Useful homebrew commands
A collection of useful Homebrew commands for my own reference.
As as a frequent user of Homebrew on macOS, I find myself using the same few commands over and over. For that reason, I’ve listed those commands with a short explanation of each, so others don’t need to trawl the web or read the man pages.
Once you’ve got Homebrew installed, you can update Homebrew itself with the command:
$ brew update
Now that we’re up to date, we can manage our formulae with Homebrew. I’ll normally install Git, Hugo, Python, Ruby (rbenv), Trash, Yarn and various ZSH plugins; so you’ll see those in my examples.
Install a formula
$ brew install git
Find other formula
Outside of the standard Homebrew list of formulae, you can access other repositories of formulae for other functions. An example of this would be the Homebrew PHP “tap” which can be installed by accessing three taps:
# https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-php#installation $ brew tap homebrew/dupes $ brew tap homebrew/versions $ brew tap homebrew/homebrew-php
You will now be able to access a lot of new PHP formulae.
List installed formulae
# Show the individual packages installed $ brew list # returns: autoconf node rbenv yarn gdbm openssl readline z git pcre ruby-build zsh hugo pkg-config sqlite zsh-completions icu4c python trash zsh-syntax-highlighting # Show each of the full formulae installed $ brew leaves # returns: git hugo python rbenv trash yarn z zsh zsh-completions zsh-syntax-highlighting
Find outdated formulae
$ brew outdated # If nothing is returned to the terminal, you're up-to-date.
Update a formula or update everything
# Update a specific formula (e.g. Git) $ brew upgrade git # Upgrade all formula $ brew upgrade
Uninstall a formula
$ brew uninstall git
$ brew remove --force --ignore-dependencies $(brew list)
Clean up old formulae
# List forumlas that can be cleaned up $ brew cleanup -n # Remove all old formulae $ brew cleanup # Remove old symlinks $ brew prune
Get help with formulae
Homebrew has a built-in doctor which will let you know if everything is working correctly. If not, it will output an error message that you can hopefully use to diagnose the issue.
$ brew doctor
Use a GUI
The alternative to remembering all of these commands is using a GUI. For those who want a GUI, Cakebrew seems to be the best option.