Environment Variables

To use Nix, some environment variables should be set. In particular, PATH should contain the directories prefix/bin and ~/.nix-profile/bin. The first directory contains the Nix tools themselves, while ~/.nix-profile is a symbolic link to the current user environment (an automatically generated package consisting of symlinks to installed packages). The simplest way to set the required environment variables is to include the file prefix/etc/profile.d/nix.sh in your ~/.profile (or similar), like this:

source prefix/etc/profile.d/nix.sh


If you need to specify a custom certificate bundle to account for an HTTPS-intercepting man in the middle proxy, you must specify the path to the certificate bundle in the environment variable NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE.

If you don't specify a NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE manually, Nix will install and use its own certificate bundle.

Set the environment variable and install Nix

$ export NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE=/etc/ssl/my-certificate-bundle.crt
$ sh <(curl -L https://nixos.org/nix/install)

In the shell profile and rc files (for example, /etc/bashrc, /etc/zshrc), add the following line:

export NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE=/etc/ssl/my-certificate-bundle.crt


You must not add the export and then do the install, as the Nix installer will detect the presense of Nix configuration, and abort.

NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE with macOS and the Nix daemon

On macOS you must specify the environment variable for the Nix daemon service, then restart it:

$ sudo launchctl setenv NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE /etc/ssl/my-certificate-bundle.crt
$ sudo launchctl kickstart -k system/org.nixos.nix-daemon

Proxy Environment Variables

The Nix installer has special handling for these proxy-related environment variables: http_proxy, https_proxy, ftp_proxy, no_proxy, HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY, FTP_PROXY, NO_PROXY.

If any of these variables are set when running the Nix installer, then the installer will create an override file at /etc/systemd/system/nix-daemon.service.d/override.conf so nix-daemon will use them.