All the instructions I find for creating a local repository of Nix packages involve creating a local clone of the main nixpkgs repository and adding to that.

Is there a way I can create a small repository just containing my local add-on packages?


Yes, just create an expression for the single package. You can get dependencies from nixpkgs by pkgs = import <nixpkgs> {};.

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This blog post have some details: http://sandervanderburg.blogspot.no/2014/07/managing-private-nix-packages-outside.html

For more low-level from-the-ground-up details there's the nix-pill series: http://lethalman.blogspot.no/2014/07/nix-pill-1-why-you-should-give-it-try.html

But I think the basic approach is to create your own version of ~/.nix-defexpr/channels_root/nixos/pkgs/top-level/all-packages.nix, say mypkgs.nix adding dependencies from the default "repo" by importing <nixpkgs>.

Install packages by doing nix-env -f mypkgs.nix -i DERIVATION_NAME

But since nix is based on a full-blown language there's infinity ways you could do it I guess.

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I'm by no means a Nix expert so I don't know if this is the best way, but it's what I do. I have a local repo for packages in $HOME/nix-local, which contains a number of package files vault/default.nix, blackbox/default.nix etc and a config.nix file which defines packageOverrides to call them. So something like:

$ cat nix-local/config.nix
  packageOverrides = pkgs: rec {
    vault = pkgs.callPackage ./vault {};
    blackbox = pkgs.callPackage ./blackbox {};
    # ...

$ export NIXPKGS_CONFIG=$HOME/nix-local/config.nix    

You can see the full repo at https://github.com/telent/nix-local

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  • 4
    To anyone reading this since about 2017, this repo is not currently maintained and I would strongly suggest you read up on "overlays", a much cleaner way to do what packageOverrides used to do – telent Oct 3 '18 at 12:49

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