About Lix

A strictly-better implementation of the Nix language.

Lix is an implementation of the Nix functional package management language. Originally codified by CppNix, the Nix language allows you to create packages that can be used for anything from putting configuration files into place to declaratively managing an entire system.

That means that, with a few well-written Nix expressions, one can easily configure a system into a known state – and the packages that are created this way are guaranteed to run exactly the same way on any system of the same architecture.

As a fork of CppNix, Lix is designed to be fully compatible with the original CppNix implementation – but also designed to allow evolution of the language and tooling, so its developers can improve usability and ergonomics without sacrificing correctness.

Why use Nix?

If you’re not familiar with the Nix approach, we recommend checking out some of the writing on the subject.

Why Lix?

The Nix language is used for a variety of applications ranging from individual computers to clusters of critical infrastructure. With this in mind, the Lix team has been working to provide a collection of necessary improvements over CppNix:

  • Built for a community, not for a corporation.
    Lix is built by a team of open-source volunteers – and exists to provide an alternative to the commercial interests that have long plagued both upstream CppNix and corporate-authored forks. We’re proud to stand by our open conflict of interest statements, and proud to listen to community voices on issues of sponsorship, direction, and moderation.

  • A safe community for developers of all backgrounds.
    Lix is developed by a diverse group of users – and accordingly is committed to providing a space that’s safe for users and developers typically underrepresented in technical projects. We take moderation seriously, and are committed to preventing bad actors from driving out marginalized groups.

  • A correct implementation of the Nix language.
    Recent versions of the CppNix project have introduced significant regressions – so much so that the upstream Nixpkgs team has opted to remain several versions behind. Lix is forked from the last truly-stable version of CppNix – but has both introduced new features and backported a number of features from newer versions without sacrificing correctness.

  • A more modern implementation of Nix.
    Lix is designed for evolution of its codebase. Lix already uses the more modern meson build system, which improves developer usability and decreases build times. Plans include a gradual, piecewise introduction of the memory-safe Rust programming language – to both supplement and replace sections of the current C++ codebase.

  • A language with room to grow.
    Unlike upstream Nix, Lix intends to be an evolving language – a robust language versioning system will allow the language to grow and evolve without sacrificing backwards-compatibility or correctness. And room to grow means room for usability and ergonomics improvements – both in the language and in tooling.

Community, Team & Governance

Looking for information about the people behind the project?
Check out our community and team pages.