Taps (third-party repositories)

brew tap adds more repos to the list of formulae that brew tracks, updates, and installs from. By default, tap assumes that the repos come from GitHub, but the command isn’t limited to any one location.

The command (brew tap)

$ brew tap

Repository naming conventions and assumptions

Formula duplicate names

If your tap contains a formula that is also present in homebrew/core, that’s fine, but it means that you must install it explicitly by default.

If you would like to prioritize a tap over homebrew/core, you can use brew tap-pin username/repo to pin the tap, and use brew tap-unpin username/repo to revert the pin.

Whenever a brew install foo command is issued, brew will find which formula to use by searching in the following order:

If you need a formula to be installed from a particular tap, you can use fully qualified names to refer to them.

For example, you can create a tap for an alternative vim formula. Without pinning it, the behavior will be

brew install vim                     # installs from homebrew/core
brew install username/repo/vim       # installs from your custom repo

However if you pin the tap with brew tap-pin username/repo, you will need to use homebrew/core to refer to the core formula.

brew install vim                     # installs from your custom repo
brew install homebrew/core/vim       # installs from homebrew/core

Do note that pinned taps are prioritized only when the formula name is directly given by you. i.e., it will not influence formulae automatically installed as dependencies.