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NixOps: a tool for deploying to [NixOS]( machines in a network or the cloud

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[!Warning] NixOps is in low-maintenance mode and probably not suited for new projects. Use at your own risks.

[!Note] An experimental rewrite of NixOps is happening under


NixOps is a tool for deploying to NixOS machines in a network or the cloud. Key features include:

  • Declarative: NixOps determines and carries out actions necessary to realise a deployment configuration.
  • Testable: Try your deployments on VirtualBox or libvirtd.
  • Multi Cloud Support: Currently supports deployments to AWS, Hetzner, and GCE
  • Separation of Concerns: Deployment descriptions are divided into logical and physical aspects. This makes it easy to separate parts that say what a machine should do from where they should do it.
  • Extensible: NixOps is extensible through a plugin infrastructure which can be used to provide additional backends.

For more information, please refer to the NixOps manual.


NixOps is included in nixpkgs and can be executed in a shell as follows:

$ nix-shell -p nixops

or for a bleeding edge version, including many fixes relative to the 1.7 series,

$ nix-shell -p nixopsUnstable

You may need access to a Nix remote builder if your system does not support the deployment's system builds directly. MacOS users may use a virtual machine with NixOS for this purpose.

It is also possible to use cross-compilation with NixOps, by setting nixpkgs.localSystem and nixpkgs.crossSystem. A mix of remote, emulated and cross builds is also possible; see this writeup on

Building And Developing

Building The Nix Package

You can build the Nix package by simply invoking nix-build on the project root:

$ nix-build

Development Shell

shell.nix provides an environment with all dependencies required for working on NixOps. You can use nix-shell to enter a shell suitable for working on NixOps which will contain all Python dependencies specified in pyproject.toml

$ nix-shell

Executing Tests

Inside the development shell the tests can be executed as follows:

$ pytest


NixOps' documentation uses reStructuredText. When editing the docs, get a live-reloading, rendered version of the docs:

nixops$ ./
Serving on

and verify its lints before committing:

nixops$ lint-docs


Contributions to the project are welcome in the form of GitHub PRs. Please consider the following guidelines before creating PRs:

  • Please make sure to format your code using black.
  • Please add type signatures using mypy.
  • If you are planning to make any considerable changes, you should first present your plans in a GitHub issue so it can be discussed.
  • If you are adding features, please also add reasonable tests.


Licensed under LGPL-3.0.