I've been using Homebrew on my Mac forever, but sometimes I run into situations where a package is not available.

For maximum choice, which of the 4 major package managers (am I missing any?) can be installed alongside each other, without undefined behavior?

I assume it gets ugly unless one picks a primary package manager, and then just uses other ones for very targeted, narrow installs that don't duplicate dependencies etc.

  • Have 2 or 3 users and separate the packages across them - easy enough to change between accounts...
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 26, 2021 at 19:32
  • 2
    MacPorts isn't going to put up with that. Really, just pick one and use it. Jul 26, 2021 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


I have been successfully running Homebrew and Fink on my Mac Mini (late 2012) through the last 4 OS updates.

I have not had a problem with them co-existing.

I have not seen duplicated dependancies or conflicts, as versioning is at the application level, not the package manager,.

Just a small note: Homebrew uses /usr/local by default, which shouldn't really matter, but is not in the unix-tradition and might cause problems if you’ve already installed anything there (MySQL, etc.), or if there is a package installed in a unknown path from another package manager.

  • To your point, I have had all four installed at one point in High/Sierra, but I removed the others as what I needed was available in Fink and HomeBrew. *

I've had MacPorts and Homebrew coexist with no problems. Take my answer with a grain of salt, though, since I use MacPorts very rarely (1-2 times a year).

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