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.

  • 3
    MacPorts isn't going to put up with that. Really, just pick one and use it. Jul 26, 2021 at 19:46
  • That might make a great answer - explaining why @MarcWilson
    – bmike
    Aug 21, 2022 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


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).


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. *
  • NOTE: the default installation prefix is /usr/local for macOS Intel, /opt/homebrew for Apple Silicon and /home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew for Linux. More details can be found here: docs.brew.sh/Installation Also the official FAQ page has answers regarding the choice of different default installation prefixes: docs.brew.sh/FAQ Jan 27 at 0:53

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