List available services and their options

Is there a command to list all available services and their options, preferably in a machine-readable format? I know about nix search --json, for example, but that only seems to search for packages.

Have you looked at nixos-option?

From the manpage and the program’s behavior, it seems to only inspect the current configuration. I’d like to have a list of all services, even those not currently enabled by me.
There is this service listing all the options on a website, how is that generated?

Erm…it does show you the current status on your system but it also shows the full doc for the service/program even if it isn’t configured.

nixos-option services - returns a list of all the available services.
nixos-option services.zookeeper - returns a list of everything that can be set for zookeeper
nixos-option services.zookeeper.service provides the full doc for that specific option

Am I misunderstanding what you are wanting?


Is man 5 configuration.nix or this appendix of the NixOS manual good enough?


You can list all options using

$ curl | jq keys

Or better in a local clone of the Nixpkgs repo

$ nix-build nixos/release.nix -A options
$ jq keys < result/share/doc/nixos/options.json

Of course, the JSON also contains various other information about the options.


Thanks guys for your excellent replies, problem solved!

Hi @pimiddy, I would be interrested in which of the above options solved the task that you were trying to do.
Would you mind sharing?

Thanks in advance.

@mkroehnert Absolutely! So, nixos-options turned out to be a dead-end for me. It does list all available options, but not in a form that’s readily machine-readable. It also crashes on unknown CLI options, which leads me to believe not much work is being done on this tool (or QA standards are extremely low).

man 5 configuration.nix is, of course, also not machine-readable.

So I went with downloading and parsing the options.json file. Parsing JSON is easy enough, and with some minimal post-processing you can group options into services. It’s still rather meant for human consumption (as seen by the type field) and I’d love a command-based solution so I don’t have to drag around this huge JSON file, but for now, this is fine.

In case you’re asking my use-case specifically, I’m currently spending my Coronatime™ working on a graphical NixOS manager, (see here) for fun.


@pimiddy thank you very much for your detailed answer.

Okay, as of…today? This file (meaning is no longer available. Was it moved?

Edit: Nevermind. It was moved and brotli-compressed.

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Actually I think you can generate that file locally using something like the following:
nix-build -E 'with import <nixpkgs> {}; let eval = import (pkgs.path + "/nixos/lib/eval-config.nix") { modules = []; }; opts = (nixosOptionsDoc { options = eval.options; }).optionsJSON; in runCommandLocal "options.json" { inherit opts; } "cp $opts/share/doc/nixos/options.json $out" '
Someone with better knowledge of nixpkgs can probably say, if that is a sound way to do things…