How do I update my local packages?
First update the formulae and Homebrew itself:
You can now find out what is outdated with:
Upgrade everything with:
Or upgrade a specific formula with:
brew upgrade <formula>
How do I stop certain formulae from being updated?
To stop something from being updated/upgraded:
brew pin <formula>
To allow that formulae to update again:
brew unpin <formula>
Note that pinned, outdated formulae that are depended on by another formula need to be upgraded when required as we do not allow formulae to be built against non-latest versions.
How do I uninstall old versions of a formula?
By default, Homebrew does not uninstall old versions of a formula, so over time you will accumulate old versions. To remove them, simply use:
brew cleanup <formula>
or clean up everything at once:
or to see what would be cleaned up:
brew cleanup -n
How do I uninstall Homebrew?
To uninstall Homebrew, paste the command below in a terminal prompt.
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/uninstall)"
Download the uninstall script
./uninstall --help to view more uninstall options.
How do I uninstall a formula?
If you do not uninstall all of the versions that Homebrew has installed,
Homebrew will continue to attempt to install the newest version it knows
about when you run
brew upgrade. This can be surprising.
To remove a formula entirely, you may run
brew uninstall formula_name --force.
Be careful as this is a destructive operation.
Where does stuff get downloaded?
Which is usually:
.apps don’t find
GUI apps on macOS don’t have
/usr/local/bin in their
default. If you’re on Mountain Lion or later, you can fix this by
sudo launchctl config user path "/usr/local/bin:$PATH" and
then rebooting, as documented in
man launchctl. Note that this sets
the launchctl PATH for all users. For earlier versions of macOS, see
How do I contribute to Homebrew?
Why do you compile everything?
If available, bottled binaries will be used by default except under the following conditions:
- Options were passed to the install command, i.e.
brew install <formula>will use a bottled version of the formula, but
brew install <formula> --enable-barwill trigger a source build.
--build-from-sourceoption is invoked.
- The environment variable
HOMEBREW_BUILD_FROM_SOURCEis set (intended for developers only).
- The machine is not running a supported version of macOS as all bottled builds are generated only for supported macOS versions.
- Homebrew is installed to a prefix other than the standard
/usr/local(although some bottles support this).
We aim to bottle everything.
How do I get a formula from someone else’s branch?
brew install hub brew update cd $(brew --repository) hub pull someone_else
brew install https://raw.github.com/user/repo/branch/formula.rb
brew pull https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-core/pull/1234
Why does Homebrew prefer I install to
- It’s easier
/usr/local/binis already in your
- It’s easier
Tons of build scripts break if their dependencies aren’t in either
/usr/local. We fix this for Homebrew formulae (although we don’t always test for it), but you’ll find that many RubyGems and Python setup scripts break which is something outside our control.
- It’s safe
Apple has assigned this directory for non-system utilities. Which means there is no files in
/usr/localby default, so there is no need to worry about messing up existing or system tools.
If you plan to install gems that depend on
brews then save yourself a bunch of hassle and install to
It is not always straightforward to tell
gem to look in non-standard directories for headers and libraries. If you choose
/usr/local, many things will "just work".
Why does Homebrew say sudo is bad?
tl;dr Sudo is dangerous, and you installed TextMate.app without sudo anyway.
Homebrew refuses to work using sudo.
You should only ever sudo a tool you trust. Of course, you can trust Homebrew
;) But do you trust the multi-megabyte Makefile that Homebrew runs? Developers
often understand C++ far better than they understand make syntax. It’s too high
a risk to sudo such stuff. It could modify (or upload) any files on your
system.And indeed, we’ve seen some build scripts try to modify
/usr even when
the prefix was specified as something else entirely.
We use the macOS sandbox to stop this but this doesn't work when run as the
root user (which also has read and write access to almost everything on the system).
chown root /Applications/TextMate.app? Probably
not. So is it that important to
chown root wget?
If you need to run Homebrew in a multi-user environment, consider creating a separate user account especially for use of Homebrew.
Why isn’t a particular command documented?
If it’s not in
man brew, it’s probably an external command. These are documented here.
Why haven’t you pulled my pull request?
If it’s been a while, bump it with a “bump” comment. Sometimes we miss requests and there are plenty of them. Maybe we were thinking on something. It will encourage consideration. In the meantime if you could rebase the pull request so that it can be cherry-picked more easily we will love you for a long time.
Can I edit formulae myself?
Yes! It’s easy! Just
brew edit <formula>. You don’t have to submit modifications back to
homebrew/core, just edit the formula as you personally need it and
brew install. As a bonus
brew update will merge your changes with upstream so you can still keep the formula up-to-date with your personal modifications!
Can I make new formulae?
Yes! It’s easy! Just
brew create URL. Homebrew will then open the formula in
EDITOR so you can edit it, but it probably already installs; try it:
brew install <formula>. If you encounter any issues, run the command with the
--debug switch like so:
brew install --debug <formula>, which drops you
into a debugging shell.
If you want your new formula to be part of
homebrew/core or want
to learn more about writing formulae, then please read the Formula Cookbook.
Can I install my own stuff to
brew is designed to not get in your way so you can use it how you
Install your own stuff, but be aware that if you install common
libraries like libexpat yourself, it may cause trouble when trying to
build certain Homebrew formula. As a result
brew doctor will warn you
Thus it’s probably better to install your own stuff to the Cellar and
brew link it. Like so:
$ cd foo-0.1 $ brew diy ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/foo/0.1 $ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/foo/0.1 [snip] $ make && make install $ brew link foo Linking /usr/local/Cellar/foo/0.1… 17 symlinks created
Why was a formula deleted?
brew log <formula> to find out! Likely because it had unresolved issues or
our analytics identified it was not widely used.
Homebrew is a poor name, it's too generic, why was it chosen?
@mxcl was too concerned with the beer theme and didn’t consider that the project may actually prove popular. By the time he realized it was, it was too late. However, today, the first Google hit for “homebrew” is not beer related ;-)
What does "keg-only" mean?
It means the formula is installed only into the Cellar; it is not linked
/usr/local. This means most tools will not find it. We don’t do
this for stupid reasons. You can still link in the formula if you need
How can I specify different configure arguments for a formula?
brew edit <formula> and edit the formula. Currently there is no
other way to do this.
Is there a glossary of terms around?
All your terminology needs can be found here.