Setup Homebrew on Windows

Homebrew is a package manager. It supports a Linux since version 2.0 and it also supports the WSL.

This article explains how to setup Homebrew in WSL.

About Homebrew

Homebrew can

  • Install dependencies at once.
  • Updates and uninstall packages easily

Homebrew following steps with 1 command.

  1. Download a package.
  2. Download dependencies.
  3. Install them with valid order.
  4. Generate and execute needed scripts.

Benefits on WSL

Linux distributions on WSL has a package manage. Are there any befits Homebrew has? Yes.

  • Homebrew independent from the Linux distribution.
  • Homebrew install packages into the user’s home directory.

Linux distributions on WSL has apt-get. It is a standard package manager and can install any packages easily. However, supported packages are dependent on the distribution. Homebrew is not dependent on the distribution.

System requirements

Homebrew is running on WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) . WSL is a compatible layer to execute linux binaries on Windows. Homebrew officially support WSL not Windows directly.

You must install the WSL before setup Homebrew. I wrote how to setup the WSL in the post below.

Install the Homebrew

Open the shell in the WSL. Open the web site of the Homebrew and copy the install script (only 1 line!), execute it in the shell. Password prompt will be appeared, enter the password of the Unix account.


The Missing Package Manager for macOS (or Linux).…

Press “RETURN” key if you see the prompt below.

Press RETURN to continue or any other key to abort

Installing process will be began.

Execute the script is available at “Install” in next page to set the PATH environment value.

test -d ~/.linuxbrew && eval $(~/.linuxbrew/bin/brew shellenv)
test -d /home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew && eval $(/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/brew shellenv)
test -r ~/.bash_profile && echo "eval \$($(brew --prefix)/bin/brew shellenv)" >>~/.bash_profile
echo "eval \$($(brew --prefix)/bin/brew shellenv)" >>~/.profile

Execute next command.

$ brew install hello

Error was reported when developer tool is not installed

My machine reported the error below.

Error: patchelf must be installed: brew install patchelf
Warning: Bottle installation failed: building from source.
Error: The following formula
cannot be installed as binary package and must be built from source.
Install Clang or run `brew install gcc`.

Homebrew build from source files when binaries are not usable, so the developer tool is needed.

I tried to install the gcc.

$ brew install gcc

But it failed and the error message was same.

Install Clang

Install the Clang with apt-get. You can install the gcc instead of Clang.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install clang

Try again

I installed the developer tool and try again.

$ brew install hello

Execute it.

$ hello
Hello, world!

Author Profile

Akira HayashiA professional developer specializing in macOS Apps, iOS Apps, SDKs and middleware development.
Representative of RK Kaihatsu. I am a professional developer specializing in macOS Apps, iOS Apps, SDKs and middleware development. I often use ObjC, Swift and C++. Based on development experience, I provide e-learning contents, technical books and technical guidance. I am also a technical seminar instructor, in-house training instructor, and administrative / local goverment staff training instructor.
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