Home Brew maybe a show can be made

Has everybody here heard of Home Brew, it is a Linux based package manager for your Mac. Also, it offers a tone of great terminal based software.


I use brew frequently! As always though, we need to find an automation angle that’s friendly to a good chunk of our audience :wink:

Well… I do have a script that I use via launchd to keep brew up to date, but that’s definitely not an entire show.

However, now that it also has the ability to automate app installations too, I suppose it could be part of a “Setting up a new Mac” automation show?

Could also do a show (or part thereof) about some of the tools it includes that can help with automation, such as:

  • blueutil for controlling Bluetooth
  • brightness I bet you can guess what this one does
  • contacts which I use to remind myself of friends’ birthdays
  • dropbox-uploader will not only upload to Dropbox but get you a share link
  • html2text for trying to convert HTML to markdown
  • icalBuddy which is handy for getting calendar info into scripts
  • jq for dealing with json
  • lynx which is awesome for processing web pages in scripts
  • mas for installing Mac App Store apps from the command line.
  • multimarkdown for making markdown into HTML
  • pdfgrep for searching for text inside PDFs
  • rsync is great for sending files to other computers and is much more up-to-date than the version that ships with macOS
  • tag, for, well, tagging (I use that with some automated scripts and Hazel)
  • terminal-notifier which is like Growl but for Notification Center
  • trash (which is the best way to “delete” files with shell scripts and also supports the “Put Back” feature of the Trash)
  • wget which is great for downloading files
  • wifi-password for getting the password to your current Wi-Fi network
  • youtube-dl for downloading from YouTube and lots of other sites

Just some ideas.


At work we use Homebrew in Chef recipes to automatically set up new build slaves (Mac mini’s) to exactly the state we want.

But I guess this is only interesting to a very small group of people.

At home & work I additionally use Homebrew without Chef to install tools and keep them (semi-automatically) up-to-date on my own machines.

I just tried:

It’s pretty cool!

@rob what do you mean by:

What is Chef? I’ve never heard of it.

it’s a deployment platform.

Almost the entirety of the setup of a new computer occurs for me through a Brewfile. I use brew but it’s also great to be able to use brew cask and mas to install/update almost every GUI app I have on my computer.

Sorry, I thought I had used a proper link to their website in my post, but apparently the “protocol” (http/https) was missing (fixed it now).

It’s indeed a deployment platform.

Are there other package managers, command line apps, or command line tips and tricks that I should be aware of? Homebrew was a first for me and I absolutely love it. At first, I only used it to install a DRM remover patch for Handbrake for my own movies only.

What do you do to set up a new computer? Can you explain further or do you have a blog post about how to set up the Mac completely with Command Line Terminal?

I’ve put a blog post together here. But essentially, I’m leveraging https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-bundle and https://github.com/lra/mackup/

Also interesting https://github.com/mathiasbynens/dotfiles/blob/master/.macos

Not really. There is Mac Ports but Homebrew is better in a number of ways, and I’m not sure of any reason to use two of package managers.

Home Brew is essential if you use a lot of open source packages. It’s not Linux based, although it emulates the huge software libraries that Linux distributions tend to have. (Pet Peeve: people who think that the unix underpinnings of macOS mean that macOS is based on Linux rather than the BSD unix variants.)