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I installed homebrew using my other user account (which I use during work), but it is impossible to install software from my newly created personal account:

$ brew install unrar
Error: Cannot write to /usr/local/Cellar

A ls -dl /usr/local/Cellar/ shows that the directory is owned by my other user account.

How do I configure homebrew to allow multiple users to install software?

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3 Answers 3

set umaskfor each user first. (.basrc or .profile or .bash_profile)

umask 0002 # group write permition

then give group write permit ion to /usr/localrecursively:

sudo chmod -R g+w /usr/local/

then change owner to staff

sudo chgrp -R staff /usr/local

now each user who is in staff group can use brew install and other brew stuff... Mostly every user is in that group.

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I had to do the same for /Library/Caches/Homebrew to make this actually work. And since all my users have Administrator Access enabled I skipped the chgrp –  Duvrai Dec 16 '14 at 16:50
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here's my workaround:

su - myother_user_account -c "brew install ..."
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This is specifically not advisable. The Homebrew FAQ strongly recomends NOT installing packages as root, and for good reason. –  Caleb Oct 21 '14 at 11:00

On the homebrew wiki, it mentions that you can install it anywere, try having local installations for each user.

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I don't want that, actually. I want the software to go to a common place irrespective of who installed it. –  Sridhar Ratnakumar Jun 22 '11 at 3:36
I've tried this and wish I hadn't as you get messed up user permissions –  MatthewFord Jul 12 '11 at 11:36

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