Nix Packages Available#

Open Dylan builds have been added to the Nix package manager. This makes Open Dylan installable from systems using Nix, or the NixOS Linux distribution, using a command like:

nix-env -i opendylan

This will download the Open Dylan binaries and use that to bootstrap a build from source.

Nix is a purely functional package manager. Different versions of packages can be installed at the same time and packages can depend on different versions of other packages. The management of these versions is handled behind the scenes by the package manager using symbolic links. This enables doing things like installing multiple Open Dylan versions at the same time for testing. It’s possible to set up custom Nix definitions for different Dylan versions and test bootstrapping with each version with some changes to the user Nix configuration files.

Another nice feature of Nix is that it avoids polluting the user environment with packages that are used by Open Dylan but not required for the end user. For example, gcc, mps and boehmgc are used by Open Dylan but they are not visible to the user after installing the Open Dylan package via Nix. The PATH for dylan-compiler has these available for internal usage but the PATH for the users profile does not.

Chris Double’s pull request to add Open Dylan was merged and should be available now in the unstable Nix channel. You will need to be on the unstable channel and update with nix-channel --update to be able to install Open Dylan.

Many thanks to Chris Double for his work on this!