Recently, Apple did the most awesome thing for non-Xcode developers.

They made the development tools available as a standalone package!

This is awesome news for those of us who only have^Whad Xcode installed to install RubyGems that compile native extensions, or for installing software with Homebrew, MacPorts or similar.. You can download them by logging into the Developer Download site.

This appears to be work started by Kenneth Reitz with his OSX GCC Installer project. I did try that project out, but ran into issues I didn’t resolve right away, so I reverted to using Xcode proper. However with the package from Apple I don’t seem to have any issues so far.

If you already have Xcode installed, you may want to remove it first.

sudo /Developer-3.2.6/Library/uninstall-devtools
sudo /Developer/Library/uninstall-devtools --mode=all /thx

My understanding is that you can remove the /Developer* director(y|ies) when complete. I had ollllld Xcode on the system where I first did this.

Next, download and install the package from Apple. It’s about 170M and takes only a couple minutes to install; sorry I don’t have a Chef recipe for this ;).

I did run into an issue with Homebrew where it wasn’t finding the right gcc binary. I had to run the following commands to fix that issue.

sudo xcode-select -switch /usr/bin
sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/llvm-gcc-4.2 /usr/bin/gcc-4.2

You wouldn’t think that something like an 8G installation would matter in 2012. However, disk space is a precious commodity on MacBook Airs and systems that have SSDs as the root volume. This is very welcome change for me, especially since it means that future Mac OS X installations do not require a large download before I can start doing things that get my system ready to use.