This program is experimental and its interface is subject to change.


nix flake check - check whether the flake evaluates and run its tests


nix flake check [option...] flake-url


  • Evaluate the flake in the current directory, and build its checks:

    # nix flake check
  • Verify that the patchelf flake evaluates, but don't build its checks:

    # nix flake check --no-build github:NixOS/patchelf


This command verifies that the flake specified by flake reference flake-url can be evaluated successfully (as detailed below), and that the derivations specified by the flake's checks output can be built successfully.

If the keep-going option is set to true, Nix will keep evaluating as much as it can and report the errors as it encounters them. Otherwise it will stop at the first error.

Evaluation checks

The following flake output attributes must be derivations:

  • checks.system.name
  • defaultPackage.system
  • devShell.system
  • devShells.system.name
  • nixosConfigurations.name.config.system.build.toplevel
  • packages.system.name

The following flake output attributes must be app definitions:

  • apps.system.name
  • defaultApp.system

The following flake output attributes must be template definitions:

  • defaultTemplate
  • templates.name

The following flake output attributes must be Nixpkgs overlays:

  • overlay
  • overlays.name

The following flake output attributes must be NixOS modules:

  • nixosModule
  • nixosModules.name

The following flake output attributes must be bundlers:

  • bundlers.name
  • defaultBundler

In addition, the hydraJobs output is evaluated in the same way as Hydra's hydra-eval-jobs (i.e. as a arbitrarily deeply nested attribute set of derivations). Similarly, the legacyPackages.system output is evaluated like nix-env --query --available .


Common evaluation options

  • --arg name expr

    Pass the value expr as the argument name to Nix functions.

  • --arg-from-file name path

    Pass the contents of file path as the argument name to Nix functions.

  • --arg-from-stdin name

    Pass the contents of stdin as the argument name to Nix functions.

  • --argstr name string

    Pass the string string as the argument name to Nix functions.

  • --debugger

    Start an interactive environment if evaluation fails.

  • --eval-store store-url

    The URL of the Nix store to use for evaluation, i.e. to store derivations (.drv files) and inputs referenced by them.

  • --impure

    Allow access to mutable paths and repositories.

  • --include / -I path

    Add path to the Nix search path. The Nix search path is initialized from the colon-separated NIX_PATH environment variable, and is used to look up the location of Nix expressions using paths enclosed in angle brackets (i.e., <nixpkgs>).

    For instance, passing

    -I /home/eelco/Dev
    -I /etc/nixos

    will cause Nix to look for paths relative to /home/eelco/Dev and /etc/nixos, in that order. This is equivalent to setting the NIX_PATH environment variable to


    It is also possible to match paths against a prefix. For example, passing

    -I nixpkgs=/home/eelco/Dev/nixpkgs-branch
    -I /etc/nixos

    will cause Nix to search for <nixpkgs/path> in /home/eelco/Dev/nixpkgs-branch/path and /etc/nixos/nixpkgs/path.

    If a path in the Nix search path starts with http:// or https://, it is interpreted as the URL of a tarball that will be downloaded and unpacked to a temporary location. The tarball must consist of a single top-level directory. For example, passing

    -I nixpkgs=https://github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/archive/master.tar.gz

    tells Nix to download and use the current contents of the master branch in the nixpkgs repository.

    The URLs of the tarballs from the official nixos.org channels (see the manual page for nix-channel) can be abbreviated as channel:<channel-name>. For instance, the following two flags are equivalent:

    -I nixpkgs=channel:nixos-21.05
    -I nixpkgs=https://nixos.org/channels/nixos-21.05/nixexprs.tar.xz

    You can also fetch source trees using flake URLs and add them to the search path. For instance,

    -I nixpkgs=flake:nixpkgs

    specifies that the prefix nixpkgs shall refer to the source tree downloaded from the nixpkgs entry in the flake registry. Similarly,

    -I nixpkgs=flake:github:NixOS/nixpkgs/nixos-22.05

    makes <nixpkgs> refer to a particular branch of the NixOS/nixpkgs repository on GitHub.

  • --override-flake original-ref resolved-ref

    Override the flake registries, redirecting original-ref to resolved-ref.

  • --debug

    Set the logging verbosity level to 'debug'.

  • --log-format format

    Set the format of log output; one of raw, internal-json, bar or bar-with-logs.

  • --print-build-logs / -L

    Print full build logs on standard error.

  • --quiet

    Decrease the logging verbosity level.

  • --verbose / -v

    Increase the logging verbosity level.

Miscellaneous global options

  • --help

    Show usage information.

  • --offline

    Disable substituters and consider all previously downloaded files up-to-date.

  • --option name value

    Set the Nix configuration setting name to value (overriding nix.conf).

  • --refresh

    Consider all previously downloaded files out-of-date.

  • --repair

    During evaluation, rewrite missing or corrupted files in the Nix store. During building, rebuild missing or corrupted store paths.

  • --version

    Show version information.


See man nix.conf for overriding configuration settings with command line flags.