Unlocking Software Management Superpowers: A Programmer's Guide to Homebrew and Automation

Unlocking Software Management Superpowers: A Programmer's Guide to Homebrew and Automation


In the ever-evolving world of software management, staying up-to-date can feel like an uphill battle. As a programmer or security enthusiast, you've likely experienced the frustration of trying to keep your applications current and secure. But fear not fellow tech aficionados! In this blog post, we'll explore the wonders of Homebrew – the Missing Package Manager for macOS (or Linux) – and demonstrate how to streamline your software management process. By harnessing the power of Python for scripting, cron for scheduling, and Twilio for notifications, you'll be able to automate updates and stay ahead of the curve. So, join us on this journey to revolutionize your software management experience and bid farewell to those update-induced headaches! Los gehts!

Why Homebrew

Homebrew stands as the go-to package manager, outshining options like MacPorts and Fink in terms of popularity. Unlike the Linux landscape, where default package managers are shipped by default, Macs lack this luxury. As a developer using macOS as your daily driver, navigating these waters, you've likely encountered the frustration of aligning your tools with specific versions among others. Homebrew can be your sanity-saving toolkit in this dynamic landscape. It could be your software-related concierge, a unified hub for packages and applications alike. But here's the twist – Homebrew doesn't stop at packages; it seamlessly installs applications too.

Installing Homebrew

Paste the script below into a macOS (or Linux) Terminal:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

The script explains what it will do and then pauses before it does it. Read about other installation options.

Installing Applications with Homebrew

With Homebrew in your arsenal, installing applications becomes as simple as typing: brew install <application_name>To know the name of formulae or Cask(s) to install, for example, Firefox, type brew search firefox. Then use the package name with the install command to install it on your computer.

brew search firefox

==> Formulae
==> Casks
firefly                  firefox ✔                  multifirefox

brew install firefox

Find a cheatsheet on homebrew usage: https://devhints.io/homebrew

Automate Updates with Python

While Homebrew's command-line prowess is remarkable, let's dive deeper into automation with Python scripting. Crafting a Python script to check for and update your Homebrew applications brings a personalized touch to your software management journey.

Writing the Script

The script runs brew update && brew outdated to check for outdated packages or applications. When there is an outdated package, it updates it.

python#!/usr/bin/env python3

import subprocess

# Your Homebrew update logic
subprocess.run(["brew", "update"])
outdated_apps = subprocess.run(
    ["brew", "outdated"], capture_output=True, text=True

if len(outdated_apps) > 0:
    print("Updating outdated apps...")
    for app in outdated_apps:
        subprocess.run(["brew", "upgrade", app])
    print("Updates complete!")
    print("No outdated apps found.")

Instant Notifications with Twilio Integration

Geeks, get ready to level up! Connect your Python script to Twilio to receive SMS notifications whenever updates are performed. Twilio's robust messaging capabilities turn your automation into an interactive experience. Start by signing up for a free Twilio account to obtain your account SID and authentication token, and a Twilio phone number.

Enhancing the Python script with Twilio's Python library:

pythonfrom twilio.rest import Client

twilio_account_sid = "your_account_sid"
twilio_auth_token = "your_auth_token"
twilio_phone_number = "your_twilio_phone_number"
recipient_phone_number = "recipient_phone_number"

client = Client(twilio_account_sid, twilio_auth_token)
message = "Homebrew applications updated!"

twilio_message = client.messages.create(

print("SMS sent:", twilio_message.sid)

Automating with Cron

For the ultimate in hands-free management, set up a cron job to run your script at designated intervals.

Step 1: Edit Crontab

Open your terminal and type:

crontab -e

Step 2: Add the Cron Job

Insert this line to run your script every Monday at 3:00 PM:

0 15 * * 1 /path/to/your/python3 /path/to/your/script.py

In this line, the fields represent:

  • Minute: 0

  • Hour: 15

  • Day of the month: *

  • Month: *

  • Day of the week: 1

Make sure to replace /path/to/your/python3 and /path/to/your/script.py with the actual paths.

Feel free to explore the entire project's GitHub repository.

In Conclusion

With Homebrew leading the charge as your reliable package manager and Python scripting, Twilio, and Cron Jobs working their automation magic, your software management journey just took a remarkable leap. Embrace this toolkit and elevate your software management game to new heights. Immerse yourself in the satisfaction of streamlined updates and notifications that fit seamlessly into your geeky lifestyle. Happy coding! 🚀