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Nix helpers for Clojure projects

STATUS: alpha.


The main goal of the project is to reduce the friction between Clojure and Nix. Nix is a great tool to build and deploy software, but Clojure is not well supported in the Nix ecosystem.

clj-nix tries to improve the situation, providing Nix helpers to interact with Clojure projects

The main difficulty of packaging a Clojure application with Nix is that the derivation is restricted from performing any network request. But Clojure does network requests to resolve the dependency tree. Some network requests are done by Maven, since Clojure uses Maven under the hood. On the other hand, since git deps were introduced, Clojure also access the network to resolve the git dependencies.

A common solution to this problem are lock files. A lock file is a snapshot of the entire dependency tree, usually generated the first time we install the dependencies. Subsequent installations will use the lock file to install exactly the same version of every dependency. Knowing beforehand all the dependencies, we can download and cache all of them, avoiding network requests during the build phase with Nix.

Ideally, we could reuse a lock file generated by Maven or Clojure itself, but lock files are not popular in the JVM/Maven ecosystem. For that reason, clj-nix provides a way to create a lock file from a deps.edn file. Creating a lock file is a prerequisite to use the Nix helpers provided by clj-nix


  • Create a binary from a clojure application
  • Create an optimized JDK runtime to execute the clojure binary
  • Create GraalVM native images from a clojure application
  • Simplify container creation for a Clojure application
  • Run any arbitrary clojure command at Nix build time (like clj -T:build or clj -M:test)

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