Composer plugin to help with Nix packaging, temporary fork of stephank/composer-plugin-nixify

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2.0.7 2022-06-27 21:17 UTC

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Last update: 2024-06-27 00:25:43 UTC



Generates a Nix expression to build a Composer project.

  • A default configure-phase that runs composer install in your project. (May be all that's needed to build your project.)

  • A default install-phase that creates executables for you based on "bin" in your composer.json, making your package readily installable.

  • Granular fetching of dependencies in Nix, speeding up rebuilds and potentially allowing downloads to be shared between projects.

  • Preloading of your Composer cache into the Nix store, speeding up local nix-build.

  • Automatically keeps your Nix expression up-to-date as you composer require / composer update dependencies.

  • No Nix installation required for the plugin itself, so it should be safe to add to your project even if some developers don't use Nix.

Related projects:

  • composer2nix: Does a similar job, but as a separate command. By comparison, this plugin tries to automate the process and make things easy for Nix and non-Nix devs alike.

  • yarn-plugin-nixify: Similar solution for Node.js with Yarn v2.


The Nixify plugin should work fine with Composer versions all the way back to 1.3.0, and also supports Composer 2.0.

To use the plugin:

# Install the plugin
composer require stephank/composer-plugin-nixify

# Build your project with Nix

Running Composer with this plugin enabled will generate two files:

  • composer-project.nix: This file is always overwritten, and contains a basic derivation for your project.

  • default.nix: Only generated if it does not exist yet. This file is intended to be customized with any project-specific logic you need.

This may already build successfully! But if your project needs extra build steps, you may have to customize default.nix a bit. Some examples of what's possible:

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> { } }:


  # Example of providing a different source tree.
  src = pkgs.lib.cleanSource ./.;

  project = pkgs.callPackage ./composer-project.nix {

    # Example of selecting a specific version of PHP.
    php = pkgs.php74;

  } src;

in project.overrideAttrs (oldAttrs: {

  # Example of overriding the default package name taken from composer.json.
  name = "myproject";

  # Example of adding packages to the build environment.
  buildInputs = oldAttrs.buildInputs ++ [ pkgs.imagemagick ];

  # Example of invoking a build step in your project.
  buildPhase = ''
    composer run lint



Some additional settings are available which can be set in the "extra" object in your composer.json:

  • nix-expr-path can be set to customize the path where the Nixify plugin writes composer-project.nix. For example, if you're also using Niv in your project, you may prefer to set this to nix/composer-project.nix.

  • generate-default-nix can be set to false to disable generating a default.nix. This file is only generated if it doesn't exist yet, but this flag can be useful if you don't want a default.nix at all.

  • enable-nix-preload can be set to false to disable preloading Composer cache into the Nix store. This preloading is intended to speed up a local nix-build, because Nix will not have to download dependencies again. Preloading does mean another copy of dependencies on disk, even if you don't do local Nix builds, but the size is usually not an issue on modern disks.