I have an old homebrew installation that is now not in use on a backup drive. I'd like to list all of the packages that were installed when it was in use, how can this be done without mv'ing it back over to /usr/local and making it operational again?

  • 1
    What does this command produce? ls -1 /Volumes/*/usr/local/Cellar
    – fd0
    Aug 6, 2016 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


According to the Homebrew terminology, we have the following definitions :

Cellar : All Kegs are installed here

Keg : The installation prefix of a Formula

Formula: The package definition

Homebrew installs to the Cellar it then symlinks some of the installation into /usr/local so that other programs can see what's going on.

As said in the comments, to list all packages previously installed on a backup drive you can do :

ls -1 /Volumes/*/usr/local/Cellar

If you want to have a better understanding of Homebrew paths, I recommend the reading of the following article : The Path to Homebrew.

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