Big Sur and Homebrew

I converted to a mostly-Apple home office over the past couple of years. I still have different platforms hanging out – I have a Windows laptop for games (which is currently gathering a lot of dust), a few Linux embedded devices lurking about… but my primary tools are all running OSX.

I typically keep them all up to date. That’s got advantages and disadvantages; it puts me at Apple’s mercy for security (and there are legitimate security concerns with the Apple technology stack) but it also means everything mostly magically works.

Big Sur came out last week, and I updated my main work machine – an iMac – through the automatic process. My media creation machine – a MacBook Pro – is still on Catalina, because I record music and a lot of my music software isn’t ready for Big Sur yet. I’m going to wait until I have more confidence that I’m not locking myself out of my tools before upgrading that machine.

However, Homebrew stopped working on Big Sur, with a complaint that the command line tools weren’t working. This is related to Xcode.

The solution, though, was simple: I validated my version of Xcode (to make sure it was Xcode 12.2, the current version), and then went to and installed the Command Line Tools for Xcode 12.2.

After that, brew upgrade worked as it always did. Everything’s back on track.

Installing GraalVM on OSX with SDKMan

Want to install GraalVM on OSX? It’s easy.

First, get SDKMan. Trust me. You want it. Almost as much as brew, if you’re doing anything with the JVM. You’ll want to install bash – via brew – because SDKMan uses bash and the OSX bash shell is badly outdated.

Once you have SDKMan installed and available in your shell, execute the following command:

$ sdk install java

If you don’t install it as the default JVM, you can select it as the current JVM with this:

$ sdk default java

You can check it with java -version:

$ java -version
openjdk version "11.0.5" 2019-10-15
OpenJDK Runtime Environment GraalVM CE (build 11.0.5+10-jvmci-19.3-b06)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM GraalVM CE (build 11.0.5+10-jvmci-19.3-b06, mixed mode, sharing)

This installs the latest GraalVM installation for Java 11, as of when this was written. Enjoy!