Homebrew - Package Management for OSX

Yes, although this blog has primarially morphed in to a complete GIS geek's blog, my personal computer is still a Mac. Work provides me with a good Windows computer. I have an older Windows 7 desktop at home with an ESXi server in the closet for testing out new stuff on virtual machines. In the interest of simplicity, when putting together Linux virtual machines, typically I use Turnkey Linux. I like Debian. It has most of the tools already installed I like and it updates itself daily. What is not to like?

This kind of frames the discussion. Yes, I use a lot of operating systems. Thankfully I no longer have to use Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. Only occasionally do I even have to touch an XP box. Most of the world managed to avoid the disaster that was Vista... except for my parents' two computers. They bought two computers during that calamity I have somehow become responsible for supporting, but that is another story.

The Mac, this is my second and I really like it. Used to the ease of installing and uninstalling software on Debian and Ubuntu using apt-get and aptitude, the process of working with open source software on the Mac a little... antiquated. It kind of sucks.

Like I said, this is my second Mac. I am deliberately trying to keep this one much more cleaned up and uncluttered. I would still like to play around with open source projects, but do not want to fight with ripping apart and reassembling my computer with many of the dependencies typically required. I need a package manager.

Projects were started when I bought my first Mac six years ago addressing this, but they had not gotten off the ground. Thankfully this has changed in the interim. There are two to choose from, I choseĀ Homebrew.

Rather than reiterate Homebrew's homepage, I will just say it works much like apt-get on Debian. Using apt-get to install something new would look like:

apt-get install wget

Using homebrew, it looks like:

brew install wget

If already used to managing software on Debian using apt-get, Homebrew is a breath of fresh air on the Mac. Homebrew, they accurately say it right at the top of their website... it is, "The missing package manager for OSX." LIfe is good.

Now I'm going mountain biking with my wife.