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Hermes is a software environment manager used for installing and uninstalling collections of software. Hermes may be considered similar to a package manager, but certainly works quite differently from traditional tools in this space.

Hermes helps with tasks similar to other tools like homebrew or perhaps docker, but in a totally different way. For those who know Nix and Guix, things will be familiar, but there are also some key differences.

So what does it do?

When using Hermes your entire software stack is defined and saved in a set of package definitions along side the rest of your source code. This means Hermes gives you strict reproducible control over your entire software stack. With a single command you can reliably (and quickly) rebuild a development environment, deployment, docker image or vm image entirely from source.

With Hermes you can also share, review, clone, fork, patch and pin your whole software stack the same way you do with your existing source code.

Hermes also provides some nifty features:

  • A decentralized packaging model.
  • Easy installation of software over URLS.
  • Easy transfer of software environments between computers.
  • Avoidance of version conflicts with already installed software.
  • Installing software from source code.
  • Strong support for software auditability.
  • Transparent build caching.
  • Remote package builds.
  • Remote deployments.
  • Atomic upgrades and rollback.
  • and more...

What does using Hermes look like?

Does Hermes replace my language package manager like npm,jpm,cargo,pip... ?


Hermes can be used to manage the system level dependencies during software development while still using these tools normally. For example you could install a specific C compiler and libcurl with hermes, but just invoke npm as normal for your javascript project.

During deployment of your software you can invoke these tools from within package definitions to build your software in a well defined sandbox. These packages can then be deployed to remote machines using 'hermes cp'.

Does Hermes replace my system package manager?


Hermes packages are totally separate from your system packages. When you enter a hermes environment, your PATH and other environment variables are set to paths within the hermes package store.

Hermes does not care what other package managers you use, and does not install packages in the traditional /bin path so will not conflict with them.

How can you help?

  • Give hermes and hpkgs a star on github.
  • Donate to the project to keep it sustainable and show interest.