What is a brew/homebrew?
If you used a Linux before, you had to meet apt-get on Debian/Ubuntu system or yum on Centos/Red Hat. Brew as well as these tools is a package manager that allows you to install (most of) Linux ‘s libs and tools on your Mac! You can also create your own packages to easily install them on other Macs.
It can be interesting that even Microsoft noticed the values behind packages managers. They introduced it to Windows. I was really surprised when I read it.
Let’s leave Windows, and focus and MacOs/OSX. It’s worth to mention, that the following information and instructions are valid on High Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina.
So, it’s very easy. Everything that you need is the Terminal. When you ran it, copy and paste the following lines:
/bin/bash -c \
"$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"
What does that code do?
1. Fetch a shell script from the following URL:
2. Execute it
How to use?
Brew provides a lot of commands that you can use, honestly, you should know only a few of them, which you will be using in common work. Let’s start with
brew install and
brew update. By using it you can install some package and update it, for example:
brew install apache2
What does it do? Install apache2 on your Mac of course.
If you just want to upgrade
apache, you have to run similar command, look at this:
brew update apache2
And that’s it! The newest version of
apache2 has been installed and is ready to use.
Another useful command is
brew services. Because a lot of tools work as a daemon (on the background) you can look at what is exactly working and turn it on or turn it off.
How to remove the not used library?
Sometimes we need to install some libraries, but we need them only temporarily. When we finish our job, we can do remove them from our Mac.
Brew shared with you a set of different commands (aliases) to do that. Let’s stick to our
brew rm --force apache2
brew remove --force apache2
brew uninstall --force apache2
When you do that, it’s worth to run the following command to remove the rubbish as well.
They do not exist! Yes, I’m just kidding, before “the brew ages” there was something called macport. Those tools have still more available packages but brew is easier and more popular now.
Keep brew always up to date
The software contains bugs, security vulnerabilities, or can be just incompatible with your version of macOs. This is the reason why it’s worth keeping all libraries, and brew as well, updated.
To keep brew and libraries always updated, you have to use the following commands:
Brew and different versions of PHP
How to install PHP 7.4 with brew
brew install firstname.lastname@example.org
The newest version of PHP. It includes support for PDO, MySQL, PostgreSQL, phpdbp, mbstring, soap, sqlite and much more.
How to install PHP 7.3 with brew
brew install email@example.com
Be aware! If you have to support a current project without a possibility to upgrade to PHP 7.4 you can install it, but active support is planned until the 6th of December 2020.
How to install PHP 7.2 with brew
brew install firstname.lastname@example.org
Important! You shouldn’t install this version of PHP. There is no active support anymore. The security support is planned utill the 30th of November 2020.
How to use different version of PHP at the same time?
As a developer, you have many different projects. Probably each of them requires different versions of PHP. With brew it’s really easy to use all of them without switching configuration, restarting notebook, or touching any services. You need aliases.
To make sure, that your aliases are always available you have to edit file
.bash_profile in your home directory. In my case it’s
/Users/marcin/.bash_profile. Open this file and add there following lines:
Voila, to verify is it work you have to restart terminal andy try to execute next commands.
If everything works fine, you should see something similar to:
PHP 7.2.31 (cli) (built: May 29 2020 02:00:47) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
PHP 7.3.19 (cli) (built: Jun 12 2020 00:29:59) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.3.19, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
with Xdebug v2.7.1, Copyright (c) 2002-2019, by Derick Rethans
with Zend OPcache v7.3.19, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies
PHP 7.4.7 (cli) (built: Jun 12 2020 00:04:10) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.4.7, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies
Brew + PHP + Composer
brew install composer
If you are interested in extra methods of installing Composer you can check my other note. You will find there brew, docker, and direct method to install Composer.
You can also check things I didn’t know about Composer.
Do you have a problem? Just run another command
brew doctor which shows you potential problems and propositions on how to fix them.
bash: brew: command not found
Have you got this message “command not found”? It means you have to install brew. How to do that? Just scroll up to section “Install”.