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Home < Documentation < Labs < HomebrewCask

This page was created based on the discussions Add Slicer Nightly to Homebrew (macOS) and Slicer installation on Mac using homebrew


The purpose of this Lab is to offer an alternative way to install / update Slicer for macOS users using the command line. The process is much more convenient than the traditional way, but it requires minimal computer skills that not all users might have. Therefore this alternative way is specially intended to be used by developers or engineers instead of medical staff and casual users.



Homebrew is "the missing package manager for macOS". It is designed for installing UNIX tools and other open-source applications. It will quickly download and install them, compiling them from source. Homebrew can install stuff like:

  • vim
  • ffmpeg
  • python

Homebrew Cask

Homebrew Cask extends Homebrew with support for installing binary apps — the kind you normally drag to your Applications folder from DMG files. For example:

  • 3D Slicer
  • Google Chrome

Homebrew Versions

Homebrew Versions lets you install alternate versions of the apps from Homebrew Cask. For example:

  • 3D Slicer Preview
  • Google Chrome Canary

Steps to update Slicer cask (for maintainers)

Adding an SSH key to GitHub and the KeyChain might be needed.


# Install homebrew
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

# Install cask-repair
brew install vitorgalvao/tiny-scripts/cask-repair


This automatically creates a pull request in homebrew-versions to update the slicer-preview cask (a Ruby script) with the new version.

cask-repair --cask-version,676538 --fail-on-error --blind-submit slicer-nightly

Steps to upgrade Slicer app (for users)


# Install homebrew + homebrew-cask
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

# Tell brew to look also in homebrew-versions
brew tap caskroom/versions

# Install (nightly)
brew cask install slicer-preview


Download and install preview version of

brew cask upgrade slicer-preview