We now accept stuff that comes with macOS as long as it uses
keg_only :provided_by_macos to be keg-only by default.
We now accept versioned formulae as long as they meet the requirements.
Software that can upgrade itself does not integrate well with Homebrew’s own upgrade functionality.
Because that circumvents our hash-checks, makes finding/fixing bugs harder, often breaks patches and disables the caching. Almost always you can add a resource to the formula file to handle the separate download and then the installer script will not attempt to load that stuff on demand. Or there is a command-line switch where you can point it to the downloaded archive in order to avoid loading.
Our policy is that formulae in the core tap (homebrew/core) must be open-source and either built from source or produce cross-platform binaries (e.g. Java). Binary-only formulae should go to Homebrew Cask.
Formulae in the core repository must have a stable version tagged by the upstream project. Tarballs are preferred to Git checkouts, and tarballs should include the version in the filename whenever possible.
We don’t accept software without a tagged version because they regularly break due to upstream changes and we can’t provide bottles for them.
If not, then put bindings in the formula they bind to. This is more useful to people. Just install the stuff! Having to faff around with foo-ruby, foo-perl etc. is a bad user experience.
The software in question must:
We will reject formulae that seem too obscure, partly because they won’t get maintained and partly because we have to draw the line somewhere.
We frown on authors submitting their own work unless it is very popular.
Don’t forget Homebrew is all Git underneath! Maintain your own tap if you have to!
There may be exceptions to these rules in the main repository; we may include things that don’t meet these criteria or reject things that do. Please trust that we need to use our discretion based on our experience running a package manager.
Don’t make your formula build an
.app (native macOS Application); we
don’t want those things in Homebrew. Encourage upstream projects to build and support a
.app that can be distributed by Homebrew Cask (and used without it, too).
Make it build a command-line tool or a library by default and, if the GUI is useful and would be widely used, add an option to build the GUI. Don’t offer an option for multiple GUI backends e.g. X11 is a bad user experience for GUIs on macOS.
Clang is the default C/C++ compiler on macOS (and has been for a long time). Software that doesn’t build with it hasn’t been adequately ported to macOS.
We’re a package manager so we want to do things like resolve dependencies and setup applications for our users. If things require too much manual intervention then they aren’t useful in a package manager.
Even if all criteria are met we may not accept the formula. Documentation tends to lag behind current decision-making. Although some rejections may seem arbitrary or strange they are based on years of experience making Homebrew work acceptably for our users.