Home Manager using Nix
This project provides a basic system for managing a user environment using the Nix package manager together with the Nix libraries found in Nixpkgs. It allows declarative configuration of user specific (non global) packages and dotfiles.
Before attempting to use Home Manager please read the warning below.
For a systematic overview of Home Manager and its available options, please see
- the Home Manager manual,
- the Home Manager configuration options, and
- the 3rd party Home Manager option search.
If you would like to contribute to Home Manager then please have a look at the contributing chapter of the manual.
Words of warning
Unfortunately, it is quite possible to get difficult to understand errors when working with Home Manager, such as infinite loops with no clear source reference. You should therefore be comfortable using the Nix language and the various tools in the Nix ecosystem. Reading through the Nix Pills document is a good way to familiarize yourself with them.
If you are not very familiar with Nix but still want to use Home Manager then you are strongly encouraged to start with a small and very simple configuration and gradually make it more elaborate as you learn.
In some cases Home Manager cannot detect whether it will overwrite a previous manual configuration. For example, the Gnome Terminal module will write to your dconf store and cannot tell whether a configuration that it is about to be overwritten was from a previous Home Manager generation or from manual configuration.
Home Manager targets NixOS unstable and NixOS version 22.11 (the current stable version), it may or may not work on other Linux distributions and NixOS versions.
home-manager tool does not explicitly support rollbacks at the moment so if your home directory gets messed up you'll have to fix it yourself. See the rollbacks section for instructions on how to manually perform a rollback.
Now when your expectations have been built up and you are eager to try all this out you can go ahead and read the rest of this text.
Home Manager can be used in three primary ways:
Using the standalone
home-managertool. For platforms other than NixOS and Darwin, this is the only available choice. It is also recommended for people on NixOS or Darwin that want to manage their home directory independently of the system as a whole. See Standalone installation in the manual for instructions on how to perform this installation.
As a module within a NixOS system configuration. This allows the user profiles to be built together with the system when running
nixos-rebuild. See NixOS module installation in the manual for a description of this setup.
As a module within a nix-darwin system configuration. This allows the user profiles to be built together with the system when running
darwin-rebuild. See nix-darwin module installation in the manual for a description of this setup.
Home Manager provides both the channel-based setup and the flake-based one. See Nix Flakes for a description of the flake-based setup.
Home Manager has basic support for internationalization through gettext. The translations are hosted by Weblate. If you would like to contribute to the translation effort then start by going to the Home Manager Weblate project.
Home Manager is developed against
nixpkgs-unstable branch, which often causes it to contain tweaks for changes/packages not yet released in stable NixOS. To avoid breaking users' configurations, Home Manager is released in branches corresponding to NixOS releases (e.g.
release-22.11). These branches get fixes, but usually not new modules. If you need a module to be backported, then feel free to open an issue.
This project is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.