Distribute Your Program via Homebrew

What is Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for macOS, providing a convenient way to install, manage, and update various software packages on your Mac. It simplifies the process of installing command-line tools, libraries, and other applications that are not included in the default macOS installation.


Homebrew was created by Max Howell in 2009 as an open-source project to bring package management to macOS. Max Howell was inspired by package managers like APT (Advanced Package Tool) from Debian Linux and wanted to provide a similar experience for macOS users.

The project gained popularity quickly, attracting a community of contributors who helped expand the available packages and improve the functionality of Homebrew. As more users adopted Homebrew, it became the go-to package manager for macOS, offering a convenient way to install and manage software packages.

In 2010, Homebrew was officially integrated with GitHub, a popular platform for hosting and collaborating on software projects. This integration allowed users to easily contribute formulas and submit bug reports via GitHub’s issue tracking system.

Over the years, Homebrew has continued to evolve and improve. It has expanded its package collection to include a wide range of software, from programming languages and development tools to multimedia applications and system utilities.

Today, Homebrew remains an active and widely used package manager for macOS, with regular updates, a large number of contributors, and a dedicated user base. Its ongoing development and continuous improvement ensure that macOS users have a reliable and efficient way to manage their software installations.

How Homebrew Works

Repository of packages

Homebrew maintains a repository of packages called the “core” repository. This repository contains formula files written in Ruby, which provide instructions on how to install and configure each package. The core repository is the primary source for packages managed by Homebrew.


Homebrew also supports the concept of taps, which are additional repositories that extend the package collection beyond the core repository. Taps can be maintained by individuals or organizations and provide their own formulas for specific software packages. Users can add taps to Homebrew to access additional packages not available in the core repository.

Command line interface

Homebrew is primarily used through the Terminal or any command-line interface. Users interact with Homebrew by executing commands such as brew install, brew update, brew upgrade, brew search, and brew uninstall. These commands trigger the corresponding Homebrew functionality to perform package-related operations.

Dependency management

Homebrew handles dependencies between packages automatically. When a user requests to install a package, Homebrew checks its dependencies and ensures they are installed or updated as necessary. This process helps to resolve and manage the complex dependencies that may exist between software packages.

Distribute Program via Homebrew

Homebrew formula

A formula is a Ruby script that describes how Homebrew should install and configure your program. Create a new formula file with a .rb extension in the Homebrew formula directory. The formula directory is usually located at /usr/local/Homebrew/Library/Taps/homebrew/homebrew-core/Formula/.

Formula structure

class RbExample < Formula
  desc "Description of your package"
  homepage "https://example.com"
  url "https://example.com/releases/example-1.0.tar.gz"
  sha256 "0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef"
  license "MIT"
  # ...

Publish the formula

Once you are confident that your formula works correctly, you can publish it to a public or private Homebrew tap. A tap is a repository of Homebrew formulas. If you have your own tap, you can add your formula there. Otherwise, you can consider contributing your formula to the official Homebrew repository.