Using Nix within Docker

To run the latest stable release of Nix with Docker run the following command:

$ docker run -ti nixos/nix
Unable to find image 'nixos/nix:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from nixos/nix
5843afab3874: Pull complete
b52bf13f109c: Pull complete
1e2415612aa3: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:27f6e7f60227e959ee7ece361f75d4844a40e1cc6878b6868fe30140420031ff
Status: Downloaded newer image for nixos/nix:latest
35ca4ada6e96:/# nix --version
nix (Nix) 2.3.12
35ca4ada6e96:/# exit

What is included in Nix' Docker image?

The official Docker image is created using pkgs.dockerTools.buildLayeredImage (and not with Dockerfile as it is usual with Docker images). You can still base your custom Docker image on it as you would do with any other Docker image.

The Docker image is also not based on any other image and includes minimal set of runtime dependencies that are required to use Nix:

  • pkgs.nix
  • pkgs.bashInteractive
  • pkgs.coreutils-full
  • pkgs.gnutar
  • pkgs.gzip
  • pkgs.gnugrep
  • pkgs.which
  • pkgs.curl
  • pkgs.less
  • pkgs.wget
  • pkgs.cacert.out
  • pkgs.findutils

Docker image with the latest development version of Nix

To get the latest image that was built by Hydra run the following command:

$ curl -L | docker load
$ docker run -ti nix:2.5pre20211105

You can also build a Docker image from source yourself:

$ nix build ./\#hydraJobs.dockerImage.x86_64-linux
$ docker load -i ./result
$ docker run -ti nix:2.5pre20211105