I want to install Fish on my Mac, and there are three different installation options on the Fish website: there is an installer, installation via Homebrew, and an app.

Which one of these should I choose? I kind of know what the choices mean, but what are the practical advantages and disadvantages of them?

With all these options, there's a few reasons you may want to use each.


  • Usually uses some administrator privileges to add application data to system folders, or add start up items.
  • Can sometimes become difficult to delete later on, since files are not contained in one location
  • Allows administrator access during installation - some people may not like this, as it could tamper with files you did not want touched (In an extreme case, where the installer would actually be a virus, etc)


  • Very easy to update - just run brew update
  • Everything is installed to /opt/local, or your set location.
  • Many people just prefer this as they like to use the terminal for everything.


  • Drag and Drop Installation
  • Contains all the application files in one space.

For this particular one, I suggest Homebrew, if that is something you enjoy using, as it makes for extremely easy updating.

  • Thanks. I think I am going to go with Homebrew, and stick with it if it doesn't give me problems. – Elias Zamaria Jun 13 '16 at 20:21
  • @EliasZamaria another good option to Homebrew is a support community backing it, in the event that you have issues installing or running updates – Simon Sheehan Jun 13 '16 at 20:23
  • I typed brew install fish from the Terminal, and it installed version 2.1.1, which is almost 2 years out of date, doesn't have some of the nice features that were added recently, and is said to have "known issues on OS X". Is there any way to get the latest Fish from Homebrew? – Elias Zamaria Jun 13 '16 at 20:57
  • 1
    I downloaded the app, put it in my Applications folder, and started, and it seemed to work fine until I typed fish_config and it told me The __fish_bin_dir environment variable is not set. Looking in $PATH... fish could not be found. Is fish installed correctly?. I don't know why this is happening but I will try the installer when I get a chance. – Elias Zamaria Jun 13 '16 at 23:34
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    @EliasZamaria, that's totally a bug! Thanks for finding it! – Zanchey Jun 14 '16 at 0:53

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