Beta launch: Nix packaging as a service

I don’t think Numtide offering this service will necessarily affect independent freelance developers who produce nix packages. Numtide has the advantage of a reputation and experience, where a freelance developer would have to bid lower on price. The consumer chooses what is best for them, and anyone providing value in the long run does well.

TL;DR: We are shutting down I still believe my hypothesis is valid, but the format didn’t work.

Since many people participated, I wanted to share some lessons we learned. Maybe there is something you can do with the data we accumulated.


We launched in October last year with this hypothesis: missing packages are a substantial roadblock for companies to adopt Nix. By offering a service dedicated to this, we could make that journey easier.


We thought the process should be simple: fill out a form, get a quote, approve, and get the package.

Since building estimates are complex and require experience, we would start by packaging every credible request. And use the recorded time to generate the quote.

Some data

First, some numbers:

  • Requests received: 35
  • End-user requests: 15
  • Spam: 10
  • Sale: 4

We received many requests at the start, and then it died down. In January / February, we still received ~2-3 end-user requests per month without advertising, so there is demand.

How it went

We had two big challenges:

The overhead for each package request was high. Qualify the requests, assign each ticket to a team member, do the packaging to generate the quote, publish the package, and reply to post-sale support requests.

It didn’t fit our culture and team structure. We are a group of independent contractors who build relationships with our customers, understand their context, and cater to their needs. This was a bit too robotic and required too much internal coordination. This also means that we weren’t good at following up with emails.

There were other issues, such as receiving so many end-user requests and figuring out the pricing, but those above were the two main ones that made it unviable for us.

Where to go from there

Packaging is not going away for us, but it works best if we make it part of a full onboarding journey at Get in touch. That way, we can understand the context and make good suggestions. Or pair with your team and do the packaging while teaching.

I still think there is potential for a packaging-only product. If you are passionate about it and want to try it, I’m happy to give you or the community the domain.