When comparing MacPorts vs Homebrew Cask, the Slant community recommends Homebrew Cask for most people. In the question“What are the best Mac package managers?” Homebrew Cask is ranked 2nd while MacPorts is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Homebrew Cask is:
Homebrew Cask allows you to install graphical applications through the command line, rather than having to go through the standard installation process. E.g. ```brew cask install google-chrome```
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Provides a consistent experience across OS X versions
MacPorts eschews Apple-supplied libraries and links sources against its own making sure that the experience is the same regardless of what OS X version is used.
Pro Generally very up to date
MacPorts generally gets new software soon after it's available. This way users will not have to worry if their software is up to date.
Pro Nice variants system
MacPorts has a variants system that allows customizing builds with author provided options.
Pro Manage graphical applications through the command line
Homebrew Cask allows you to install graphical applications through the command line, rather than having to go through the standard installation process.
brew cask install google-chrome
Pro Extends Homebrew
Homebrew Cask adds functionality to Homebrew such as allowing downloads of commercial licensed apps.
Con Downloads unneeded libraries duplicating functionality already provided by Apple's libraries
As MacPorts eschews Apple-supplied libraries and links sources against its own a large duplication of functionality across MacPorts and Apple libraries can be found.
Con Bad at limiting dependencies
MacPorts has a habit of pulling very specific versions of dependencies for each package. It downloads different version of already existing dependencies even in cases where the existing dependency version would have worked seamlessly.
Con Duplicate apps found in brew may cause issue
There are warnings provided that apps found in brew should not be installed with brew cask (and vice versa). While the user is warned of this, mistakes can happen, which would be better to just see them avoided all together by not supplying duplicate apps.
Con Requires Xcode
Homebrew Cask requires that Xcode is installed, which may be more work than what some want to spend on configuring this app.