I am trying to write a formula for homebrew to install a C++ tool I made. I have the following rule in my makefile to copy binaryFile file to /usr/local/bin:


    @install -m 0755 binaryFile /usr/local/bin

When I run make install, it correctly copies binaryFile to /usr/local/bin.

However, when I brew install the package, it gives the following error when running the make install:

install: /usr/local/bin/binaryFile: Operation not permitted
make: *** [install] Error 71

I have done some reading and most places say that, when given this error, use /usr/local/bin/ rather than /usr/bin - which is what I am already doing. I don't understand why when homebrew runs make install it behaves differently than when I manually run it.

To see the exact problem I'm having:

brew tap k-vernooy/tap
brew install terminalgol
  • You shouldn't install directly to /usr/local/bin. You should install to whatever prefix homebrew sets (which is usually, but no necessarily, somewhere in /usr/local).
    – muru
    Sep 12 '19 at 2:04
  • I set the install directory to $(brew --prefix)/bin, but it still returned the error Operation not permitted
    – k-a-v
    Sep 12 '19 at 2:52

You're not doing things right. A formula is forbidden to install binaries, or what ever, into /usr/local/bin directly.

As a formula, it should installed all of its content into a path like /usr/local/Celler/<formula-name>/<version>, which is called a prefix path and represented by #{prefix} in ruby. Homebrew will symlink the binary from subfolder bin/ under this #{prefix} into /usr/local/bin.

The #{prefix} variable from ruby is calculated by Homebrew automatically, following the pattern I mentioned above.

All you should do is to tell the configure file this prefix before compile and build.

class Wget < Formula
  homepage "https://www.gnu.org/software/wget/"
  url "https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget-1.15.tar.gz"
  sha256 "52126be8cf1bddd7536886e74c053ad7d0ed2aa89b4b630f76785bac21695fcd"

  def install
    system "./configure", "--prefix=#{prefix}"
    system "make", "install"

Please read the developer documentations and some existing formulae codes before you write your own formulae.

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