Package manager


If you've used a Mac OS machine recently, you can't help but have noticed that many Mac OS installations seem to be filling up with open source software. The reason why this is happening now is because, while many parts of Mac OS are open source, it previously lacked the same binary packages Linux distributions build upon when providing new packages. That meant, if you wanted to install Gimp or Inkscape on Mac OS and there wasn't a native binary, you'd have to compile and install every dependency alongside the application itself. This problem was solved on Linux by package managers, and it's now been solved on Mac OS with a tool called Homebrew, or brew, as it's called on the command line. It works just like a package manager, pulling either available binaries that match your installation, or orchestrating a build environment so that your target can be installed. It may take longer, but it requires very few brain cells, and it works. This is why there's now so much open source on Mac systems.

Linuxbrew is Homebrew for Linux. But, why? There are four main reasons: The most compelling is that packages installed with Linuxbrew are installed into a home directory and not into any system-wide location. This means you don't need sudo, which helps if you're using a server, but it also means you don't need to trust the packages as much. The install script creates the new location or installs into your current home folder. With the binary added to your path, you'll be able to install packages that aren't yet available for your distribution, even on an old distribution. If you use a Mac, you can install the same software from the same sources on both. Package installation is as simple as typing brew install and the name of the package, just as you would with apt or rpm.

Project Website

Like Wine, Brew uses bottles to keep package installations within their own filesystem containers beneath your home directory.

Speed reader

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • FOSSPicks

    Graham nearly made it through an entire month of FOSSPicks without an esoteric audio discovery. And then he found VeeSeeVSTRack.

  • FOSSPicks

    This month Graham fires up MuseScore 3.0, hexyl, weborf, Chrono, and several other useful Linux tools.

  • FOSSPicks

    One weekend this month, Graham's synth obsession took him 600 miles in a rental car into ancient Cornwall to buy a beat-up old 1980s MIDIBoard. Stay tuned for a Linux editor! Graham looks at Surge, fd, Kloak keystroke anonymizer, Symphytum, uMatrix,†and more!

  • FOSSPicks

    This month, Graham discovered the spontaneous knotting of an agitated string while trying to untangle the mess of wires behind his PC and quickly gave up.

  • FOSSPicks

    This month Graham looks at Bespoke, Waydroid, OpenShot, pedalboard, Onivim 2, Mr. Rescue, and more!

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95