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Keep Homebrew Formulae Up To Date

June 02, 2019

In the same vein as cleaning up my git branches, today I recalled that I can easily update my Homebrew formulae with the command brew upgrade.

This kicks off the process which may take a minute or two depending on how long it’s been since your last upgrade and how many formulae you have.

The upgrade process will:

  1. Update Homebrew if it needs it.
  2. Add new formulae
  3. Delete formulae
  4. Upgrade outdated packages
  5. Run brew cleanup if it’s been 30+ days
$ brew upgrade
Updating Homebrew...
==> Auto-updated Homebrew!
Updated 2 taps (homebrew/core and homebrew/cask).
==> New Formulae
catch2                     deno                       include-what-you-use       pprint
clzip                      erlang@21                  lizard                     spice-gtk
csvq                       heatshrink                 molten-vk                  spirv-tools
==> Updated Formulae
harfbuzz ✔                       fluxctl                          mailutils                        raylib
imageoptim-cli ✔                 fn                               mame                             re2
node ✔                           fobis                            mat2                             rebar3

While this is easy enough to do every few weeks (and I’ve set a reminder in my Things list, right next to sharpen my kitchen knives), my next challenge is to schedule it using a “chron job” — something I’ve never done before!

Also worth noting, if there’s a specific formula you want to upgrade, you can use brew upgrade <formula> (which you may notice is out of date by checking the version (brew <formula> -v).


Stephen Weiss

Written by Stephen Weiss who lives in Chicago with his wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Follow him on Twitter!