MacPorts without root privileges: how?

Gf B gbspambucket at
Thu Feb 10 12:02:16 PST 2011

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 3:38 PM, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>wrote:

> Some ports like dbus install system daemons. These daemons have launchd
> plists that help you start them. These plists must live in
> /Library/LaunchDaemons,


What's wrong with just running "launchctl load [-w] /path/to/my/plist"?

Clearly, the dbus port is not required at the machine's boot-up, not even if
one wants to ultimately run ports that depend on dbus.  (In fact, IRC, when
one installs the Emacs+x11 port using root privileges, one can start using
Emacs on X11 right away, without having to reboot the machine or do anything
that launches the dbus daemon.)  This means that dbus can be started just as
well when the user logs in, for example, along with other programs that
start automatically at this time.  If this reasoning is correct, then the
problem here is to modify the port activation code so that it is possible to
make different arrangements for getting the dbus plists loaded without
touching /Library.

At the very least, I would like to find out how to make the installation
appear successful, even when the activation step failed (so that ports that
depend on dbus will still be installed by MacPorts).  I'll make sure that
the necessary daemons are properly started, etc.  (Actually, the extent of
Emacs' dependence on dbus is not entirely clear to me; I find it a bit hard
to believe that it's an absolute requirement.)

Can someone point me to the files that I would need to hack to achieve any


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