Lockable HTTP Tarball Protocol

Tarball flakes can be served as regular tarballs via HTTP or the file system (for file:// URLs). Unless the server implements the Lockable HTTP Tarball protocol, it is the responsibility of the user to make sure that the URL always produces the same tarball contents.

An HTTP server can return an "immutable" HTTP URL appropriate for lock files. This allows users to specify a tarball flake input in flake.nix that requests the latest version of a flake (e.g. https://example.org/hello/latest.tar.gz), while flake.lock will record a URL whose contents will not change (e.g. https://example.org/hello/<revision>.tar.gz). To do so, the server must return an HTTP Link header with the rel attribute set to immutable, as follows:

Link: <flakeref>; rel="immutable"

(Note the required < and > characters around flakeref.)

flakeref must be a tarball flakeref. It can contain the tarball flake attributes narHash, rev, revCount and lastModified. If narHash is included, its value must be the NAR hash of the unpacked tarball (as computed via nix hash path). Nix checks the contents of the returned tarball against the narHash attribute. The rev and revCount attributes are useful when the tarball flake is a mirror of a fetcher type that has those attributes, such as Git or GitHub. They are not checked by Nix.

Link: <https://example.org/hello/442793d9ec0584f6a6e82fa253850c8085bb150a.tar.gz
  &narHash=sha256-GUm8Uh/U74zFCwkvt9Mri4DSM%2BmHj3tYhXUkYpiv31M%3D>; rel="immutable"

(The linebreaks in this example are for clarity and must not be included in the actual response.)

For tarball flakes, the value of the lastModified flake attribute is defined as the timestamp of the newest file inside the tarball.