How do we see a list of available nixpkg channels?

Is there a command that lists available channels?

Eventually I discovered that I could visit the Channels for NixOS project(s) to see the list in my browser, but I was thinking there would be a command to do so, but the manual doesn’t seem to say.

I’ve never head of a command to list them, there’s two rather quick ways off the top of my head though:

git ls-remote -h

and this:

curl -s | jq '.[].name'

Hope that helps.


That makes sense if you know about those URLs and how they work. I think a simple nix command would be great.


Fundamentally, nix is a decentralized system, in the same way as git. The nix tool itself doesn’t treat nixpkgs channels from specially, in the same way that git doesn’t treat github specially; it just happens to be a centralized community convention to group common nix expressions there, but they can come from anywhere – e.g., you can make your own private channels, cachix channels, Nix User Repository channels, and so on.

This is why the nix tool itself doesn’t have a “list all channels” command, just like git doesn’t have a “list all repos I could clone” command: it doesn’t know where they are, and there’s no centralized exhaustive list it can query. It might be nice to have some kind of wrapper like hub, though, for the common ones.


Nice. Makes sense. I suppose there is indeed an “official” list of channels; “official channels”. I’ll propose some updates to the manual to make this more obvious for total newbs like me. :slight_smile:


Alright, I opened a pull request to add a links to the official channels in the manual: