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Original author(s)Max Howell
Initial release21 May 2009; 15 years ago (2009-05-21)[1]
Stable release
4.3.6[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 17 June 2024; 29 days ago (17 June 2024)
Written inRuby,[3] HTML,[3] shell script,[3] JavaScript[3] Edit this on Wikidata
Operating systemmacOS, Linux,[4] Windows Subsystem for Linux[4] Edit this on Wikidata
Available inEnglish
Typesystem-level package manager, free and open-source software Edit this on Wikidata
License2-clause BSD License[5] Edit this on Wikidata Edit this at Wikidata

Homebrew is a free and open-source software package management system that simplifies the installation of software on Apple's operating system, macOS, as well as Linux. The name is intended to suggest the idea of building software on the Mac depending on the user's taste. Originally written by Max Howell, the package manager has gained popularity in the Ruby on Rails community and earned praise for its extensibility.[6] Homebrew has been recommended for its ease of use[7] as well as its integration into the command-line interface.[8] Homebrew is a member of the Open Source Collective,[9] and is run entirely by unpaid volunteers.[10]

Homebrew has made extensive use of GitHub to expand the support of several packages through user contributions. In 2010, Homebrew was the third-most-forked repository on GitHub.[11] In 2012, Homebrew had the largest number of new contributors on GitHub.[12] In 2013, Homebrew had both the largest number of contributors and issues closed of any project on GitHub.[13]

Homebrew has spawned several sub-projects such as Linuxbrew, a Linux port now officially merged into Homebrew;[14][15] Homebrew Cask, which builds upon Homebrew and focuses on the installation of GUI applications;[16] and "taps" dedicated to specific areas or programming languages like PHP.[17]


Homebrew was written by Max Howell in 2009.[1][18] In March 2013, Homebrew successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for servers to test and build formulae and managed to raise £14,859.[19] On December 13, 2013, the Homebrew repository migrated from Howell's GitHub account to its own project account.[20] In February 2015, due to downtime at SourceForge which resulted in binaries being unavailable, Homebrew moved their hosting to Bintray.[21] On September 21, 2016, Homebrew version 1.0.0 was released.[22] As of February 2021, Homebrew is maintained by a team of 34 people.[10] In January 2019, Linuxbrew was merged back into Homebrew, adding beta support for Linux and the Windows Subsystem for Linux to the Homebrew feature set.[23] On February 2, 2019, Homebrew version 2.0.0 was released.[24] On September 21, 2020, Homebrew version 2.5.2 was released with support for bottle taps (binary package repositories) via GitHub Releases.[25] Version 3.0.0 was released almost exactly two years after 2.0.0, on February 5, 2021, and added official support for Macs with Apple silicon.[26] On April 12, 2021, Homebrew version 3.1.0 was released completing their migration of bottles (binary packages) to GitHub Packages before the May 1, 2021 shutdown of Bintray as previously announced by JFrog.[27] On February 16, 2023, Homebrew version 4.0.0 was released which defaults to fetching Homebrew-maintained formulae from hosted JSON files rather than local Git-cloned taps.[28]


Homebrew is written in the Ruby programming language and targets the version of Ruby that comes installed with the macOS operating system. By default, it is installed into /usr/local on Intel-based machines and /opt/homebrew on Apple silicon.[29][30] The installation consists of a Git repository that enables users to update Homebrew by pulling an updated repository from GitHub.[citation needed] The package manager builds software from source using "formulae", Ruby scripts constructed with the Homebrew domain-specific language (DSL) for managing dependencies, downloading source files, and configuring and compiling software. Binary packages called "bottles" provide pre-built formulae with default options.[31]

Homebrew does not honor the default privileges of /usr/local; directory ownership is changed from root with group permissions for the wheel group to the installing user and the "admin" group. Specifically, the mode changes from drwxr-xr-x root wheel to drwxrwxr-x myuser admin.[32] All files, not just the directories, have their ownership changed by the installer. This is considered by some as a major security flaw.[33]

Data collection

Homebrew collects installation, build error, and operating system version statistics via InfluxDB.[34] As of Homebrew 4.0.23, no data is collected via Google Analytics.[35] Users can view analytics data from the last 30, 90, and 365 days on the Homebrew website.[36]

It is possible to opt out of data collection with the command brew analytics off.[37]

Version History

Version Released Supported MacOS Min. MacOS Short Blog Description[38]
4.2.0 2023-12-18 Sonoma (14) 10.11+ (unknown) major performance upgrades (e.g. using Ruby 3.1, upgrading fewer dependencies), .env file configuration and macOS Sonoma support.
4.1.0 2023-07-20 Ventura (13) significant improvements to the security/reliability/performance/usability of Homebrew 4.0.0’s new JSON API, the completion of the migration of analytics from Google Analytics in the US to InfluxDB in the EU and groundwork for later macOS Sonoma (14) support.
4.0.0 2023-02-16 Enables significantly faster Homebrew-maintained tap updates by migrating from Git-cloned taps to JSON downloads.
3.6.0 2022-09-07 preliminary macOS Ventura support, the need for --eval-all/HOMEBREW_EVAL_ALL and a migration to Ubuntu 22.04 as our CI platform.
3.5.0 2022-06-06 Monterey (12) El Capitan (10.11) improved brew update behaviour and Homebrew (on macOS) requiring at least OS X El Capitan (10.11).
3.4.0 2022-02-28 10.9+ (unknown) HOMEBREW_NO_ENV_HINTS to hide configuration suggestions, brew services supported on systemd on Linux, brew install --overwrite and Homebrew beginning the process to leave the SFC.
3.3.0 2021-10-25 migration from Homebrew/linuxbrew-core to Homebrew/homebrew-core for all Homebrew on Linux users, the official support of macOS Monterey (and, as usual, dropping the support for Mojave due to us only supporting 3 macOS versions) and the addition of an opt-in HOMEBREW_INSTALL_FROM_API flag to avoid needing to have Homebrew/homebrew-core or Homebrew/homebrew-cask repositories tapped/cloned locally.
3.2.0 2021-06-21 ~Monterey (12) brew install now upgrades outdated formulae by default and basic macOS 12 (Monterey) support.
3.1.0 2021-04-12 Big Sur (11) migration of our bottles (binary packages) to GitHub Packages.
3.0.0 2021-02-05 official Apple Silicon support and a new bottle format in formulae.
2.7.0 2020-12-21 API deprecations.
2.6.0 2020-12-01 macOS Big Sur support on Intel, brew commands replacing all brew cask commands, the beginnings of macOS M1/Apple Silicon/ARM support and API deprecations.
2.5.0 2020-09-08 Catalina (10.15) better brew cask integration, license support and API deprecations.
2.4.0 2020-06-11 dropping macOS Mavericks support, the deprecation of devel versions and brew audit speedups.
2.3.0 2020-05-29 GitHub Actions CI usage, fetching resources before installation, Docker image improvements and the deprecation of brew install from URLs.
2.2.0 2019-11-27 macOS Catalina support, performance increases and better Homebrew on Linux ecosystem integration.
2.1.0 2019-04-04 Mojave (10.14) casks on, search on Homebrew sites and better Docker support.
2.0.0 2019-02-02 Mavericks (10.9) official support for Linux and Windows 10 (with Windows Subsystem for Linux), brew cleanup running automatically, no more options in Homebrew/homebrew-core, and removal of support for OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) and older.
1.9.0 2019-01-09 Mountain Lion (10.8) and older Linux support, (optional) automatic brew cleanup and providing bottles (binary packages) to more Homebrew users.
1.8.0 2018-10-23 official Mojave support, linkage auto-repair on brew upgrade, brew info displaying analytics data and quarantining Cask’s downloads.
1.7.0 2018-07-15 ~Mojave (10.14) fixes for macOS 10.14 Mojave’s developer beta, Homebrew Formulae’s JSON analytics and formulae APIs and various formula API deprecations.
1.6.0 2018-04-09 ? brew install python installing Python 3, the deprecation of Homebrew/homebrew-php and various formula API deprecations.
1.5.0 2018-01-19 deprecations of formula APIs and some Homebrew organisation formula taps.
1.4.0 2017-12-11 Homebrew filters environment variables.
1.3.0 2017-07-31 brew install python no longer installs a python binary without manual PATH additions and instead installs a python2 binary. This avoids overriding the system python binary by default when installing Python as a dependency. It also paves the way to eventually have python be Python 3.x.
1.2.0 2017-05-01 most Homebrew taps (package repositories) in the Homebrew GitHub organisation have been deprecated and the currently buildable software moved into Homebrew/homebrew-core. This will improve the quality and availability of all their software.
1.1.0 2016-11-07 We’ve had a great response to Homebrew 1.0.0 and been iterating on our work there. That 1.1.0 follows 1.0.9 is a happy coincidence due to breaking changes; in the future we may have a e.g. 1.1.10.
1.0.0 2016-09-21 In the seven years since Homebrew was created by @mxcl our community has grown to almost 6000 unique contributors, a wide-reaching third-party “tap” ecosystem and thousands of packages.

See also


  1. ^ a b Homebrew release 0.1 on GitHub
  2. ^ "Release 4.3.6". 17 June 2024. Retrieved 22 June 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Homebrew Open Source Project on Open Hub: Languages Page". Open Hub. Retrieved 17 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b "Homebrew 1.9.0". 9 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  5. ^ "brew/LICENSE.txt at master". 4 January 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  6. ^ Arko, Andre. "Homebrew: OS X's Missing Package Manager". Engine Yard blog. Engine Yard. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Hoffman, Chris. "Homebrew for OS X Easily Installs Desktop Apps and Terminal Utilities". How-to Geek. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  8. ^ Terpstra, Brett (25 December 2009). "Homebrew, the perfect gift for command line lovers". Engadget. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Homebrew - Open Collective". 12 January 2024.
  10. ^ a b McQuaid, Mike. "Homebrew/brew/". GitHub. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "Popular Forked Repositories". GitHub. Archived from the original on 11 March 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  12. ^ "The Octoverse in 2012". GitHub.
  13. ^ "GitHub Octoverse 2013". Archived from the original on 2014-02-07.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  14. ^ "Linuxbrew". Linuxbrew. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  15. ^ "Linuxbrew Readme". GitHub. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  16. ^ "Homebrew Cask". Github. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Homebrew/homebrew-php". GitHub. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  18. ^ Howell, Max. "I'll start with a rare Belgian yeast and Sussex hops". GitHub. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  19. ^ "brew test-bot". Kickstarter. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  20. ^ @MacHomebrew (11 December 2013). "This Saturday morning at 0100 GMT we will be migrating Homebrew" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ @MacHomebrew (23 February 2015). "Homebrew's bottles (binary packages) are now hosted by @bintray" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Homebrew release 1.0.0 on GitHub
  23. ^ "Homebrew 1.9.0". Homebrew. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  24. ^ McQuaid, Mike (2 February 2019). "2.0.0". Homebrew. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  25. ^ Dziurla, Dawid (November 18, 2020). "Homebrew tap with bottles uploaded to GitHub Releases". blog. Homebrew. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  26. ^ McQuaid, Mike (5 February 2021). "3.0.0". Homebrew. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  27. ^ McQuaid, Mike (April 12, 2021). "3.1.0". blog. Homebrew. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  28. ^ McQuaid, Mike (February 16, 2023). "4.0.0". blog. Homebrew. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  29. ^ smittytone (2021-02-07). "How to migrate to native Homebrew on an M1 Mac". smittytone messes with micros. Retrieved 2021-08-11.
  30. ^ "Discussion: longterm Homebrew prefix on Apple Silicon Macs · Issue #9177 · Homebrew/brew". GitHub. Retrieved 2021-08-11.
  31. ^ "Homebrew Terminology", Formula Cookbook, Homebrew, retrieved 2024-02-27
  32. ^ Ounsworth, Mike. "What are the security implications of Homebrew and Macports?". StackExchange Information Security. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  33. ^ Phil, Stokes (21 March 2018). "How Homebrew invites users to get pwned". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  34. ^ "4.0.0 – Homebrew". Homebrew Blog. 16 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  35. ^ "4.0.23 Release notes". GitHub Releases. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  36. ^ "Analytics Data". Homebrew Formulae. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Analytics Command". Homebrew Manual. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  38. ^ "Homebrew — Homebrew". Homebrew Blog. Retrieved 15 March 2024.