Downgrade to a Previously-installed Brew Formula
Here’s how to install an old, previously-installed brew formula.
(tested on Hombrew 1.36)
Deprecated: List Available Versions on Tap
There used to be a command,
brew versions, where you’d try to list the versions of a formula ready to install. If I was looking for
hugo versions, I’d type
brew versions hugo.
This no longer works. I get:
$ brew versions hugo Error: Unknown command: versions
List Previously-installed Versions
You can use a different command, however, to list versions of a package that you have previously installed on your machine:
$ brew list --versions hugo hugo 0.18.1 0.21 0.30.2
I have 3 versions I’ve installed before. Thankfully,
0.18.1 is still there, because that’s the one I want to downgrade to.
Switch to Different Formula Version
There’s an easy switchero I can pull to downgrade to the previously-installed version:
$ brew switch hugo 0.18.1 Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/hugo/0.18.1 Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/hugo/0.21 Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/hugo/0.30.2 28 links created for /usr/local/Cellar/hugo/0.18.1
My task is now essentially done. I did try a couple other things along the way though.
Install Specific Version
I saw a bunch of Internet advice to install specific versions using the
@VERSION suffix, a la npm, such as
brew install [email protected]. This does not work in most cases.
It only works in the case of those packages that publish a formula actually named using that format.
postgresql is such a package.
You can list the published formulas related to a package name using the command:
$ brew search postgresql ==> Searching local taps... postgresql [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] ==> Searching taps on GitHub... caskroom/cask/navicat-for-postgresql caskroom/cask/photo-supreme-postgresql ==> Searching blacklisted, migrated and deleted formulae...
There was also some advice that I read about how to install any arbitrary version of a formula previously published on homebrew by finding the git commit hash and using that. I never went through the trouble of trying this.
How to do you install old formulas on homebrew?