mix - The software project management tool

MIX(1) General Commands Manual MIX(1)


mix — The software project management tool


mix [TASK] [project_name]
[OPTIONS] −S mix [TASK] [project_name]


mix is intended for both organizing code into projects and their maintenance. For the latter the tool offers some advanced features like dependency management, packaging, preparing documentation, testing and so on.

Have a look at the SYNOPSIS section and the second way of running mix it offers. The point is that the tool is none other than the Elixir script, therefore it can be invoked via elixir(1) in the same way as any other script. It’s useful when you want to run mix with particular options.


All the mix functionality is represented by a set of tasks. A task is a piece of code written in Elixir and intended for solving a particular problem. Like programs, many tasks accept input parameters and/or support options which slightly modify their behaviour, but others do not. There are two types of tasks: those that are available after installation this or that archive (local tasks) and those that are offered by mix (built-in tasks). The run task will be executed by default if none other has been specified.

In spite of the fact that the greater part of mix is tasks, the man page doesn’t contain the help information related to each of them because mix is self-descriptive. Thus, using the help task, you can get both the full list of local/built-in tasks and the information related to a particular task.

An archive, in terms of Erlang/OTP, is the ZIP file with the .ez extension which contains a precompiled OTP application with all its dependencies[1].

An application is an entity that helps to combine sets of components into a single unit to simplify their reusing in other systems[2].


Allows specifying the directory into which the archives should be installed (see mix help archive.install). The ˜/.mix/archives directory is used for this purpose by default.


When set, outputs debug information about each task before running it.


Allows specifying which environment should be used. The dev environment is used by default if none other has been specified.

Sometimes you have to use a particular set of configuration parameter values or perform particular steps when you compile or run a project (or in some other cases). The mix environments allow grouping values of configuration parameters and steps to switch between them by specifying the necessary environment via MIX_ENV.


Allows specifying which target should be used. The host target is used by default if none other has been specified.


Allows changing the full path to the mix.exs file (see FILES section). The most obvious use case is to have more than one copy of mix.exs in a project, but it’s worth noting that MIX_EXS should be used only if the mix environments (see above) are not enough to solve the problem.


path to Mix’s home directory, stores configuration files and scripts used by Mix


Specifies directory where Mix.install/2 keeps installs cache


Runs Mix.install/2 with empty install cache


Allows expanding the code path. If the MIX_PATH environment variable has a value which consists of multiple paths, they must be colon-separated (for Unix-like operating systems) or semicolon-separated (for Windows).

As mentioned above, there are two types of tasks: local and built-in. These tasks are always visible for mix because the directories, in which they are located, are a part of code path. If a task belongs to neither the one type nor the other, MIX_PATH helps you say to mix where it should search the task.


When set, does not print information messages to the terminal.


Contains the most significant information related to the project, such as its name, version, list of dependencies and so on. As a rule, the file is named mix.exs and located at the top of the project’s source tree, but you can change the full path to it using the MIX_EXS environment variable (see the ENVIRONMENT section).


Allows locking down the project dependencies with a proper version range before performing any updates. It is useful when you know that your project is incompatible with newer versions of certain dependencies. The file is located at the top of the project’s source tree as well as mix.exs (see above).

[1] https://www.erlang.org/doc/man/code.html#id103620

[2] https://www.erlang.org/doc/design_principles/applications.html


elixir(1), elixirc(1), iex(1)

Elixir is maintained by The Elixir Team.

This manual page was contributed by Evgeny Golyshev.

Copyright (c) 2012 Plataformatec.

Copyright (c) 2021 The Elixir Team.

Main website: https://elixir-lang.org

Documentation: https://elixir-lang.org/docs.html GNU May 27, 2015 MIX(1)

Updated 2024-01-29 - jenkler.se | uex.se