Quickly locate nix packages with specific files
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bennofs Merge pull request #46 from bennofs/dependabot/cargo/serde_json-1.0.30
build(deps): bump serde_json from 1.0.27 to 1.0.30
Latest commit 84eed32 Sep 24, 2018


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.

$ 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


To install this tool, simply clone the repo and run nix-env -if. to install it into your user environment:

$ git clone https://github.com/bennofs/nix-index
$ cd nix-index
$ nix-env -if.


First, you need to generate an index by running nix-index. Then, you can use nix-locate pattern. For more information, see nix-locate --help and nix-index --help.


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