Easy Mac Apps – Homebrew and Cask

Use a Mac? Ok, then you need Homebrew (brew) and Cask. This isn’t a choice–you need this. These two programs make it crazy easy to install and update apps.

So imagine that you have a brand new computer. Nothing installed. You could go out and download Chrome and Firefox on your own. You could download all your text editors and graphics programs. But then you’d have to navigate to each page, find the download link, wait for the download and then run through the installation script.

Wasted time. Boring. You don’t want that; you have better things to do.

Instead, use Brew to download and install several apps in 1 command line statement.

That’s it. Easy peasy.

The difference between Brew and Cask is that Brew is for command line and non-GUI apps (Node.js, openssl, java, wget, etc.) whereas Cask is for the regular GUI apps (Chrome, Firefox, Dropbox, Skype, etc.).

Installation

Install Brew by following the instructions here.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Install Cask by following the instruction here.

brew tap caskroom/cask

Usage

Here are some of my favorite apps by category. Google the app if you’re unsure what it’s for.

# Essentials
brew cask install atom sublime-text3 filezilla github-desktop the-unarchiver jumpcut flux dropbox google-drive google-chrome firefox
# Communication
brew cask install skype slack
# Dev
brew install git jenv maven node openssl wget
# Dev tools
brew cask install mysqlworkbench java sts virtualbox visual-studio-code android-studio jd-gui ant
# Other
brew cask install handbrake spotify

Updating Cask Apps

Cask is awesome, but the downside is that there’s no easy way to update an app via Cask. Some apps, like Firefox, have their own auto-update mechanism, others, not so much.

I created a BASH script to selectively update your Cask apps and let you choose which ones to update. You can get the script from my GitHub here.

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