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tool overview
On this page you find all important commands for the CLI tool nix-build. If the command you are looking for is missing please ask our AI.


Nix-build is a command line tool used in the Nix package manager and build system. It is primarily used to build and evaluate Nix expressions, which are declarative specifications used to describe software packages and their dependencies.

The tool takes a Nix expression as input and produces a build result as output. This build result is a directory containing the built software and all its dependencies.

Nix-build ensures reproducibility by creating isolated build environments called "Nix store". Each build is performed in a unique environment, which allows for sandboxed builds without interference from other system-wide installations.

One of the key features of nix-build is the ability to parallelize builds by distributing and utilizing multiple CPU cores and multiple machines, enabling faster and more efficient builds.

It supports various build scenarios, including building packages across different operating systems and architectures. This makes it suitable for cross-compilation, testing, and deployment across a wide range of environments.

Nix-build can also perform dependency analysis on a Nix expression, allowing it to determine the optimal build order and only build the necessary parts, resulting in faster and more efficient builds.

It has a rich set of options and flags that provide fine-grained control over the build process. These options can be used to specify build targets, set environment variables, configure build timeouts, and more.

The tool supports caching of build results, allowing subsequent builds to reuse previously built components, speeding up subsequent builds and reducing duplication of work.

Nix-build is part of the larger Nix ecosystem and integrates seamlessly with other Nix tools, such as Nix-shell, Nix-store, and Nix-repl, providing a comprehensive package management and build solution.

Overall, nix-build is a powerful command line tool that plays a crucial role in the Nix build system, enabling reproducible and efficient software builds, with support for parallelism, cross-compilation, and dependency analysis.

List of commands for nix-build:

  • nix-build:tldr:5af2f nix-build: Build a sandboxed Nix expression (on non-NixOS).
    $ nix-build '' --attr ${firefox} --option sandbox true
    try on your machine
    explain this command
  • nix-build:tldr:a17e6 nix-build: Build a Nix expression.
    $ nix-build '' --attr ${firefox}
    try on your machine
    explain this command
tool overview