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Installing Homebrew on MacOS

When you want to write code on your computer, you usually need to install a lot of development tools and additional software. If you are familiar with Linux, you may have used a package manager to install additional software packages on your system. On a Mac Homebrew is what you are looking for. Homebrew is the missing package manager for MacOS but unfortunately, it does not come bundled with the operation system like package managers for Linux. But hey, you are lucky! Installing Homebrew ist quite easy.

What does Homebrew do?

Homebrew simplifies installing command line tools and software like Git, Ruby, Node, OpenCV or pyenv. Generally speaking, Homebrew is good for adding software and tools to your computer. With just one simple command, Homebrew handles downloading building and installing the packages for you. This helps you to avoid the pitfall of creating possible security issues that may come with using the sudo command to install software.

What do you need for Homebrew?

There are not many prerequisites. You should be somewhat familiar with the Mac Terminal application of iTerm. If you are looking for the Terminal app on MacOS, just hit “command + space” and type Terminal or go to the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.

As prerequisites on the macOS side, the Homebrew team lists the following:

  • A 64-bit Intel CPU
  • macOS Mojave (10.14) (or higher)
  • Command Line Tools (CLT) for Xcode:  You can install them with the command “xcode-select --install” in the Terminal or by installing Xcode
  • A Bourne-compatible shell for installation (e.g. bash or zsh

If you meet those requirements and you are interested in installing Homebrew, we can get you through this. It’s straight forward. The Homebrew installation script tells you everything it does before it does it and it does all the work for you.

Installing Homebrew

To install Homebrew just switch to your terminal and enter the following command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

After you hit return you should see something like this:

The script asks you for your consent do the listest steps. After you hit return again, everything runs on auto pilot. After a couple of seconds, the installation is completed and you see something like this:

Good job! Now you can use Homebrew. To get you started, here are some useful commands:

  • brew help shows some example usages and commands
  • brew doctor checks for issues with your Homebrew installations or your installed formulas
  • brew install <name> installs the formula (that’s how the packages are called) with the given name
  • brew uninstall <name> uninstalls the formula
  • brew update updates Homebrew
  • brew outdated lists all outdated packages that need an update
  • brew upgrade updates all outdated packages
  • brew pin <name> pins a formula to the current version. That means it will not be upgraded by brew upgrade even when a newer version is available.
  • brew unpin <name> unpins the formula, so it will be updated again.

Uninstalling Homebrew

If you really want to uninstall Homebrew, don’t worry. It’s as easy as installing it. Just execute the following command in your terminal:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/uninstall.sh)"

The script warns you about what will be removed. If you accept it, the rest will be done automatically and you will get a confirmation message in the end.

That’s it. If you had any problems with the installation, just let me know. If you want to get updates on new posts and tutorials, just sign up for the newsletter we send out from time to time.

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Nobrainer Programming

Hey, how is it going? I’m Sven and Nobrainer Programming is me trying to share some knowledge, experiences and thoughts on learning how to code. Before a became a professor for Sports- and Health-Informatics, I was working for almost 10 years for one of the worlds largest research centers for artificial intelligence. Over the years I taught numerous students how to code. It’s quite easy and everyone can learn it. So, let’s go!