12/28/2021

Mac Install Brew Terminal

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Homebrew is the most popular package manager for Mac OS X. Homebrew Cask extends Homebrew with support for quickly installing Mac applications like Google Chrome, VLC, and more. No more dragging and dropping applications! This is an easy way to install Mac terminal utilities and graphical apps. For example, to install a package, you should type brew install ‘package name’ in Terminal. There are also a few useful troubleshooting commands you should take note of, such as brew doctor that can detect installation issues. Step 4: Update Mac Homebrew. Anything you install via Homebrew needs to be updated regularly.

Developers need to install Xcode Command Line Tools before they can develop software on a Mac.

Apple provides a complete development environment for programmers named Xcode. If you are developing software for macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, you must install the full Xcode application.

It's not pre-installed, but you can install it from the Apple developer website or the App Store on your Mac.

What are Xcode Command Line Tools?

If you're not developing software for an Apple device, you won't need the full Xcode application (it requires over 40GB of disk space!).

Instead, you'll install Xcode Command Line Tools. It's a smaller package for software developers with tools that run on the command line, that is, in the Terminal application.

Programmers have used these tools on Unix operating systems since computing's beginnings, and they serve as the foundation of almost all software development.

Luckily, the Xcode Command Line Tools package only requires 1.2GB of space on your disk.

You have three choices to install Xcode Command Line Tools on a Mac:

  • install the full Xcode package
  • install Xcode Command Line Tools when triggered by a command
  • install Xcode Command Line Tools as part of a Homebrew installation.

I don't recommend installing the full Xcode package unless you're developing software for an Apple device. The download will take too long and it will consume unnecessary disk space. Instead, try either of two faster methods.

How to Install Xcode Command Line Tools from a Command Prompt

Apple has made it easy to install Xcode Command Line Tools because certain commands will prompt you to begin installation.

Here are examples of commands that will trigger a prompt to install Xcode Command Line Tools:

Install
  • clang – a compiler that turns source code into an executable program
  • gcc – the GNU compiler
  • git – the save-as-you-go version control system

Running any of these commands in the terminal will bring up a prompt to install Xcode Command Line Tools. I've written elsewhere about How to Open Terminal on MacOS – just click the Spotlight icon in the menu bar and type “terminal.”

You can also enter the command xcode-select --install in the terminal to begin the installation process. You'll see a panel that asks you to install Xcode Command Line Tools.

Click 'Install' to begin the download and installation process.

Installation takes 8 minutes on a 2021 Mac M1 Mini, with a 100Mbps Internet connection. It's significantly slower on Mac Intel over a slow Internet connection.

You'll see a confirmation message when installation is complete.

Verify that you've successfully installed Xcode Command Line Tools:

You should see the following:

How to Use Homebrew to Install Xcode Command Line Tools

As easy as it is to use the command prompt to install Xcode Command Line Tools, I recommend an even easier method: using Homebrew.

This option was only recently added to Homebrew, so many developers are not aware of it.

Homebrew is the popular Mac package manager. Most developers need programming languages and utilities that don't come installed on macOS and are not included in the Xcode Command Line Tools package. Homebrew can install almost any open-source tool for developers.

Since you'll probably need Homebrew, you might as well let Homebrew install Xcode Command Line Tools for you.

First, check if Homebrew is already installed.

If Homebrew is not installed, you will see:

Homebrew provides an installation script you can run with a single command (check that it hasn't changed at the Homebrew site).

The Homebrew installation script will ask you to enter your Mac user password. This is the password you use to sign in to your Mac.

You won't see the characters as you type. Press enter when you are done.

If you haven't already installed Xcode Command Line Tools, you'll see a message that 'The Xcode Command Line Tools will be installed.' Press return to continue when prompted by the Homebrew installation script.

You’ll see diagnostic and progress messages. Homebrew installation takes 2 to 15 minutes on a 2021 Mac M1 Mini, with a 100Mbps Internet connection. It's significantly slower on Mac Intel over a slow Internet connection.

On Mac Intel machines, that's all you need to do – Homebrew is ready to use. On Mac Intel, Homebrew installs itself into the /usr/local/bin directory, which is already configured for access by the shell with the macOS default $PATH.

Brew

On Apple Silicon machines, there's one more step. Homebrew files are installed into the /opt/homebrew folder. But the folder is not part of the default $PATH. Follow Homebrew's advice and create a ~/.zprofile file that contains a command which sets up Homebrew. Homebrew shows instructions at the end of the installation process:

After you've installed Homebrew, check that Homebrew is installed properly.

You should see this:

If Homebrew is successfully installed, there will be Homebrew files in /usr/local (for macOS Intel) or /opt/homebrew (for Apple Silicon).

Now you have both Xcode Command Line Tools and Homebrew installed. If you want to learn more about adding Homebrew packages to set up your development environment, see Install a Homebrew Package.

More information

I've written an in-depth guide to Install Xcode Command Line Tools that goes beyond these basics.

In the guide, I explain how to check if Xcode Command Line Tools Are Already Installed. I go into more detail about how to Install Xcode Command Line Tools with Homebrew. Finally, I explain how to Uninstall Xcode Command Line Tools, Reinstall Xcode Command Line Tools, and provide a List of Xcode Command Line Tools that you can use.

There's also a complete guide to Install Homebrew for Mac that explains how to Update Homebrew, Uninstall Homebrew, and keep up with other Housekeeping for Homebrew.

Your development environment

MacOS is the most popular platform for software development because the operating system is based on Unix, the longtime standard for software development.

With Xcode Command Line Tools installed, you'll have a solid foundation for adding almost any open source development tool.

Add Homebrew and you have a package manager that can install version managers, programming languages, and almost any other tool you may need.

Combined with a text editor and terminal application, you'll be prepared for any tutorial you'll find on freeCodeCamp.

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The macOS command line interface can be intimidating — but there’s lots of value inside. By using the command line, you can solve many tasks on Mac by running commands in Terminal. It helps streamline a lot of work, especially for software developers.

Package managers like Homebrew make the command line interface even more powerful. In this tutorial, we describe how to safely install and uninstall Homebrew on Mac.

What is Homebrew?

“Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple didn’t” — this is how Homebrew creators describe it, and we agree. If you want a more informative definition, Homebrew is a free and open-source package manager for macOS, helping you install, update, uninstall, and manage developer tools like Python, Ruby, and Node.js on your Mac.

Why do you need it? With Homebrew, you can benefit from tons of command line tools to automate your work. Best of all, they are all installed, uninstalled, and updated in one location on your Mac. Here are just a few examples of the useful tools you can get through Homebrew:

  • imagemick to convert images to other formats
  • archey to share the localhost with your team
  • hub for a better experience with Git
  • tldr for practical examples on how to use the command line.

How Homebrew works

To go easy on the coding jargon, we won’t be explaining how Homebrew works under the hood. The main thing you should know as a user is that Homebrew acts through Terminal commands — you can install, update, and uninstall packages by typing a few words. There are some simple default brew commands for installing single-file utilities, and more advanced subcommands called casks — you’ll have to use those to install multi-directory utilities.

Get an offline dev toolkit

DevUtils is an upgrade to your workflow (we even dare to say it can replace Homebrew for you!)


If you already feel confused…

That’s normal. Maybe you’re a newbie or don’t feel comfortable using Terminal (it has a pretty boring interface, let’s admit it). If that’s the case, we recommend looking into Setapp. It’s a subscription service that gives you access to a huge amount of tools — from development tools to productivity apps that help you track time, record screen, convert files to other formats, etc.

The beauty of it is that you don’t have to know these apps or know what they do — you just type your task in search (for example, “edit PDF”), and Setapp gives you the apps that can edit PDF. It’s that simple.

How to install Homebrew on Mac

Moving to the main part — ”install Homebrew Mac” — we should explain that the installation method we describe uses curl to download the installation script. This method is the easiest and it’s recommended by the Homebrew team. The same applies to the process of uninstalling Homebrew. Since some people don’t want to use curl for security reasons, there are ways to manually download and execute the script (but we won’t go into that here).

Before you dive into the process, make sure your macOS meets the following requirements:

  • Apple Silicon or 64-bit CPU
  • macOS 10.14 or later
  • Bourne-compatible shell (bash or zsh syntax)
  • Xcode’s command line tools (we explain how to install the tools in the following section).

Step 1: Install command line tools for Xcode

Xcode is Apple’s native IDE, an integrated development environment that has all the tools you need for software development on Mac. To install some of the Homebrew package components, you need to install Xcode’s command line tools first (in case you haven’t done it before).

Install brew in windows

Here’s how to install command line tools for Xcode:

  1. Open Terminal and type the following command: xcode-select --install
  2. In the new dialog window, confirm you want to install the Xcode tools
  3. Agree to a license agreement and wait for the installation process to complete. It might take a while.

Step 2: Install Homebrew on Mac

Now your Mac is ready for Homebrew. Here’s the full installation process:

  1. Open Terminal and type the following command:
  2. /bin/bash -c '$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)'

  3. Type your admin password (note that you won’t see your keystrokes in the Terminal window — it’s a security measure) > hit Return
  4. Wait a few minutes until you see the “Installation successful” message in Terminal.

Mac Install Brew Terminal On Windows 10

Step 3: Set up Homebrew

In Terminal, run brew help to get started. You’ll see examples of commands that will help you install different software, configs, and updates through Homebrew. For example, to install a package, you should type brew install ‘package name’ in Terminal. There are also a few useful troubleshooting commands you should take note of, such as brew doctor that can detect installation issues.

Step 4: Update Mac Homebrew

Anything you install via Homebrew needs to be updated regularly. You should also update the package manager occasionally to make sure it works properly and you’re not missing some important new features:

  • To update Homebrew, run brew update in Terminal
  • To find out what packages need updating, run brew outdated in Terminal
  • To update a specific package, run brew update package name in Terminal.

If you’re new to Homebrew, follow Homebrew’s Community Discussion — you’ll find lots of insights and troubleshooting tips from other Mac users in there.

Bonus: More tools like Homebrew

Homebrew is a step forward in your workflow. But you can take a few more steps with Setapp! Gitfox and DevUtils are two stellar apps that will help developers and anyone working with Git save a few hours every week.

If you use Homebrew to connect to repositories, you’ll love Gitfox. Not only is it a better alternative to Homebrew’s hub command, Gitfox makes the whole process of working with Git smarter. You can use this app to improve the quality of your code and commit faster.

DevUtils gives you access to a huge set of dev tools. It’s hard to describe what exactly this app does because the options are endless. From formatting JSON to debugging a JWT token, you can do all that locally on your Mac, without internet connection.

How to uninstall Homebrew from Mac

If you haven’t found much value in the Homebrew Mac tools, you can easily uninstall the package manager through Terminal. Here’s the command you should run:

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

You’ll be warned about all the Homebrew files that will be deleted from your Mac.

How to uninstall Homebrew packages from Mac

Install Mysql Mac Terminal Brew

If you don’t want to get rid of the package manager itself — but rather remove specific packages — you can do that. Here are the detailed instructions:

  1. Make sure there are no dependencies between the package you want to delete and the ones that are in use by running the following command: brew deps package name
  2. If you’ve found dependencies and decide to ignore them, type the following: brew uninstall --ignore-dependencies package name
  3. To uninstall the package, run the command brew uninstall package name.

Homebrew leaves your Mac cluttered. Here’s how to fix it

The most common problem with Homebrew is that once you start using it, versatile files and configs start piling up on your drive. This seems logical because the whole point of using Homebrew is to help you install some extra stuff on your computer. But the problem is Homebrew also generates a lot of clutter you don’t need.

Every time you update a specific package or Homebrew itself, a copy of the old version is created. These copies don’t go anywhere — they just sit there, eating up your storage space. You can check how much space is occupied by old copies if you run the command brew cleanup -n in Terminal. The worst thing is it’s nearly impossible to delete all these leftovers by simply uninstalling Homebrew.

CleanMyMac X is the only app that can remove Homebrew completely, with all the files, directories, and copies associated with it. Just run a System Junk cleanup > Clean. Before you agree to delete the junk CleanMyMac X has found on your Mac, you can click on Review Details to make sure you don’t remove anything important. Spoiler: That won’t happen because CleanMyMac X is smart enough to remove only the clutter you don’t need.

Mac Install Brew Terminal Command

If you want a more thorough cleanup, use the Smart Scan feature. It removes the clutter as well as detects malware and optimizes your Mac’s speed and overall performance. Whether you’re new to Mac or a pro user, CleanMyMac X will give you a moment of bliss. Imagine how much time and effort you save by never having to free up storage manually!

Brew

Mac Install Brew Terminal Command

Conclusion

If you’re looking to improve your productivity and do more with a Mac, command-line package management is the right direction. Homebrew is one of the best free package managers that is relatively easy to use if you have some experience with Terminal. And if it’s not for you, you can work on boosting your work with tools like Gitfox and DevUtils.

Mac Install Brew Terminal

How To Install Brew On Mac

Gitfox, DevUtils and CleanMyMac X are all paid apps, but you can try them for free with a Setapp subscription. Setapp is a productivity service that makes you think tasks, not apps. It introduces the whole new approach to using a Mac — instead of searching for apps, you type your task in Setapp and get the app that solves your task immediately. Try it for 7 days free, then $9.99/month.

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Install Xcode Mac Terminal Brew

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