Homebrew

Package manager for installing developer tools on OS X

There are a few steps to setting this up, but it's worth it. Once you have Homebrew, installing other stuff is much easier.

Setting up Homebrew

1. Before you start

You'll need to have a recent XCode on your machine for Homebrew to work.

  1. Install or upgrade XCode using the Mac App Store (direct link). This might take a while.
  2. Open XCode, accept the licence agreement, then quit XCode.

Also, take ownership of the /usr/local directory (inside which Homebrew needs full access) with this command:

$ sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local

2. Install Homebrew

  1. Go to brew.sh and follow the instructions to install it.
  2. Run brew doctor to diagnose any potential problems with how your system is set up. Try to follow its instructions to fix any problems. (Ask for help if needed.)

3. Activate Homebrew Cask

While brew is generally used for installing command line tools and other technical things, brew cask is for installing regular Mac apps like Firefox and Slack.

To activate Cask:

$ brew tap caskroom/cask

What does Homebrew Cask do?

It allows you to install lots of Mac apps from the command line, like this:

$ brew cask install firefox

More information: caskroom.io

Using Homebrew

The main things to know:

  • it's a good idea to run brew update before running brew install XXXXX. This downloads any recent formula changes from Homebrew (and these changes are happening all the time).

  • running brew doctor can help diagnose issues with your system.

The Homebrew repo has lots more documentation.