NixCon 2023

09-08, 11:50–12:15 (Europe/Berlin), Lecture hall (Room 122)

For almost 20 years now, adding a new package to Nixpkgs required editing the all-packages.nix file, which grew to over 40000 barely-sorted lines this year. In addition, an appropriate place for your package definition had to be found in the loosely-categorised pkgs hierarchy. Especially with the recent growth of Nix, this has been a frequent cause of confusion for new contributors.

However, in the months leading up to NixCon, this is all changing with the acceptance of RFC 140, originally designed by the new Nixpkgs Architecture Team. This proposal allows most new packages to be added by simply creating a new directory in the right place with a name matching the desired attribute name.

In this talk I will go over the new package contribution process, along with its limitations, historical context, interesting implementation details and future work.

Do you allow your talk to be recorded? – yes What level of experience in Nix is the talk addressed to?


Silvan is working at Tweag, where he can spend all his time for open-source Nix contributions. He specializes in Nixpkgs architecture, NixOS modules and state-of-the-art improvements.