That’s an interesting article and one that I’ve not seen before.
Looking down the list of “Pros” and “Cons” the only one that really stood out to me is this one, listed as a “Pro” for
PRO Less maintenance than Macports
Macports seems to be able to get into a bad state where new packages are unable to be installed, or installed software was unable to be updated. This simply hasn’t happened with Homebrew.
Now, I can’t speak to that myself, as I’m not familiar enough to say, but I wonder how often that actually happens, or is it just a thing that people know can happen, and therefore are concerned about it?
What’s with the Mac Nerd Obsession about avoiding
What I don’t understand is why so many people make such a big deal out of using
You can’t install apps from the Mac App Store without entering your admin password, and you can’t install anything from a
.pkg without entering your admin password, so why is it suddenly a terrible thing to have to enter your admin password to install command-line tools?
The second part of the quote from above is this:
In addition to not having to deal with corruption problems, Homebrew installs packages in userland. Not requiring root to install software is a big win.
which oddly redundant since this is also already listed as a “pro” for
PRO Does not require using sudo
One of the things to like about Homebrew is that it refuses to run things under sudo most of the time. This is a great policy, but it causes issues when you want to create symlinks or install in places that SIP has changed permissions on.
Confusingly, they also list this as a pro for MacPorts:
PRO Requires SUDO to install apps
No need to worry if some rogue app will change your binaries or configuration.
sudo is a “pro”, and not requiring
sudo is a “pro”?
I’m not sure that I’d consider using
sudo either a pro or a con. But for the vast majority of Mac users who are using Macs where they are the admin and probably the only user,
sudo is pretty irrelevant.
I forgot to mention this before when someone asked about why one might prefer MacPorts over
MacPorts has always installed itself to its own unique directory under
On the other hand,
brew insisted that it should be installed to
/usr/local/ and basically told you that if you installed it anywhere else, everything would break and the world would end.
Their argument was that Apple creates
/usr/local/, so why not use it? (Of course, Apple also creates
/opt/ too, so that argument was never very strong.) They also said that
/usr/local/ was the proper place for Unix-y software that the user installs.
I would not have cared as much, *except that after
brew installed itself to
/usr/local/ (because that was the “proper” place) it would routinely complain about other things installed in
/usr/local/ by saying, in essence, “HEY?! WHO PUT THIS HERE? I DIDN’T PUT THIS HERE! DID YOU PUT THIS HERE? PUTTING THIS HERE MIGHT CAUSE PROBLEMS WITH
You can’t say “This is the place for users to install stuff, so we’re using it” and then also complain when users install stuff there.
Anyway, it’s a bit of a moot point now, because with the advent of Apple Silicon, all of a sudden
brew has decided that it can install itself to
/opt/homebrew/ instead of
/usr/local/ (but only for Apple Silicon Macs).
IMO, this is what
brew should have done from the beginning, and their insistence that they had to use
/usr/local/ never seemed all that convincing, so I’m very glad for this change.