I used brew install drush which installed the latest stable version (6.1), when I need the 5.x branch.

This GitHub issue indicates a drush 5.x package was made available for homebrew, but I'm unsure how to install it.

3 Answers 3


Homebrew install specific version of formula? - this answer on drupal.stackexchange might help you to get the overview of how specific formulas can be installed via homebrew.

Short version related to your specific question:

  1. Update homebrew with brew update.
  2. Get all the versions available for drush formula with brew versions drush
  3. You will see a list of commits that point to specific drush versions, e.g.,

    6.1.0    git checkout a188056 Library/Formula/drush.rb
    6.0.0    git checkout 1264aaf Library/Formula/drush.rb
    6.0-rc4  git checkout 39b2450 Library/Formula/drush.rb
    6.0-rc2  git checkout 2a61472 Library/Formula/drush.rb
    6.0-beta1 git checkout 54ba68d Library/Formula/drush.rb
    5.9      git checkout 81108ad Library/Formula/drush.rb
    5.8      git checkout 91cb127 Library/Formula/drush.rb
  4. Go to the base brew directory by typing cd $( brew --prefix )

  5. Uninstall your current drush installation with brew uninstall drush (this won't affect your settings in ~/.drush directory).
  6. Checkout the drush formula for specific commit that you are interested in. If you want to have drush version 5.9, type git checkout 81108ad Library/Formula/drush.rb and you will have a brew formula available for this particular version.
  7. Install drush (version 5.9) with brew install drush
  8. Type drush --version to make sure you have the correct version installed.

The standard way to install drush is via pear.

You can install a specific version using the following command:

pear channel-discover pear.drush.org
pear install drush/drush-5.9.0

Available versions can be found on the Drush pear page: http://pear.drush.org/


If you have the most up-to-date version of Homebrew, you can use the brew switch command. For example in my terminal I switched to 5.9, then back to 6.2:

KTaylor$ brew switch drush 5.9
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/5.8
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/5.9
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.0-beta1
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.0-rc2
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.1.0
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.2.0
2 links created for /usr/local/Cellar/drush/5.9

KTaylor$ brew switch drush 6.2.0
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/5.8
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/5.9
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.0-beta1
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.0-rc2
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.1.0
Cleaning /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.2.0
2 links created for /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.2.0

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