Install ports as non-root user?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Tue Jun 28 18:54:20 GMT 2005

brian.barto at wrote:
> Hi all. I'm looking to make a non-privileged user the owner of all my
> software so I don't have to act as root when installing, configuring, and
> updating software. Furthermore, I won't have to give out the root password
> to others who need rights to configure software. I noticed my ports
> collection is entirely owned by root and requires root to install. Is there
> a way to install ports as a non-root user or allow non-root users to install
> ports?

You can checkout the ports collection as a normal user (via CVS or CVSup, or 
copy or chown a /usr/ports owned by root).  You will need to set $PORTSDIR 
appropriately, and you can also set $LOCALBASE to point to a place owned by the 
user where the ports should be installed to.

However, a fair number of important ports require root access to create users 
or setuid binaries, and some ports have bugs when the paths are changed from 
the defaults, so be prepared for problems.


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