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Nox is a small tool that makes the use of the Nix package manager easier.

Nox is written in Python 3 and requires nix 1.8 and git. It is released under MIT license.

Try it

You can install it from nixpkgs by running nix-env -i nox.

To try the last version, just clone the repository, run nix-build, and run the resulting binaries in result/bin. To install it, run nix-env -if ..

Just run nox QUERY to search for a nix package. The underlying nix-env invocation is cached to make the search faster than your usual nix-env -qa | grep QUERY. In addition, package descriptions are searched as well as their names. You may specify multiple queries, in which case only packages matching all of them will be listed. Queries are considered as Python-style regular expressions.


Once you have the results, type the numbers of the packages to install.

Bonus: if you enter the letter 's' at the beginning of the package numbers list, a nix-shell will be started with those packages instead.


The nox-review command helps you find what has changed in nixpkgs, and build changed packages, so you're sure they are not broken. There are 3 modes:

  • nox-review wip compares the nixpkgs in the current working dir against a commit, so you can check that your changes break nothing. Defaults to comparing to HEAD (the last commit), but you can change it: nox-review wip --against master^'.
  • nox-review pr PR finds the packages touched by the given PR and build them.


I'm working on a new command, nox-update, that will display information about what is about to be updated, especially giving info not provided by nixos-rebuild:

  • Why is everything being installed?
  • Which are package upgrades?
  • Which are expression changes?
  • Which are only rebuilds trigerred by dependency changes?
  • Especially, what package triggered the rebuild?

A picture is better than a thousand words, so here is what it looks like for now: