How to Fix “sudo apt-get command not found” Error on Mac Terminal

Guides on why does "sudo apt-get command not found" error on mac happens and how to fix it.

The “apt-get” command became quite famous through the Debian-based/Ubuntu systems. They utilized a dpkg packaging system offering programs and applications to be installed on the device. There was no need to build programs from the source code with this package installer. APT, also known as the “Advanced Package Tool,” was the source behind the connection with packaging systems.

What if you are facing the sudo apt-get command not found Mac issue on your device? This article presents some probable solutions and alternatives to this problem, offering you unique ways to enjoy package installation on your Mac.

Why Does the “sudo apt-get command not found” Error Happen on Mac?

The particular issue of the sudo apt-get command not being available on Mac involves multiple problems. Although it is said to be available on Debian-based systems, the sudo commands were also considerately used for Mac systems. However, if the apt-get command gives out an error particularly, it means that the issue involves the availability of the library. If it is the case, the commands related to the utility won’t work.

Many users confuse the existence of the sudo apt-get command in macOS systems. Regardless of the concept that Linux and macOS systems have nearly the same command list, they still do not use the same utilities and libraries. Thus, if you are facing such an issue of the Mac apt-get command not being found, you’ll have to look for some tangible solutions.

Alternative Options for APT on macOS

In cases where you do not have the apt-get command on your Mac systems, you can consider some alternatives that provide the same function as APT on macOS. APT commands serve the purpose of downloading and updating applications on Debian-based systems. macOS systems contain such APT alternatives for Mac providing similar solutions.

For a better understanding, we have provided a comprehensive overview and a guide showing how to use them on your Mac device.

Solution 1: Use Homebrew Package Manager

Homebrew serves as a great package manager for macOS users in the absence of apt-get command. From installing things that are not required on Mac to installing packages to their personal directory, Homebrew can perform a lot of tasks. You can also consider creating trivial Homebrew packages for your ease.

Following this, Homebrew provides the option of installing macOS apps, fonts, and other source software on the device, making it a perfect alternative. Despite being a great alternative, Homebrew does not prompt its users to confirm or deny them while updating packages. This can be commonly observed in the apt-get command.

Pro Tip: Cakebrew, an application similar to Homebrew, provides an equal opportunity; however, it has a complete user interface for getting packages.

To understand the installation and operability of the Homebrew Package Manager, we have offered a detailed guide as follows:

Step 1: Open Spotlight for Launching App Store: You should launch Spotlight on your Mac with the help of the “Command + Space” key combination. Type in “App Store” to launch it on your device.

Step 2: Download and Install Xcode: First, you will have to download “Xcode” on your Mac. Once you look for it on the App Store, click “Get” and let it install on your device.

Step 3: Launch Terminal After Xcode Installs: As the download is quite large to cover, click “Open” once it concludes. Agree to all license agreements and continue with the installation. Continue to open Spotlight again on your Mac and look for the “Terminal.”

Step 4: Install Homebrew with the Right Command: Once the Terminal opens, you will have to install Homebrew on your Mac. For that, use the following command for its execution:

% /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Step 5: Add Mac Password and Install Any Package with Homebrew: You will be prompted to add your Mac password to continue. Tap “Return” on your keyboard and type in the password to continue. As the message displays on your Mac successfully, use Homebrew to install any particular package on your Mac. Utilize the following command for this purpose:

brew install [name]

Solution 2: Use MacPorts

MacPorts is another intuitive solution if your device does not operate the Mac apt-get command not found. This open-source system provides the option to compile, install, and upgrade packages on the command line. While it is an easy-going system, it can prove immensely helpful in conditions where you do not have the apt-get command.

To know how MacPorts is installed and used in the macOS system, we have provided an overview in the form of steps:

Step 1: Download and Install Xcode from App Store: To start the process, you will have to open the App Store and look for “Xcode.” Successfully download Xcode on your Mac and install it by following the on-screen instructions.

Step 2: Open MacPorts and Download on Device: Proceed to the official website of MacPorts and download it according to your macOS version. After downloading the installation file, follow the steps as guided.

Step 3: Launch Terminal and Provide Command for Updating MacPorts: Use the “Command” and “Space” keys to launch Spotlight and open “Terminal” through it. As the window opens, use the command provided below. Once you enter the command, the Mac will prompt for a password to execute it:

sudo port selfupdate

Step 4: Install Any Package on Mac with MacPorts: The message “Updating MacPorts base source using rsync” will appear on the window showing the correct installation of the package. Once it is done, use the command shown below to install any package on your Mac:

 sudo port install [name]

Solution 3: Use Nix Package Manager

You can also consider trying the Nix Package Manager as an alternative to the apt-get command not working on Mac. While this package manager is available for multiple operating systems, it provides Mac users with an exclusive multi-user installation. To know how it is done, follow the step-by-step guide explaining the installation of this package manager:

Step 1: Download and Install Xcode on Mac: To start with the process, you will have to look at the “App Store” and download Xcode on your Mac. Since the installation takes time, ensure it is completely installed on your device.

Step 2: Install Nix Package Manager on Mac from Terminal: Once it is done, open Terminal on your Mac and continue with this command to install Nix Package Manager on your Mac:

$ sh <(curl -L

Once the process concludes, you can use the package manager to install anything particular on your Mac.

nix-env -i package_name

Wrapping Up

This article has been consistent in providing good APT alternatives for Mac. The overall discussion gives a great overview of the options and their usability. To make things easy and efficient, you can go through the article to understand more about the package managers and the processes to execute functions on them. If you are facing the apt-get command issue on your Mac, this is undoubtedly the right thing to try.

Frequently Asked Questions

To understand more about the Mac apt-get command not found on your device and the questions associated with it, we have outlined some important frequently asked questions below:

Can you use sudo apt-get on Mac?

It is not possible to use the command sudo apt-get on Mac. You will receive the “sudo apt-get command not found” on Mac, as the libraries are unavailable on the device. As it can only be found on Debian-based systems, you can consider using this command through third-party services.

How to install apt-get on macOS?

You can not install the apt-get command on macOS. But as provided in the article, consider using any of the available options to install apt-get on macOS to install packages on your Mac.

What is the Mac version of apt-get?

There is no particular version of Mac that supports the apt-get command directly. As discussed in the article, you can try its alternatives on your Mac through third-party tools.

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Abdullah Habib

Abdullah is a tech enthusiast and a geek gadgets fan. He majored in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and got a bachelor's degree in science.

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