HomeBrew VS spack

Compare HomeBrew vs spack and see what are their differences.


🍺 The missing package manager for macOS (or Linux) (by Homebrew)


A flexible package manager that supports multiple versions, configurations, platforms, and compilers. (by spack)
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HomeBrew spack
1098 39
35,376 3,252
1.9% 2.5%
10.0 10.0
7 days ago 3 days ago
Ruby Python
BSD 2-clause "Simplified" License Apache-2.0 or MIT
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of HomeBrew. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-03-21.


Posts with mentions or reviews of spack. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-11-05.
  • Stop searching for shared libraries
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/cpp | 5 Nov 2022
    At the end of the day a distro or a package manager can decide to do this (typically with patchelf). For example Spack enables this now under a config option: https://github.com/spack/spack/pull/31948. Nix is considering to support it, but the relevant issue is already open for about 5 years, so unclear if they will do it.
  • What happened to LLVM 15?
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/archlinux | 24 Oct 2022
    If you want to keep up with compilers (and other tools) without waiting for distro support, you might want to take a look at spack: https://github.com/spack/spack. Together with something like Lmod or Environment-Modules, you can have multiple versions of different compilers without any of them getting in each others way. It's sort of meant for hpc centers and is well maintained by Livermore labs, but works well on a dev workstation too.
  • C++ for scientific programming?
    6 projects | reddit.com/r/cpp | 27 Jul 2022
    The package *management* story is still not as good as it could be, but there is a tremendous amount of high-quality third-party C++ "packages" out there--for some sufficiently loose definition of a package. If you use conan as your package manager, you have access to (at least) these. Though, in an HPC setting I would probably turn to spack first (which was developed by expert HPC tooling folks and is already used in very large/complex HPC deployments).
  • C++ is making me depressed / CUDA question
    7 projects | reddit.com/r/rust | 20 Jul 2022
    Trilinos is a pain to install and get working, I recommend using Spack or a similar tool to deal with it.
  • [Question] Understanding environments and libraries caching on a beowulf cluster
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/HPC | 4 Jul 2022
    Use tools like easybuild or spack to maintain the software and the modules at the same time.
  • About C++ Dependency Management
    6 projects | reddit.com/r/cpp | 23 May 2022
    Consider: https://github.com/spack/spack
  • Open source / part time research in the world of HPC?
    3 projects | reddit.com/r/HPC | 15 May 2022
    Spack: package manager for HPC (users, developers, and admins). https://github.com/spack/spack. You can run it on your laptop. We have over 1,000 contributors so far; adding a new package or simple feature is a good way to get started. If you need help or pointers, join us on slack at spack.slack.io; there are 1,700 people on there to answer questions.
  • Upgrade GitHub cli
    4 projects | dev.to | 8 Apr 2022
    gh is available via Homebrew, MacPorts, Conda, Spack, and as a downloadable binary from the releases page.
  • Getting started/recommendations
    3 projects | reddit.com/r/HPC | 8 Feb 2022
    Get comfortable with environment modules (see e.g., lmod), and check out installation systems like EasyBuild and Spack.
  • The Curse of NixOS
    35 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 24 Jan 2022
    You might as well try Spack, it's Python + a dsl to customize builds in a single line. Guix package descriptions look very daunting to me.

    [1] https://github.com/spack/spack/

What are some alternatives?

When comparing HomeBrew and spack you can also consider the following projects:

asdf - Extendable version manager with support for Ruby, Node.js, Elixir, Erlang & more

Visual Studio Code - Visual Studio Code

osxfuse - FUSE extends macOS by adding support for user space file systems

Chocolatey - Chocolatey - the package manager for Windows

winget-cli - Windows Package Manager CLI (aka winget)

Docker-OSX - Run macOS VM in a Docker! Run near native OSX-KVM in Docker! X11 Forwarding! CI/CD for OS X Security Research! Docker mac Containers.

nvm - Node Version Manager - POSIX-compliant bash script to manage multiple active node.js versions

ohmyzsh - 🙃 A delightful community-driven (with 2,100+ contributors) framework for managing your zsh configuration. Includes 300+ optional plugins (rails, git, macOS, hub, docker, homebrew, node, php, python, etc), 140+ themes to spice up your morning, and an auto-update tool so that makes it easy to keep up with the latest updates from the community.

chromebrew - Package manager for Chrome OS [Moved to: https://github.com/chromebrew/chromebrew]

AlDente-Charge-Limiter - macOS tool to limit maximum charging percentage

Scoop - A command-line installer for Windows.

Rectangle - Move and resize windows on macOS with keyboard shortcuts and snap areas