I'm running OS X and for security reasons my main account does not have admin privileges. How can I install development tools in the root directory so that they can be used by all users? If this can't be done, how can I install these tools so they can be used by a single non-admin user?

  • How you do this depends on the tool, but just install it in your home directory. (Or /var/tmp as Nikhil <- not what I'd call proper though) – user606723 Dec 30 '11 at 19:23

This really does depend on what you mean by programming tools. If you're talking about native OS X GUI applications, just put them in /Applications or /Developer/Applications so they're easily accessible from the Finder or Launchpad. If you're talking about command-line tools, /usr/local is typically where you would install them, with executables in /usr/local/bin, libraries in /usr/local/lib, etc. If your problem is not having the right permissions to put them there, that's what sudo is for. Use it to run any other command as root, whether it be cp, make install, etc.


Ask admin

  • to create user group with the list of non-admin users (who want access to the development tools) on the directory service (like NIS or LDAP). Lets say the symbolic group name be 'devteam'
  • create a directory with the group read permissions for 'devteam' and write permissions for you 'moosed' , somewhere that is accessible for all the others on the host(if there are multiple hosts, get started with NFS exports)
  • Once you have the shared directory setup for you, dump all your development, programming tools under the directory tree and announce everybody in the devteam about the directory birth and the list of tools available under it. You can even start managing it yourself under a version control system/release management system, if you are managing a project under it.
  • That seems a little overkill for me. I only need to do this for one user on one machine for now. – moosed Dec 30 '11 at 18:55
  • go for a directory under /var/tmp approach; if its only for sharing and not for any shell activity, then host your tools on the public_dir and get the user access your files over webserver. – Nikhil Mulley Dec 30 '11 at 19:01

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