A content addressable store for Nix with Théophane Hufschmitt


December 1st, 2020

36 mins 42 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, Rok Garbas interviews Théophane Hufschmitt who is implementing a content addressed storage for Nix. Théophane explains why this feature is so useful to have for build systems and why he started working on it. He also gives a glimpse into what working with the core Nix C++ codebase feels like.

Nix packages are usually addressed by the hashes of all build inputs from which they are derived and not by their content, the build output. This makes a lot of sense for a package manager because we can identify and retrieve a package precisely by the sources, build instructions and dependencies that it corresponds to. However, there are situations where it is advantageous to access a package by content. For example, to avoid unnecessary recomputations when packages produce the same build outputs even when their build inputs vary - a feature called early cutoff.

More information in the links below!

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