Using Macports as non-root?

Kevin Reid kpreid at
Mon Jun 27 19:48:29 PDT 2011

On Jun 27, 2011, at 19:36, Michael_google gmail_Gersten wrote:

> Is there a good way to use macports as a non-root user for everything
> except the install?
> Or, is there a way to limit the installation functions to a single
> setuid program?

It is possible but unsupported. You have to build MacPorts from source, with options to set the install user and group; for example, I use:

./configure --with-install-user=pkgacct --with-install-group=staff

Most packages will install just fine under this configuration. Those that won't, you can try building as non-root followed by 'sudo port activate'.

However, MacPorts does not make any effort to, when run as root, chown files back to the designated install user, so you may have to do cleanup later as root -- but overall, I have found this configuration to work quite well.

Kevin Reid                                  <>

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