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How to get started with Homebrew package manager for macOS

Mac administrators and power users can take advantage of much of their Homebrew installation workflows by learning how to manage packages on devices via CLI.


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Homebrew is a third-party package leader that macOS administrators never knew they needed until they first deployed it to realize what they̵

7;ve missed. Posted on Ruby and using GitHub, the lightweight package manager works in the same way as the original package manager found in Linux distributions, such as apt-get to download installations, update apps and add repositories where developers can safely add their command-line management apps .

SEE: Top 5 Programming Languages ​​for System Administrators to Learn (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

From the initial installation process, administrators get the clear sense of how easy administration even Homebrew can be with its only command line execution that makes the ball roll. From there, you show the syntax used with the Homebrew management, when invoking the command for brewing. New users should definitely go through this to familiarize themselves with some basic commands before proceeding further.

What is the difference between formula, taps, bottle, barrel, barrel, and cellar?

In line with the beer theme, Homebrew uses a series of syntax based on the established theme, each with its own unique meaning.

  • Formula: This defines the package to be installed and written in Ruby.
  • Barrel: This is the installation prefix of a Formula (source).
  • Basement: The basement is the standard location where all barrels are installed.
  • Cranes: Refers to the third-party Git archive for a formula (app).
  • Bottle: Similar to a barrel, except already precompiled.
  • Fade: This is an extension of Homebrew used to install binary apps.

SEE: How to install Homebrew package manager for macOS with one command (TechRepublic)

I’m familiar with the terminology, where do I start with Homebrew?

After installing Homebrew, you should update it (and the formulas):

brew update 

With the app itself updated, find out which apps are outdated:

brew outdated 

To upgrade all outdated apps:

brew upgrade 

If there are certain versions of an app you want to keep and not update / upgrade:

brew pin 

In case an app uses a pinned app as an add-on, Homebrew will not upgrade the non-pinned app, as it never compiles applications with outdated code. To resolve this, the attached app must first be released:

brew unpin 

Why was an app I used no longer available or disabled?

Developers can delete or disable a formula (app) for a number of reasons. From there, unsolved problems are no longer supported. There are some ways to check for information on why this happened.

brew log 

Can more files be added to Homebrew?

Yes! By searching GitHub, administrators can find applications that are not part of the core repo. To add a new repository:

brew tap 

Repositories can also exist outside of GitHub, such as private repos. To add a non-GitHub host inventory:

brew tap 

To remove a specific print from the depot list:

brew untap 

How do I install or uninstall applications in Homebrew?

To view all installed formulas:

brew list 

To get information about a formula:

brew info 

To install a formula:

brew install 

To uninstall a formula:

brew uninstall 

See also

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