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Awesome Open Source

nix-index Build Status

A files database for nixpkgs

nix-index is a tool to quickly locate the package providing a certain file in nixpkgs. It indexes built derivations found in binary caches.

$ nix-locate 'bin/hello'
hello.out                                        29,488 x /nix/store/bdjyhh70npndlq3rzmggh4f2dzdsj4xy-hello-2.10/bin/hello
linuxPackages_4_4.dpdk.examples               2,022,224 x /nix/store/jlnk3d38zsk0bp02rp9skpqk4vjfijnn-dpdk-16.07.2-4.4.52-examples/bin/helloworld
linuxPackages.dpdk.examples                   2,022,224 x /nix/store/rzx4k0pb58gd1dr9kzwam3vk9r8bfyv1-dpdk-16.07.2-4.9.13-examples/bin/helloworld
linuxPackages_4_10.dpdk.examples              2,022,224 x /nix/store/wya1b0910qidfc9v3i6r9rnbnc9ykkwq-dpdk-16.07.2-4.10.1-examples/bin/helloworld
linuxPackages_grsec_nixos.dpdk.examples       2,022,224 x /nix/store/2wqv94290pa38aclld7sc548a7hnz35k-dpdk-16.07.2-4.9.13-examples/bin/helloworld
camlistore.out                                7,938,952 x /nix/store/xn5ivjdyslxldhm5cb4x0lfz48zf21rl-camlistore-0.9/bin/hello


Latest Git version

To install the latest development version of nix-index, simply clone the repo and run nix-env -if.:

$ git clone
$ cd nix-index
$ nix-env -if.


For the stable version, you can either checkout the latest tag (see the list here) or use Nixpkgs' repositories' and install it with:

$ nix-env -iA nixos.nix-index


First, you need to generate an index by running nix-index (it takes around 5 minutes) . Then, you can use nix-locate pattern. For more information, see nix-locate --help and nix-index --help.

Usage as a command-not-found replacement

Nix-index provides a "command-not-found" script that can print for you the attribute path of unfound commands in your shell. You can either source ${pkgs.nix-index}/etc/ in your own shell init files (works for ZSH and Bash for as far as we know) or you can use the following in home-manager / /etc/nixos/configuration.nix:

    programs.command-not-found.enable = false;
    programs.bash.interactiveShellInit = ''
      source ${pkgs.nix-index}/etc/profile.d/

Replace bash with zsh if you use zsh.

Example output:

$ blender
The program 'blender' is currently not installed. You can install it
by typing:
  nix-env -iA nixpkgs.blender.out

A home-manager module is now available to integrate nix-index with bash, zsh, and fish using this script.


If you find any missing features that you would like to implement, I'm very happy about any PRs! You can also create an issue first if the feature is more complex so we can discuss possible implementations.

Here is a quick description of all relevant files:

  • bin/{nix-index, nix-locate}.rs: Implementation of the nix-index / nix-locate command line tools
  • src/ High-level functions for working with the database format
  • src/ The data types for working with file listings
  • src/ Low-level implementation of an encoder to efficiently store many file paths (see comments in the file for more details). Used by
  • src/ Deals with everything that has to do with downloading from the binary cache (fetching file listings and references)
  • src/ Implements the gathering of the packages (store paths and attributes) using nix-env
  • src/ High-level data types for representing store paths (sometimes also refered to as a package)
  • src/ A queue used by nix-index to implement the recursive fetching (fetching references of everything)

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