I'd like to install gcc and make on my Macbook Air, but I don't have root access on it. I found this link through searching on google, but I have no idea how to set up the prefix's so that the actual gcc executable can find the libraries. I have a directory set up with node.js and git installed at ~/usr/local and I'd like to install GCC there also. I have no idea where to start with make. Can anyone help? :D

2 Answers 2


If you don't have administrator access to your machine, you are still be able to install pre-compiled binary software inside your home directories. Create a folder in your home directory called usr and a directory inside that one called bin, if you want to match the standard directory structure of where make and gcc usually reside.

you can find a gnu make binary for os x here

about make

you can find a download link for a gcc binary for os x here

about gcc

Using these tools successfullly without sudo (admin or root) access is altogether another thing... and you didn't ask about that, and I can't answer that, anyway. It seems like it would be easier to gain admin access through various methods available on the web than to try to build software without admin access. But this, of course, is not part of your question. Best of luck!

(and FYI, I'm pretty sure Brew requires xcode, and if you can get xcode installed, brewnistas enthusiam for Brew notwithstanding, MacPorts is far far more resiliant and mature than Brew)


The best way to install the gcc toolchain without using Apple's command line tools is to use Homebrew.

After installing Homebrew then

brew tap homebrew/versions && brew install apple-gcc49
brew link --force apple-gcc49
ln -nsf $(which gcc-4.9) /usr/bin/gcc-4.9

should have you working.

You can find more details here: http://new-bamboo.co.uk/blog/2013/10/24/3-quick-tips-for-coding-with-os-x-10-9-mavericks

Note that the gcc toolchain includes make.

  • 1
    This still needs root access
    – mmmmmm
    May 3, 2014 at 15:14
  • 1
    No it doesn't. It requires that you are a member of the 'admin' group or you install Homebrew in somewhere you have write access such as '~/usr/local' - neither of which is 'root access' May 6, 2014 at 10:34
  • 1
    Sorry I was sloppy re root access (as I think the question was) I meant sudo etc - but the install localally should be in in the answer
    – mmmmmm
    May 6, 2014 at 10:36

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