Fast install and correct setup for Homebrew on Mac

Step 1 — Use your Terminal!

Like any other application, you can find it by going into Finder, navigating to the Applications folder, and then into the Utilities folder. From here, double-click the Terminal application to open it up. Alternatively, you can use Spotlight by holding down the COMMAND key and pressing SPACE to find Terminal by typing it out in the box that appears.

Now that you have the Terminal running, let’s install some additional tools Homebrew needs.

Step 2— Installing Xcode’s Command Line Tools

xcode-select — install

You’ll be prompted to start the installation and then again to accept a software license. Then the tools will download and install automatically.

Step 3 — Installing Homebrew

curl -fsSL -o

The command uses curl to download the Homebrew installation script from Homebrew’s Git repository on GitHub.

Let’s walk through the flags that are associated with the curl command:

  • The -f or --fail the flag tells the Terminal window to give no HTML document output on server errors.
  • The -s or --silent flag mutes curl so that it does not show the progress meter, and combined with the -S or --show-error flag it will ensure that curl shows an error message if it fails.
  • The -L or --location flag will tell curl To handle redirects. If the server reports that the requested page has moved to a different location, it’ll automatically execute the request again using the new location.
  • The -o switch specifies a local filename for the file. Rather than displaying the contents to the screen, the -o switch saves the contents into the file you specify.

Before running a script you’ve downloaded from the Internet, you should review its contents to know what the script will do. Use the less command to review the installation script, so you understand what it will do."


Once you’re comfortable with the contents of the script, execute the script with the bash command


The installation script will explain what it will do and prompt you to confirm that you want to do it.

Once the installation process is complete, you will want to put the directory Homebrew uses to store its executables at the front of the PATH environment variable. This ensures that Homebrew installations will be called over the macOS tools.

The file you’ll modify depends on which shell you’re using. ZSH is the default shell on macOS Mojave and higher. The Bash shell is a popular shell that older versions of macOS use as the default, and if you’ve upgraded your OS, you may still be using Bash.

Execute the following command to determine your shell

echo $0

You’ll see either bash or zsh. If you’re using ZSH, you’ll open the file ~/.zshrc in your editor

nano ~/.zshrc

f you’re using the Bash shell

nano ~/.bash_profile# Add Homebrew's executable directory to the front of the PATH
export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH

Reload your Shell or Restart your Terminal to get the updated config.

Once you have done this, your changes to the PATH environment variable will take effect. They’ll be set correctly when you log in again in the future, as the configuration file for your shell is executed automatically when you open the Terminal app.

Now let’s verify that Homebrew is set up correctly

brew doctor

Step 4 — Installing, Upgrading, and Removing Packages

Install tree with the brew install command

brew install tree

Homebrew will update its list of packages and then download and install the tree command

Homebrew installs files to /usr/local by default, so they won’t interfere with future macOS updates. Verify that tree is installed by displaying the command’s location with the which command

which tree

The output should show that tree is located in /usr/local/bin

Run the tree command to see the version

tree — version

If you want to upgrade an existing package, use the brew upgrade command followed by the package name

brew upgrade tree

To remove a package you’re no longer using, use brew uninstall. To uninstall the tree command, execute this command

brew uninstall tree

Step 5 — Installing Desktop Applications

Homebrew Cask lets you install desktop applications. This feature is included with Homebrew, so there’s nothing additional to install.

Please test it out by using Homebrew to install Visual Studio Code

brew install visual-studio-code

You’ll find the application in your Applications folder, just as if you’d installed it manually. To remove it, just use

brew uninstall visual-studio-code

Step 6 — Uninstalling Homebrew

I don’t know why you ever wanted to uninstall homebrew, but follow these simple steps if you want to do it.

Download the uninstall script

curl -fsSL -o

As always, review the contents of the script with the less command to verify the script’s contents


If everything is okay, then watch the options for the uninstall script

bash --help

Use the -d flag to see what the script will do

bash -d

When you’re ready to remove everything, execute the script without any flags


This removes Homebrew and any programs you’ve installed with it

Visit the official list to search for your favorite programs.

Step 7 — Setting Up Homebrew Shell Completion

Homebrew comes with completion definitions for the brew command. Some packages also provide completion definitions for their own programs.

zsh, bash and fish are currently supported.

You must manually configure your shell to enable its complete support. This is because the Homebrew-managed completions are stored under HOMEBREW_PREFIX which your system shell may not be aware of, and since it is difficult to configure automatically bash and zsh completions in a robust manner, the Homebrew installer does not do it for you.

To make Homebrew’s completions available in zshYou must insert the Homebrew-managed zsh/site-functions path into your FPATH before initializing zsh’s completion facility. Add the following to your ~/.zshrc

if type brew &>/dev/null
FPATH="$(brew --prefix)/share/zsh/site-functions:${FPATH}"

autoload -Uz compinit

You may also need to rebuild forcibly zcompdump (or any file like zcondump-5.14)

rm -f ~/.zcompdump

After you deleted all the files, just


You find the complete help documentation for all shells provided via

Use the interactive Homebrew shell

brew irb

Hide the beer mug emoji

adding this line to your shell config


The beer emoji can also be replaced with other characters


Install stuff without the Xcode CLT

brew sh          # or: eval "$(brew --env)"
gem install ronn # or c-programs

Quickly remove something from Homebrew

brew unlink <formula>

This can be useful if a package can’t build against the version of something you have linked into Homebrew’s prefix.

And of course, you can simply brew link <formula> again afterward!

Using Brewfile to automatic setup

The bundle is automatically installed once it is used

brew bundle dump

Dumps latest Brewfile into current Directory. This Brewfile lists all your installed programs via Homebrew. If you want to restore all your programs or install all your needed programs automatically on a fresh machine, just

brew bundle --file ~/your-path-to-your/Brewfile

And Homebrew is setting up everything

Fast way to clean up cache and unused files and data, update programs and remove the old versions from your Mac.

Just use this command and paste it into your Terminal

brew update && brew upgrade && brew cleanup


You can install, update, reinstall, backup, secure, and clean your mac and your programs easily and fast with homebrew and your terminal.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store