What is the best alternative to Homebrew Cask?
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Every time you install, delete or change anything you get a new fresh copy of your user environment (set of symlinks to files in /nix/store) that's stored in the same /nix/store and handled mostly the same way. Your "profile" (symlink to one of environments) is updated after everything else is ready, so you'll never end up in a half-finished state of your system. See More
While the functional approach that Nix takes is great for sandboxing binary artifacts of packages, it seriously lacks any power in handling configuration files or user data. It's difficult to upgrade and downgrade files where semantics and syntax can change between versions. Especially in Debian/Ubuntu it can cause severe problems where the upgrade process blocks and the user needs to resolve the 3-way merge. See More
You can have different (probably overlapping) sets of software installed in two or more profiles that will be handled (changed, versioned, upgraded, reverted) independently. All software will be installed in the same /nix/store, so any overlaps between your sets will be physically installed only once. See More
One of the things to like about Homebrew is that it refuses to run things under sudo most of the time. This is a great policy, but it causes issues when you want to create symlinks or install in places that SIP has changed permissions on. (Alternatively, you could install Homebrew somewhere other than /usr/local, but that might break various packages that depend on having stuff in and relative to /usr/local/.) See More
May cause issues when trying to create symlinks or installing in places where SIP has changed permissions
Macports seems to be able to get into a bad state where new packages are unable to be installed, or installed software was unable to be updated. This simply hasn't happened with Homebrew. In addition to not having to deal with corruption problems, Homebrew installs packages in userland. Not requiring root to install software is a big win. See More
Backporting fixes can be done by cherry-picking updates from a newer branch (pkgsrc is released every 3 months) and creating a package. Sometimes bugs need to be fixed for production and there is neither a fix in newer pkgsrc nor the softwares upstream. So pkgsrc has tools like pkgdiff, mkpatches, etc. that help with developing patches and building binary packages from that. A bit of documentation about that process can be found here. See More
Fast software installation is possible by using binary packages. It's also easy to build from source which allows for different compile-time options (like different UI backends) as well as gaining access to pre-release versions of software in certain cases. See More
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