Getting to know Homebrew

I’ve always heard about homebrew for the longest time, specially when installing new software. So far I’ve used it blindly since when I was getting into a new technology, it never seemed the best of times to get introduced to yet another tool (sometimes that rabbit hole can go on endlessly).



Homebrew is said to be the easiest and most flexible way to install UNIX tools and the perfect replacement for MacPort. I can’t personally endorse homebrew versus other options (since I haven’t tried them) but I can say that homebrew makes installing packages really easy.

Homebrew will do one of two things when trying to install a new package, it will either install the binaries if available or compile from source code so you have a fresh, custom setup (therefore the word homebrew).

About packages

Package is a term that refers to software that’s distributed as an assembly of files and other meta-information (such as sw version, dependencies, etc). When installing a package Homebrew will not only install the software in question but also all it’s dependencies. #win

But, do I need it?

For easiness and comfort you do. It is also the recommended way to install many tools that I’m sure you need (or will need):

  • git
  • wget
  • rsync
  • markdown
  • mysql & sqlite
  • node.js


After setup, homebrew is a one liner for all your installs

brew install foo

What about updates

A nice side benefit of homebrew is that it will keep track of all the packages that it has intalled for you and allow for super-easy updtes:

brew update

That’s it. Done.

March 22, 2012 ☼ codegithomebrewmacport