nix3-run(1) General Commands Manual nix3-run(1)

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

nix run - run a Nix application

nix run [option…] installable args

Run the default app from the blender-bin flake:
# nix run blender-bin
Run a non-default app from the blender-bin flake:
# nix run blender-bin#blender_2_83
Tip: you can find apps provided by this flake by running nix flake show blender-bin.
Run vim from the nixpkgs flake:
# nix run nixpkgs#vim
Note that vim (as of the time of writing of this page) is not an app but a package. Thus, Nix runs the eponymous file from the vim package.
Run vim with arguments:
# nix run nixpkgs#vim -- --help

nix run builds and runs installable, which must evaluate to an app or a regular Nix derivation.

If installable evaluates to an app (see below), it executes the program specified by the app definition.

If installable evaluates to a derivation, it will try to execute the program <out>/bin/<name>, where out is the primary output store path of the derivation, and name is the first of the following that exists:

  • The meta.mainProgram attribute of the derivation.
  • The pname attribute of the derivation.
  • The name part of the value of the name attribute of the derivation.

For instance, if name is set to hello-1.10, nix run will run $out/bin/hello.

If no flake output attribute is given, nix run tries the following flake output attributes:

  • apps.<system>.default
  • packages.<system>.default

If an attribute name is given, nix run tries the following flake output attributes:

  • apps.<system>.<name>
  • packages.<system>.<name>
  • legacyPackages.<system>.<name>

An app is specified by a flake output attribute named apps.<system>.<name>. It looks like this:

apps.x86_64-linux.blender_2_79 = {

type = "app";
program = "${self.packages.x86_64-linux.blender_2_79}/bin/blender"; };

The only supported attributes are:

  • type (required): Must be set to app.
  • program (required): The full path of the executable to run. It must reside in the 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.
  • --eval-store store-url
    The Nix store to use for evaluations.
  • --impure
    Allow access to mutable paths and repositories.
  • --include / -I path
    Add path to the list of locations used to look up <...> file names.
  • --override-flake original-ref resolved-ref
    Override the flake registries, redirecting original-ref to resolved-ref.

Common flake-related options:

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

Options that change the interpretation of installables:

  • --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.