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


nix store cat - print the contents of a file in the Nix store on stdout


nix store cat [option...] path


  • Show the contents of a file in a binary cache:

    # nix store cat --store https://cache.nixos.org/ \
        /nix/store/0i2jd68mp5g6h2sa5k9c85rb80sn8hi9-hello-2.10/bin/hello | hexdump -C | head -n1
    00000000  7f 45 4c 46 02 01 01 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |.ELF............|


This command prints on standard output the contents of the regular file path in a Nix store. path can be a top-level store path or any file inside a store path.


  • --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    Consider all previously downloaded files out-of-date.

  • --version

    Show version information.


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