asdf: The Best Version Manager

What's the best version manager today? asdf.

What is a Version Manager

Manage what? Runtimes. So, I guess it's a runtime version manager.

What's a runtime? A platform you build and/or run your code on, like Node.js, Ruby or Java.

For a version manager, you'd usually be talking about something like "Node.js Version Manager" and get nvm. Or "Ruby Version Manager" and get rvm.

In the case of asdf, you get to manage hundreds of runtimes. See:

❯ asdf plugin list all | wc -l

And the best thing: You get a common interface for all of these runtimes. The same commands you'd use to install and use a version of nodejs will be the same commands that you use for python, etc.

Throw away your other version managers, install asdf, and get started.


asdf - see all available commands

asdf plugin list all - see available runtimes

asdf plugin add babashka - add the ability to install a particular runtime (eg, babashka)

asdf list all babashka - show all versions of a particular runtime that you could install

asdf install babashka 1.3.184 - install a particular version of your runtime

asdf local babashka 1.3.184 - set a version of the runtime to use in your project (generates a .tool-versions file)

asdf global babashka 1.3.184 - set a version of the runtime to use globally (in absence of .tool-versions)

asdf current - see what runtime versions you're using at the current path

It's a little different than the varied interfaces of other runtime version managers, but once accustomed, you'll get many miles from this one.