Installing Homebrew on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, Package Manager for Unix Tools

The easiest way to install various Unix tools and open source software onto OS X is via a package manager or repository, unfortunately OS X doesn’t come with one, but fortunately there are some good folks that care. They come in the form of Homebrew.

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

Compatible in OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion…

Mac OSX 10.9 guide here


Get Xcode

Get Xcode 4.6 from the Apple app store, free download version, then install it and launch it from the /Applications folder. Go to Xcode preferences and then look in the ‘Downloads’ button.

Install the command line tools from the preferences of Xcode.

xcode command-line-tools 

Install Homebrew

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

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"


Download and install XQuartz brew will moan as it is no longer installed as part of 10.8 and Xcode

After installing and as suggested in the command line, to check for any issues with the install run:

brew doctor

If upgrading from a previous OSX version, update Xcode location

sudo xcode-select -switch /Applications/

To search for an application:

brew search

To install

brew install <application-name>

To list all apps installed by Homebrew

brew list

To remove an installed application

brew remove <application-name>

To update Homebrew

brew update

To see what else you can do

man brew

Where does Homebrew install stuff …. in the Cellar


Where the brew lives.