Installing without root privileges: what about /Applications/MacPorts?

Michael Williams williams at
Tue Sep 16 07:36:28 PDT 2008

On 14 Sep 2008, at 01:27, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>> I think I've successfully installed MacPorts without root privileges.
>> I installed from source using:
>> ./configure --prefix=$HOME/.macports --with-install-user=$USER -- 
>> with-
>> install-group=staff --with-tclpackage=~/Library/Tcl
> I also prefer to use MacPorts without root when possible... I use  
> this:
> PREFIX=/mp
> ./configure \
> --enable-readline \
> --prefix=$PREFIX \
> --with-tclpackage=$PREFIX/Library/Tcl \
> --with-install-user=rschmidt \
> --with-install-group=admin
>> (this was based on my interpretation of
> As Bryan said, the gsoc08-privileges branch has not yet been merged  
> into trunk, so if you're building from trunk, you're not getting any  
> of that new code yet.

Thanks. I realize most of the features discussed on that page are not  
in trunk. But it was useful for me to extract information about what I  
could do with trunk right now, especially the configure options you  

>> However, I've run into trouble with a couple of packages. These  
>> errors
>> boil down to:
>> Error: Target org.macports.activate returned: can't create  
>> directory "/
>> Applications/MacPorts": permission denied
> I change the ownership of /Applications/MacPorts to my user.

Unfortunately I can't do that. I would like to install into ~/ 

>> Is there any way to change this directory to, say, ~/Applications/
>> MacPorts or is it hard-coded?
> In MacPorts 1.6.0 and earlier it is hardcoded. In trunk, there is a  
> new configure parameter --with-applications-dir and a new  
> macports.conf option applications_dir.

I'll respond to this in my reply to Bryan's message, but thanks very  
much for your help!

-- Mike

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