[SOLVED] Using nix-shell with old versions of holonix


To started to learn Holochain this January.
I was using this command: nix-shell https://holochain.love.
I always used version 0.0.42-alpha5.

But yesterday, a new version came up: 0.0.43-alpha1.

And the command nix-shell https://holochain.love sucked because it uses the latest version.


  • I’m a novice on Holochain, Rust and nix-shell.
  • I use dual boot (Windows and Linux). I use Linux for Holochain.




You can read (not very intelligible for a novice) on Holonix website (https://docs.holochain.love/docs/configure/) how to use nix-shell with old versions.

Here there’s a screenshoot:

I choose the github url path. How-to?

  1. Go to Holonix repository: GitHub - holochain/holonix: NixOS && Holochain. Click on branch to look for the list of all Holonix releases. I want the release release-0.0.65 (it was published 25 days ago, the version will be correct).
    IMPORTANT: The Holonix release name isn’t the same as the holochain version name.

  2. Go to the terminal, then run this command: nix-shell https://github.com/holochain/holonix/archive/<your release name>.tar.gz.
    In my case, the command I use is: nix-shell https://github.com/holochain/holonix/archive/release-0.0.65.tar.gz.

  3. Finally, you will be able to use the correct versions of holochain, hc, sim2h_server and trycp_server. For my understanding, the Holonix release has all these 4 packages included.
    Try to run these commands holochain -V or hc -V to check if you get the correct version.

PS: I’ve tried to use nix-shell with local package tar.gz (from assets that are in Releases · holochain/holochain-rust · GitHub). But it hasn’t worked (some mistake I don’t know yet :thinking:)

hi @guillem you cannot use the binaries on github in addition to the binaries in nix-shell, they are two separate approaches

is there something that could be improved in the documentation?

Thanks for the help, David! :grinning:

  • Which binaries?
  • How I’m trying to use at the same time binaries from github and nix-shell?
  • Which is the differences between Holochain and Holonix respositories?

(I’ve never used nix-shell neither GitHub repository assets and I understand binaries very little).

Yes. The Holo team is releasing new versions of the Holochain repository quickly. Therefore, the documentation about installation doesn’t explain how to use nix-shell with specific versions of Holochain, sim2h server… It only shows how to use the latest versions of them.

@guillem the holochain repository is for working on the source code that makes holochain work, the holonix repository is for managing a standard development environment that includes holochain in addition to a lot of other things

holochain.love points to holonix and is only updated after we have tested it heavily, the holochain release cycle is much faster and often includes bugs that need to be picked up and fixed in QA

1 Like