Development Guide

Required setup

A Linux host and Nix are the two requirements for this project. Knowledge about using git will help, but fetching a tarball or zip from GitHub could do in a pinch.


The author uses NixOS, but NixOS is not a requirement.

Only Nix the package manager is required to build this project. It can be installed on any Linux distribution.

I don't want to or can't install Nix on my system


Though you can use a Docker container image TODO that is pre-configured to work well with this project.

Using Nix through Docker is not ideal, but should work when working under specific conditions.

While Nix works on macOS, this project require a Linux builder to work. Using the Docker builder is an alternative to setting up a Linux virtual machine. After all, Docker on macOS is a specialized Linux virtual machine. TO BE TESTED

A primer on Nix

First, read more about Nix elsewhere. Nix here is used as a glue to configure the builds.

Knowing Nix will help you better understand what you are looking at.

Look at the following resources.

The upstream manuals of the NixOS project are good, but mainly when you already have knowledge about Nix. They are more of a reference than a learning resource.

Important concepts

What's callPackage?

callPackage is a sort of dependency injection that is borrowed from Nixpkgs.

The dependency injection makes it so we don't have to really care about where the dependencies are in the codebase. As long as it's in the scope callPackage is working with, we can "ask" for a dependency.

Making derivations "overridable" allows us to customize the derivations. This can be used for dependencies coming from Nixpkgs, or to make one-off customizations of our own derivations.