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What's the reasoning behind us installing Homebrew Mac OSX?

Just wondering especially for beginners and just learning Ruby, installing/configuring/troubleshooting Homebrew is very tedious and any number of issues can arise. Even Zed Shaw tells you not to run it and to make sure you have at least Ruby 2.0 or greater. I think most of my issues so far have been with permissions and homebrew. I've had to head over to Codeschool and Zed Shaw's learn to code Ruby the hard way until I know enough to come back and work on the Ruby courses. (and finish the Ruby track) prior to hitting the ''Rails" Track.

3 Answers

The most likely culprit for installing Homebrew is for imagemagick and/or other packages. You can do it other ways but I find Homebrew the easiest for this.

Nathan Elliott
Nathan Elliott
16,232 Points

Homebrew is the package manager for OS X. Package managers allow you to more easily install, uninstall, and manage different programs and all of the dependencies involved with them. It may seem confusing now but it makes things much much easier down the road and rest assured, even if you don't use it now, you will use it in the future if you use a Mac.

There is nothing wrong with learning Ruby first and then worrying about learning Rails, RVM (or rbenv), Homebrew, etc. later though. Just make sure you are making progress and you will get around to it eventually.

The ruby version bundled with Macs can go out of date fairly quickly. It's not an easy task to update a system dependency. Nor is it recommended, as you can't be sure what uses that elsewhere.

Homebrew cuts out much of the leg work like building it from source and setting up the correct install locations. It may be tricky initially but the more manual way is much harder.

Though for getting started I'm sure the system ruby works in the majority of cases.