I just tried to upgrade nmap with my package manager but got knocked back because it's supposedly not installed. Even though it is:

brew upgrade nmap  
Updating Homebrew...
==> Auto-updated Homebrew!
Updated 1 tap (homebrew/core).
No changes to formulae.
Error: nmap not installed

nmap --version 
Nmap version 6.40-2 ( http://nmap.org )
Platform: x86_64-apple-darwin10.8.0
Compiled with: liblua-5.2.2 openssl-0.9.7l nmap-libpcre-7.6 nmap-libpcap-1.2.1 nmap-libdnet-1.12 ipv6
Compiled without:
Available nsock engines: kqueue poll select

brew info nmap
nmap: stable 7.60 (bottled), HEAD
Port scanning utility for large networks
Conflicts with:
  ndiff (because both install ndiff binaries)
Not installed
From: https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-core/blob/master/Formula/nmap.rb
==> Dependencies
Required: openssl ✔
Optional: pygtk ✘
==> Options
    Build Zenmap GUI
    Install HEAD version
Is it possible to find how a package, utility, or application came to be present, and/or installed on a macOS host? I recall being able to do something like this in the past, on a Linux (Debian) host, and figured there might be some kind of system or utility in place for macOS.


This will show you your installed brew packages

brew list

There may be options in other package managers, but nmap can also be installed by downloading the disk image and installing manually.

  • That's not really the question.. – tjt263 Jan 21 '18 at 7:30
  • @tjt263 Oh, of course. I don’t think there is a general way to show how any software was installed, I suspect you will have to exhaust the possibilities one at a time. – Scot Jan 21 '18 at 9:37

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