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Juliaup is the next generation version manager for Julia

Soc Virnyl Estela | 2023-05-16 | reading time: ~3min

The Julia programming language has gained more improvements over the years. The latest version as of writing is 1.9.0 - one of the biggest improvements of Julia in the 1.x series. Hoping more to come!

What is Juliaup?§

juliaup is a version manager for Julia much like pyenv or rbenv. It's functionality closely aligns with rustup.

If you want to know more, check out their github repository at https://github.com/JuliaLang/juliaup.

Why should you use Juliaup?§

The usual way of downloading release binaries at the official website is not really much of a hassle. However, downloading different versions of Julia can take more time to browse around.

There are two version managers for Julia: jill.py and juliaup.

As you may have noticed, jill.py is a python script that installs Julia and juliaup is written in Rust. I cannot compare their differences as I never tried the former. I suggest you try either one of them.

Installing a Julia release channel in juliaup is quite easy. To check available channels, you run juliaup list. To add a channel, say 1.5.0, you run juilaup add 1.5.1. To make a channel the default, you run juliaup default 1.5.0.

For me, you should use juliaup since it includes features such as the ability to run a version (as long as it is added) using their own Julia caller called julialauncher. You can symlink or alias that as julia. For example, if you want to run version 1.6.0, you can do so by running julialauncher +1.6.0 or julia +1.6.0.

There is plan in the future releases to make a duplicate launcher of julialauncher that is called julia. I do believe it will just add more confusion though. I just symlink it instead. But that is because juliaup has not been hosted yet on crates.io. See issue #639.

Anything to improve?§

I think a feature I want to have in juliaup is this one - https://github.com/JuliaLang/juliaup/issues/10. I do think that the idea of having juliaup.toml in the root directory of a project is convenient. Rust does that with rust-toolchain.toml. But again, it is up to debate because there were some issues of maybe duplicating the functionality of Project.toml and Manifest.toml and selecting the version inside those two configuration files mitigates that issue rather than using juliaup.toml. The workaround for now is to use the JULIAUP_CHANNEL environmental variable with direnv or whatever env "manipulation" tool you use.

Again, if you want to explore juliaup, you can do so by checking first the repository at https://github.com/JuliaLang/juliaup.

If you use openSUSE, just run sudo zypper in juliaup and you are good to go.

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