Making the most of developing on Mac OS X.

February 15th, 2013

Making the most of developing on Mac OS X.

by Jonathon Duckworth, Co-Founder, Director of Technical Services

Many people like using Mac OS X as their development platform, and for a good reason: modern versions of OS X already include a number of useful software packages — Apache, php, python, ruby, etc. — as part of their standard installation. But sometimes you need software that wasn’t included, or want a newer version of something. That’s where Homebrew comes in.

Homebrew is a volunteer-run package manager for Mac OS X with the explicit goal of complementing Apple-supplied software, rather than replacing it outright. Third-party Homebrew repositories (called taps, in the project’s beer-infused jargon) can also supply newer versions of Apple-supplied packages. New and updated formulas for packages are submitted by the project’s users themselves via the github project page.

Homebrew is implemented in ruby, which is included with OS X; its only possibly-non-standard prerequisite is a compiler: either the one included with Xcode or the standalone Command Line Tools for Xcode (requires a no-cost Apple developer ID to download). You can find full installation instructions at the Homebrew wiki.

Once you have Homebrew installed, simply use brew install formula. Several formulas you might find interesting:

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