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    Neat! Having to patch binaries to run them was always one of the most painful parts of NixOS and the major deal breaker every time I talked about it to friends and other people. Having some automated way to patch them would help a lot!

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      Does nix have something similar to the python context managers, that deletes packages after the operation is done?

      For example:

      with install(cerbot) as cb:
          cb update certificate
      # at this point certbot is uninstalled
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        I have this function in my shell config:

        using () {
                nix-shell -p $1 --run zsh

        That lets me run using nmap in my terminal, and it will be installed and available as long as that terminal is open.

        It’s not eagerly uninstalled, but I know that I can run nix garbage-collect if I ever want to cleanup tools that I’m not using regularly, and in the meantime using will pick it up automatically.

        I find this super helpful for one-off utilities, it’s effectively npx for the shell in general.

        It would be pretty trivial to extend this command to remove the package after zsh exits though!

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          Yes! nix-shell -p python3 python3Packages.requests python3Packages.pip python3Packages.readchar python3Packages.jinja2 will open up a shell that contains python3 and all those libraries, when you exit the shell everything is “uninstalled” from your system. This is exactly what I do to avoid cluttering my machine with binaries and libraries I only use once. It’s also very useful to workaround our universe of conflicting software packages, for example if you have to run some scripts in python2 and others in python3.

          I say “uninstalled” because, in reality, there’s a big cache so data isn’t actually deleted for a while.

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            It will not remove it from disk, but it will remove it from the environment (so you will now be able to call it) with nix-shell.