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I would like to point $NIX_PATH to ~/.nix-defexpr/channels instead of ~/.nix-defexpr/channels_root as currently. I don't want to have to type that every time I run nix-env. What's the right way of doing that?

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I would simply define the variable the way you want it in your ~/.profile.

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    And give up statelessness? – dmvianna Feb 18 '18 at 21:02
  • What statelessness? You update channels "imperatively" - that's how they're designed, so that by default you install from the latest-updated channel without having to specify e.g. the exact commit hash. – Vladimír Čunát Feb 19 '18 at 18:14
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    Yes, but we try to keep the state in /etc/nixos/configuration.nix and not all over the place like in a regular Linux distro. I am hoping to have a tidy solution with which I can make a reproducible recipe. I may be using that to create cloud instances, or sharing configuration with colleagues. – dmvianna Feb 20 '18 at 10:50
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I still want to know how to do it via configuration, but imperatively through an expression written in a file I can do

$ nix-env -if /this/file.nix -I ~/.nix-defexpr/channels

This way I'll be using the user's channels. Without it ~/.nix-defexpr/channels_root is read instead. Which is what I'm trying to avoid here.

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