-lock-path

    Read the given lock file instead of flake.lock within the top-level flake.

  • --update-input input-path

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

  • --debug

    Set the logging verbosity level to 'debug'.

  • --log-format format

    Set the format of log output; one of raw, internal-json, bar or bar-with-logs.

  • --print-build-logs / -L

    Print full build logs on standard error.

  • --quiet

    Decrease the logging verbosity level.

  • --verbose / -v

    Increase the logging verbosity level.

Miscellaneous global options

  • --help

    Show usage information.

  • --offline

    Disable substituters and consider all previously downloaded files up-to-date.

  • --option name value

    Set the Nix configuration setting name to value (overriding nix.conf).

  • --refresh

    Consider all previously downloaded files out-of-date.

  • --repair

    During evaluation, rewrite missing or corrupted files in the Nix store. During building, rebuild missing or corrupted store paths.

  • --version

    Show version information.

Options that change the interpretation of installables

  • --all

    Apply the operation to every store path.

  • --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.

  • --recursive / -r

    Apply operation to closure of the specified paths.


See man nix.conf for overriding configuration settings with command line flags.