Where did the name "proto" come from?
We wanted to keep with the space theme, and spent quite some time digging through Wikipedia and ultimately landed on the page for protostar (this is why our logo's a star). We really liked the definition of protostar, as it basically means "the beginning phase of a star". Even the the prefix proto means "first" or "earliest form of".
This was great as that's the impression we had in mind for our tool. proto is the first piece required for setting up your developer environment. The toolchain is the first layer in the foundation.
From an aesthetic standpoint, proto's typography works well with moon and moonbase, as most of the letters are circle shaped. Double points for proto having two o's like the other products!
Are you worried about confusion with other tools like protobufs?
Will you support more languages?
Yes! We'd love to support as many as possible, and if you'd like to help, join our Discord community! Feel free to create a plugin in the mean time.
Will you support other kinds of tools?
No, we will only support languages, dependency managers, and CLIs, which should be enough. However, you can create a plugin to support other kinds of tools.
Will you support "build from source"?
In the future we have plans to support building from source. For the time being, proto is built around pre-built archives for easier portability.
How can I install a global package for a language?
You can install a global with the
proto install-global command. Most
languages install a global to a shared location regardless of the language's version (Deno is
~/.deno/bin, Rust is
~/.cargo/bin, etc), so globals can also be installed outside of proto
using language specific commands.
The exception to this is Node.js (and npm, pnpm, yarn). Each of these tools install global packages
differently, and some are tied to the parent tools version. So if you install a new language
version, you lose your global packages. We suggest using
proto install-global for all Node.js
packages, which installs everything to a shared location,
also need to manually add these global directories to your
However, if you'd prefer to use the native non-proto workflow, you can disable the globals intercept
How to run a canary release after installing it?
Once a tool has been installed with
--canary, the canary version can be explicitly referenced
using our version detection rules. The easiest approach is to prefix the shim with an
$ PROTO_BUN_VERSION=canary bun ./index.ts
Or to explicitly configure the version in
bun = "canary"
OS is unable to find an installed binary, how to resolve?
To start, ensure that proto's binaries directory (
~/.proto/bin) is listed first on
takes precedence over other binaries of the same name that may collide.
Secondly, proto is powered entirely through shims, which means on Windows, we do not provide
binaries, and instead use
.cmd. If you're attempting to run a script that uses a hard-coded binary
node.exe, this won't work in proto. You'll need to remove the
.exe and simply run
node instead. Windows will use the
PATHEXT environment variable to find the appropriate
extension, which includes
.cmd by default.