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Mac Technology

Brew: Package manager for macOS

In the last few days I have rebuilt my computer due to some thoughts and wanted to deal more with the topic of package manager under macOS as well. That’s why you can always expect an article about brew.sh here in the coming days.

What is brew.sh?

A package manager similar to apt on Debian systems. Put simply, it’s a kind of app store, only with multiple sources of supply, update mechanisms, and just on the shell.

Why does this make sense?

We use many programs on the Mac. Partly from the Mac App Store, but also from the Internet, for example. Google Chrome, Spotify and co. It makes sense to get, install, uninstall and also update all these things from one place (which is not the Mac App Store).

When you delete applications again, you’ve learned to just drag them to the trash; then they’re gone. That’s true at first, but you’re left with heaps of cache files and other stuff on your Mac that you also don’t need anymore. There are tools to find them and also clean them up, e.g. CleanMyMac or AppCleaner.

When using brew, this content is also removed cleanly, since the package installation logs where data is placed.

The installation

  • Open the website https://brew.sh
  • Copy the following command (may be more current on the website there, but has not been wrong the last few years):
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"
  • Paste this command into your terminal. You will be asked for your password.

During the installation, the Xcode Command Line Tools will be downloaded, you may receive a notification for available updates in the System Preferences. Just ignore them and run everything in the terminal.

After installation

Consider briefly whether you are okay with anonymized statistics about your usage behavior being shared with the authors of brew.sh. Here is some more information.

If you don’t like that, you can disable the collection of statistics with this command. Of course you have to enter it in your terminal again:

brew analytics off

Install the first package

The first steps have been taken and now it’s time to get down to business. Which package do you want to install? I personally use a web browser the most, I have Safari (included by default), Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox installed. I’ll show you how in the next article.

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