I decided to reinstall my Mac from scratch recently, and since then I've been working on ways to more effectively organize everything, image/partition my data and do recovery. I discovered Homebrew and have fallen in love (I'm very used to apt/aptitude).

One thing I've discovered is that building many of the things I need from source is painfully slow ( for instance I've been building thrift for more than an hour and a half ) since my Mac is not high-end.

What I would like to do is be able to create a disk image that Carbon Copy Cloner can sync to, containing just my homebrew cellar & library so that if I reinstall my Mac again next week (likely) or at any point in the future, I don't have to build all of these larger brew installs from scratch again (at least the same version).

I guess what I need is some advice/reassurance/tips to ensure that I won't have major headaches upon restoring a CCC image of these files to a fresh build of OSX. I'm envisioning permission concerns, problems with file vault, plist entries not in the /usr/local hierarchy etc.

Things you might need to know.

  • OSX Snow Leopard (Up to date)
  • File Vault Encryption
  • No Time Machine. Never.

1 Answer 1


Homebrew developer here: everything should be under /usr/local. Anything not under there would have required manual intervention by you to be put somewhere else (most likely your home directory). Worst case you just read the caveats for the packages that don't appear to work correctly any more.

  • Thanks for the reassurance. It's good to know that this should be possible. BTW, it turns out that the thift build had stalled, even though the process was chugging away on something. ^c'd it and brew install'd again and it took about 45 seconds. Thanks again, and thanks for your Homebrew efforts.
    – Cor
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 10:58

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