Skip to content


Given a hello world example, click on the end of each line to get an explanation:

{ pkgs, ... }: # (1)!

{ # (2)!
  env.GREET = "hello"; # (3)!

  packages = [ pkgs.jq ];

  enterShell = ''
    echo $GREET
    jq --version
  ''; # (4)!
  1. devenv.nix is a function with inputs. pkgs is an input passed as a special argument to the function. We use a special input ... at the end as a catch-all to avoid enumerating all of the inputs.
  2. Our function is returning an attribute set, similar to an object in JSON.
  3. Attributes can be nested and have similar values as in JSON.
  4. Values can refer to the inputs. See Inputs for how to define inputs.

enterShell allows you to execute bash code once the shell activates, while env allows you to set environment variables:

$ devenv shell
Building shell ...
Entering shell ...


(devenv) $ echo $GREET

See Nix language tutorial for a 1-2 hour deep dive that will allow you to read any Nix file.


We're running a fundraiser to improve the developer experience around error messages, with the goal of lowering the barrier to learning Nix.

Environment Summary

If you'd like to print the summary of the current environment:

$ devenv info 

# env
- DEVENV_DOTFILE: .../myproject/.devenv
- DEVENV_ROOT: .../myproject
- DEVENV_STATE: .../myproject/.devenv/state
- GREET: hello

# packages
- jq-1.6

# scripts

# processes