13 responses

  1. Philip Noguchi
    March 26, 2018

    I was able to install homebrew, but trying to install other packages and apps, kept getting an error message similar to the following:

    “Error: The `brew link` step did not complete successfully
    The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local
    Could not symlink .
    /usr/local/opt is not writable.:

    Don’t quite know why usr/local/opt is not writable?

    • bil
      April 5, 2018

      Most likely, you one time install something, and that something made /usr/local/opt and made it owned by root, since that’s the way pretty much everyone except the brew folks do when installing to /usr/local. Run:
      ls -la /usr/local/opt
      and if you see stuff owned by root/wheel/admin, that’s it.
      You can change it by running:
      sudo chown -R youridhere:admin /usr/local/opt/*

      • bil
        April 5, 2018



  2. Jose
    March 26, 2018

    Another good tool that goes hand in glove with Homebrew is Cakebrew which gives Homebrew a GUI, which is very easy to use.

    • Philip Noguchi
      March 27, 2018


      Many thanks for the tip about Cakebrew. I was able to use it to troubleshoot my permissions problem and cleared that up. Have installed many of the other packages on this page.


      • john hanly
        March 27, 2018

        how did you install Cakebrew?

  3. Øyvind
    March 26, 2018

    10. Fish shell

    > brew install fish

    • Greer
      March 27, 2018

      Fish shell is excellent! I agree this is a good one!

      wireshark is a good tool as well!

  4. Joss
    March 27, 2018

    If you install bash-completion, you should also install the latest bash, i.e. v4. Apple only ships macOS with bash v3 built in, and that comes with some disadvantages, missing options etc.

    As for geoip, you should install it with the command `brew install geoip –with-geoipupdate` and then create a small LaunchAgent that updates the geoip database once or twice a week.

    As for IRC, you should also have a look at BitchX.

  5. Nate
    March 27, 2018

    speedtest-cli is a great quick little utility. Skip all that ui fluff.

  6. StefanKah
    March 28, 2018

    While homebrew is great for installing utilities, you should be aware of some issues:

    – installing packages without “sudo” (which is the core idea of homebrew) creates potential security risks

    – modifying permissions on certain subdirectories can cause problems with other applications. I specifically had issues with “brew” and “ClamXAV”. Both parties blamed each other for the resulting problems.

    – Some packages have to be built from source. If the package is written in some niche programming language like Go, Rust or Haskell, the tools for this language also have to be installed, which introduces potentially unwanted side effects; because now, every time the language tools change, they are also rebuilt. This may cause your Mac to run for several hours at 100% CPU without having any benefit for the package itself (while I write this, my 2 GHz i7 Mac Mini is now 1,5 hours into building “Rust” with no end in sight)

    – You are at the mercy of the homebrew maintainers and their (possibly misguided) decisions. E.g., two weeks ago, they decided to change the default Python interpreter from version 2 to 3, going against Python.org’s PEP 394. Of course, this caused a lot of applications which depended on “Python” being “Python 2” to break. After massive complaints from the community, they changed this back (but not without some miffed remarks)

    • bil
      April 5, 2018

      One way to mitigate the security issue is to create a second admin account, and use that to install brew fu. Make your main account a regular user and add that account to the sudoers–now you have sudo for command line stuff and when the mac prompts you for an admin password, you use the admin account. And ssh as that admin to local host to install/update brew.

  7. Leo Nesfield
    March 28, 2018

    ffmpeg is a neat little commandline media converter, use like so (input and output can be of any format, not jsut mov and mp4)

    ffmpeg -i input.mov output.mp4

    youtube-dl can download YouTube (and media from loads of other sites) videos from the terminal

    Simple download: youtube-dl (link)
    Download audio only: youtube-dl -x (link)

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