Trying to install MySQL via Homebrew. The install seems to work fine but i get an error:

"Error: The linking step did not complete successfully
The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local
You can try again using `brew link mysql'"

Naturally, after this I ran:

brew link mysql

Which spat out:

Error: Could not symlink file: /usr/local/Cellar/mysql/5.5.20/include/typelib.h
/usr/local/include is not writable. You should change its permissions.

So I ran it with sudo and got a "cowardly refusing to brew link mysql".


Obviously that folder doesn't belong to you. Just try with:

sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local/include

You never have to use brew with sudo. If you do, something is wrong with your installation.

Then, try the link command again.

  • When I do I'm getting this error .. chown: /usr/local/include: No such file or directory .. – Srikanth Jeeva Sep 9 '14 at 20:50
  • There is no directory named like include. I get errors with another directory, so I run it for /usr/local and works fine. – José Castro Nov 13 '14 at 22:36

slhck's answer is great, but I think it is a little cleaner if you are a member of the admin group (probably are if you are using Homebrew) to make all locations in /usr/local writable to group.

sudo chmod -R g+w /usr/local
  • did not work for me when linking nmap installed by brew on a mac. chosen answer worked. – mles Oct 16 '15 at 10:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.