Farid Zakaria's Blog

on Farid Zakaria's Blog

NixOS; what's in a rebuild?

I have been using Nix but mainly through home-manager on my Debian system; finally I made the plunge into running NixOS on an AWS server for my side-projects.

There’s a lot of information on how to configure & setup an already created NixOS machine but not much advice for workflows, best practices & multiple machines.

Here I’ll document what I found useful and pulling back the veil on some of the NixOS tooling.

Feel free to check my Nix repository for home-manager & NixOS https://github.com/fzakaria/nix-home

mvn2nix; welcoming Maven into Nix's warm embrace

I wrote previously about the current state of affairs for Java packaging in the Nix ecosystem; including a little blurb at the end about a little project I have been working on.

I would like to announce a beta release for mvn2nix.

You find find the similar announcement on https://discourse.nixos.org/t/mvn2nix-packaging-maven-application-made-easy/8751

Easily package your Maven Java application with the Nix package manager.

mvn2nix is my attempt & re-imagining of what a lock file type Nix Java ecosystem should look like.

quassel core on NixOS with Let's Encrypt

I have been wanting to take part of the NixOS community more; specifically the IRC channels. I have been heavily using the Discord server but I found many other contributors are only on the IRC network. ✊

#nixos #nix-community

nix coercion trick

tl;dr; If the attrset contains outPath, it can automatically be converted to a String.

caching your nix-shell

tl;dr; you can use the following invocation to cache your nix-shell

 $ nix-store --query --references $(nix-instantiate shell.nix) | \
    xargs nix-store --realise | \
    xargs nix-store --query --requisites | \
    cachix push your_cache

I have been hooked on Nix as a way to introduce reproducible development environments. However I had to introduce a shell.nix file for a project that relied on a very old version of nodejs.

Packaging a Maven application with Nix

Surprisingly for Java’s popularity, the Nix Java ecosystem is pretty immature & fragmented. There are several community driven solutions for integrating Maven (Java’s package manager) with Nix all which have their own pitfalls.

This post will go through a single idiom on how to package a Maven project in Nix that at the very least does not rely on 3rd party support: Double invoking Maven

what is bundlerEnv doing?

The Nix wiki is pretty great for a lot of technical content however it sometimes fails to gently walk users through how something works.

I’ve been doing some Ruby work as part of my day-to-day job and wanted to better understand Nix’s approach to Ruby.

setting up a Nix S3 binary cache

If you just want a very easy-to-use binary cache, consider using cachix.

Nix is an amazing tool, however the learning curve can be very high. The online wiki has a lot of great documentation however I find it is often very geared towards NixOS specifically.

I wanted to better understand how to setup my own binary cache.

my love letter to redo

This is a public love letter to redo & the joy it brings building software.

I remember when I first finished The Little Schemer and wrote my first semi useful “JSON Diff” program. I was exalted. I was elated. I was ecstatic.

There is something magical when you learn Lisp that is really tough to convey over a blog post or short article. One must try it, to grok it.

I have not professionally used Lisp much since however it’s been immensely impactful in the way I think about & construct software.

Redo is this for build systems.

Containers from first principles

You’ve likely heard everyone at the office or online proclaim that “K8s has eaten everyone’s lunch!” or that “everything should be in a docker container!”.

While there are advantages to the above methodologies; it’s very easy to have cargo-culted their adoption; especially for Kubernetes (K8s). I find the biggest problem however that there is a fundamental lacking of what is a *container.

There s a 1000 other posts online explaining containers and I’m adding my own to the pool. Perhaps this 1001th explanation will do so in such a way that it groks.