How to use the Linuxbrew package manager

The Linuxbrew package manager is your ticket to Homebrew on Linux, and by installing it, you’ll gain access to dozens of unique, useful Unix-based programs and tools that aren’t usually offered to users through the traditional sources (DEB/RPM, Repos, as well as Flatpak/Snap and AppImage). You’ll also find some similar apps you already see on Linux distros in there as well.

Getting used to the Homebrew packaging system on Linux with Linuxbrew is very easy. In this tutorial, we’ll go over exactly how the Linuxbrew package manager works, and how to get your hands on all of the useful and unique brew apps out there today!

Install Linuxbrew package manager

Before being able to access and install Homebrew applications on Linux, you’ll need to install Linuxbrew. Doing this isn’t a complicated process, but it does take a bit of know-how.

To get the Linuxbrew system working on your Linux PC, go over to the official website. Once there, you’ll find the download and installation instructions, and it should be enough to get it working.

Are you having issues getting the Linuxbrew packaging system up and running on your Linux PC? Don’t worry! We can help! Check out our in-depth guide all about installing Linuxbrew here!

Searching for packages on Homebrew

Finding packages in the Homebrew software repository on Linux is done with the brew search command. To use it on your PC, launch a terminal window and run the command to find a specific app you’d like to use. For example, to locate the Homebrew ClamAV package, do:

brew search clamav

Essentially, use brew search and the name of a keyword, app or program you’d like to use. Though, please keep in mind that Homebrew doesn’t have every app ever made.

brew search keyword

Want to search all Homebrew packages available, rather than just one? Run the brew search command without a keyword. This will display every package available, rather than just a keyword result.

brew search

When running the brew search command, a huge result list will appear on the screen. Use it to sort through and find what you like. Alternatively, add in the more command as a pipe, to make the search results easier to read.

brew search | more

You can also pipe the search results in a text file for later.

brew search > ~/brew-packages.txt

View the output of the file with:

cat ~/brew-packages.txt

Install packages on Homebrew

Installing packages from the Homebrew repository is done with the brew install command. To install a single package, do the following.

First, use the brew search command to locate the name of the program you’d like to install on your system.

brew search

Next, take the name of the package and use the brew install command in the terminal window to quickly grab the latest version of the package.

brew install programname

Install multiple packages on Homebrew

The Homebrew package manager on Linux lets users install multiple programs at a time. To do it, search for a package like normal. Then, after finding the packages you’d like to install, use the brew install command alongside each package to install.

For example, to install two Homebrew packages at once, you’d do:

brew install package1 package2

To install 3, do:

brew install package1 package2 package 3

There isn’t a limit to how many programs to install with the Homebrew package manager. Just list them one after the other and go!

Uninstalling packages on Homebrew

Uninstalling installed apps with Homebrew is done with the brew uninstall command. To remove an app, start by running the brew list command to view all installed packages.

brew list

Take a look at the listed packages on the system and take note of the ones you’d like to remove. Then, use the brew uninstall to get rid of them. For example, to uninstall the Homebrew version of ClamAV, do:

brew uninstall clamav

Or, if you’d like to remove multiple applications from Homebrew, do the same as installing multiple packages at a time. For example, to uninstall two apps, follow the example below.

brew uninstall package1 package2

To remove three, try:

brew uninstall package1 package2 package3

Like installing multiple programs, there isn’t a limit to how many Homebrew packages are removed. Just list one after the other as desired.

Update Homebrew packages

Updating with Homebrew works with two commands: brew update and brew upgrade.

brew update: updates the Homebrew system as a whole.

brew upgrade: used to update individual packages.

So, for example, to install a new release of Linuxbrew for use on your Linux PC, open up a terminal and run brew update.

brew update

Or, if you’d like to update an individual program, do:

brew upgrade package1 package2
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