The easiest way to install a number of Unix style applications and open source software onto macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave and earlier Sierra OS versions is via a package manager, unfortunately, macOS Big Sur doesn’t come with one, but fortunately, some good folks care, they come in the form of Homebrew.

The install of Homebrew also works on macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, (High)Sierra, El Capitan, and Yosemite, so macOS 10.10 – 10.14

Homebrew isn’t the only option, also available is MacPorts and Fink but Homebrew is the newest and most popular of the trio.

Home Brew Osx Lion Package Manager

Install Homebrew

To download install Homebrew run the install script on the command line as below and let the script do its thing:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

If you don’t have Apples Xcode Command Line Tools installed it will alert you to that it will install it and carry on with the Homebrew installation and download the Command Line Tools you will need to enter your admin password at some point.


Macos Homebrew Command Line Tools


Then Homebrew is installed.
macos Homebrew Install
After this Homebrew is installed and ready to install other apps.

To get started run brew help can give some command example usage.

brew help

To check for any issues with the Homebrew install run:

brew doctor

One issue that typically comes up is an outdated or missing version of Xcode.

For the latest macOS, brew doctor will warn that the Homebrew install won’t be 100% if Xcode is not up to date, so update Xcode from the App Store.

To search for an application:

brew search

To install

brew install packagename

To list all apps installed by Homebrew

brew list

To remove an installed application

brew remove packagename

To update Homebrew itself

brew update

To see what packages are out of date but not to upgrade them

brew outdated

To see what upgrade packages all or singular

brew update

brew update packagename

To hold a package at a certain version

brew pin packagename

To release a package from a certain version

brew unpin packagename

To see what else you can do

man brew

Where does Homebrew install stuff …. in the Cellar


Where the brew lives.

You can see your Homebrew configuration by running

brew config

The output should be similar to …

[email protected] ~ % brew config
HEAD: 0ad2564c5f1ddf6f16f707f2861556b80546713c
Last commit: 4 days ago
Core tap ORIGIN:
Core tap HEAD: a495193655164f8bf1f0e4978a340e049449fa60
Core tap last commit: 79 minutes ago
Core tap branch: master
Homebrew Ruby: 2.6.3 => /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/2.6/usr/bin/ruby
CPU: quad-core 64-bit skylake
Clang: 12.0 build 1200
Git: 2.24.3 => /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/git
Curl: 7.64.1 => /usr/bin/curl
macOS: 11.2.3-x86_64

All installations via Homebrew are filed independently in the filing system in /usr/local/Cellar and linked into /usr/local/bin which is a directory which allows you to run these commands and apps as if part of the regular operating system.

This directory is also out of the SIP bounds so there should be no authentication macOS error dialog boxes.

Remove Home-brew and all packages

To remove the Home-brew installation and all packages it has installed..

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

HomeBrew is a great package manager just start installing some apps and explore.!

Homebrew 256x256