proto is a pluggable version manager, a unified toolchain.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a toolchain, a toolchain is a collection of tools that are downloaded, installed, and managed by version through a single interface. In the context of proto's toolchain, a tool is either a programming language, a dependency/package manager for a language, or a custom implementation provided by a plugin. It's the next step in the version manager evolution.
proto was designed to be a modern and holistic version manager for all of your favorite programming languages. We believe a single tool that works the same across every language is better than multiple ad-hoc tools. While we only support a handful of languages today, we aim to support many more in the future!
proto powers moon's toolchain, enabling a single source of truth for both tools!
- Lightspeed! With Rust and WASM, we can guarantee exceptional performance.
- Multi-language. A single CLI for managing versions for all of your languages.
- Cross-platform, for a consistent experience across machines and teams.
- Contextual version detection, ensuring the correct version of a tool is always used.
- Checksum verification, ensuring a tool came from a trusted source.
- Detects and infers from a language's ecosystem for maximum compatibility.
- Pluggable architecture, allowing for custom tooling.
How does it work?
The toolchain is a
.proto directory within the current user's home directory, e.g.,
The first step in a tool's life-cycle is being downloaded to
~/.proto/temp. Downloads are
typically an archive that can be unpacked into a target directory. Once downloaded, we verify the
downloaded file by running a checksum. If this check fails for any reason, the tool is unusable,
and the process is aborted.
After a successful verification, the last step in the tool's life-cycle can begin, installation.
Depending on the type of download, the installation process may differ. For archives, we unpack the
~/.proto/tools/<name>/<version>. In the future, we'll support building from source.
From here, we make these tools globally available by prepending
PATH (typically as part of your shell profile). Continue reading for more about these folders.
proto is powered the by industry standard concept of shims. For each tool installed in proto, a shim
file will exist at
~/.proto/shims/<tool>. Shims are not symlinks to the tool's binary, but are
thin wrappers around
proto run, enabling
automatic version detection on every invocation!
If you'd prefer to not use shims, remove the
~/.proto/shims directory from
PATH in your shell
Alternatively, we also support a non-shim based approach, which creates symlinks to a tool's primary
executable. For each tool installed in proto, a symlink will exist at
The version of a tool that's symlinked is not dynamic, and is manually created by pinning the
chosen version with
proto install --pin. This also happens
automatically the first time a tool is installed.
Because proto is written in Rust, we only support targets that are explicitly compiled for, which are currently:
|Linux 64-bit||Intel GNU|
|Linux 64-bit||Intel musl|
- Linux ARM support.
- Build from source for existing languages.
- New languages.