Homebrew (package management software)

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Homebrew logo.png
Original author(s) Max Howell
Initial release 2009; 7 years ago (2009)
Development status Active
Written in Ruby
Operating system OS X
Type Package manager
License BSD license
Website brew.sh

Homebrew is a free and open-source software package management system that simplifies the installation of software on Apple's OS X operating system. Originally written by Max Howell, the package manager has gained popularity in the Ruby on Rails community and earned praise for its extensibility.[1] Homebrew has been recommended for its ease of use[2] as well as its integration into the command line.[3]

Homebrew has made extensive use of GitHub in order to expand the support of several packages through user contributions. In 2010, Homebrew was the third-most-forked repository on GitHub.[4] In 2012, Homebrew had the largest number of new contributors on GitHub.[5] In 2013, Homebrew had both the largest number of contributors and issues closed of any project on GitHub.[6]

Homebrew has spawned several sub-projects such as Linuxbrew which is a Linux port[7] and Homebrew-Cask which is an external command allowing installation of GUI applications,[8] as well as "taps" dedicated to specific areas or programming languages like Homebrew PHP.[9]


Homebrew was written by Max Howell in 2009.[10] In March 2013, Homebrew successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for servers to test and build formulae and managed to raise GB£14,859.[11] On December 13, 2013, the Homebrew repository migrated from Howell's GitHub account to its own project account.[12] In February 2015, due to downtime at SourceForge which resulted in binaries being unavailable, Homebrew moved their hosting to bintray.[13] Homebrew is currently maintained by a team of 9 developers.[14]


Homebrew is written in the Ruby programming language and targets the version of Ruby that comes installed with the OS X operating system. It is by default installed into /usr/local and consists of a core git repository, allowing users to update Homebrew in the same way the latest code would be pulled down into a source repository. The package manager builds software from source using a "formulae", a Ruby script constructed with Homebrew's DSL for managing dependencies, downloading source files, and configuring and compiling software. Binary packages called "bottles" provide pre-built formulae with default options.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arko, Andre. "Homebrew: OS X’s Missing Package Manager". Engine Yard blog. Engine Yard. 
  2. ^ Hoffman, Chris. "Homebrew for OS X Easily Installs Desktop Apps and Terminal Utilities". How-to Geek. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Terpstra, Brett. "Homebrew, the perfect gift for command line lovers". Engadget. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Popular Forked Repositories". GitHub. Archived from the original on 11 March 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Octoverse in 2012". GitHub. 
  6. ^ "GitHub Octoverse 2013". 
  7. ^ "homebrew/linuxbrew". GitHub. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Hombrew-Cask". caskroom. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Homebrew/homebrew-php". GitHub. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Howell, Max. "I'll start with a rare Belgian yeast and Sussex hops". GitHub. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "brew test-bot". Kickstarter. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  12. ^ MacHomebrew (11 December 2013). "This Saturday morning at 0100 GMT we will be migrating Homebrew" (Tweet). 
  13. ^ MacHomebrew (23 February 2015). "Homebrew's bottles (binary packages) are now hosted by @bintray" (Tweet). 
  14. ^ Mcquaid, Mike. "homebrew/Readme". GitHub. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 

External links[edit]