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It drives me nuts that every time I download a binary to run on OSX that it wants to install in system directories. ~/Applications is a perfectly fine place to install and doesn't require blindly authenticating somebody else's binary.

Is there a way to change the install directory for packages? On a few I've been able to open the package and edit the plist to install it elsewhere, but that doesn't work universally.

I install from source when I can, but it isn't always an option. Is there a good way to force the installer to use ~/Applications?

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If you mean command line applications, you can't. Unless you mess with the PATH environment variable and change up the .bashrc file. –  Wuffers Apr 23 '10 at 18:40
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