Update: April 24th 2014: I no longer use mac, so this might be very outdated.

I’ve lately moved from Mac Ports to Homebrew. I find Homebrew an easier and more intuitive system than Mac Ports and it gives me the option to customize the installations.

Homebrew is composed of a set of “formulas” with the instructions to compile and install pieces of software, like ImageMagick or ffmpeg. Each one of these formulas can be customized to make it suit your needs in an easy way. This is an example formula from their web site.

class Wget < Formula
  homepage "https://www.gnu.org/software/wget/"
  url "https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget-1.15.tar.gz"
  sha256 "52126be8cf1bddd7536886e74c053ad7d0ed2aa89b4b630f76785bac21695fcd"

  def install
    system "./configure", "--prefix=#{prefix}"
    system "make", "install"

As you see, plain Ruby, easy to customize :)

To install it the first step for me was to remove Mac Ports, the instructions are on its homepage. After this is quite easy to install Homebrew just following the instructions on it’s homepage.

Once it’s done, you can install something as easy as.

brew install imagemagick

In fact I needed imagemagick just to install rmagick gem, which have this library as a dependency.