Extensible version manager - ASDF - for the rescuervm/rbench/nvm/etc under one roof
I have been using
rvm for a long time to manage per project ruby versions (and appropriate gemsets as well). While that works really well for ruby, it doesn’t solve for other run-times.
node.js for example. While I am not a front-end developer, node is a frequent dependency for building JS for Rails as well as Phoenix. Some people solve the issue with bunch of Docker containers, but that feel clumsy and slow for local development.
Fortunately, there is a project called asdf. It can replace
rvm as well as
nvm (node) or even
virtualenv (Python) and much more – check available plugins.
Installation is very simple, just follow documentation. When done, you want to install plugins. For example:
asdf plugin-add ruby asdf plugin-add elixir asdf plugin-add python asdf plugin-add erlang asdf plugin-add golang asdf plugin-add yarn
You can update plugins with
asdf plugin-update --all
and you can also update
Having plugin installed is not yet sufficient for your work. You also need to install the appropriate version of your vm you want to use. For example, you can get all available ruby versions with
asdf list-all ruby
when you pick one, you want to install, you need to invoke
asdf install <plugin> <version>. For example:
asdf install ruby 2.6.5
After you have installed particular version, you can set it as your default with
asdf global ruby 2.6.5
or you can set it “per project” with
asdf local ruby 2.6.5
Commands above will write to file
.tool-versions. Global variant will use fire in your home directory, while local one uses current directory. Local configuration has precedence, thus you can define different versions per project.
You can verify your current active version with
asdf current # or for the particular plugin asdf current ruby
Shim is used instead of binary installed by a library. This sometimes break and you need to reshim your binaries. For example
gem install middleman # will install Middleman asdf reshim ruby # fixes ruby shims which middleman # $HOME/.asdf/shims/middleman
Legacy version files
You man want to add
legacy_version_file = yes to your
~/.asdfrc as that will instruct asdf to follow classic version files. Such as
rvm has a feature called gemset, which allows for separation of installed gems per environment.
asdf doesn’t have such support (asdf#312, asdf-ruby#25). But I have found that I don’t really miss them at all as all of my projects are using
There is a neat feature of
asdf-ruby though – you can list gems, which will get installed to every Ruby version, by placing them to
$HOME/.default-gems. For example:
asdf works great so far and I am super happy with it. It significantly simplified my workflow in projects depending on multiple languages (e.g. Elixir + node).