I have two accounts on my computer - one is the admin and another is a standard "user" account.

I want to install a few command line tools, one of which is Spleeter (https://ezstems.com/installing-spleeter-mac/), some of which I am unsure if they will install successfully or not.

I'm wondering if the best way to do this would be to create another new user account so I can try installing them there? I don't want to mess up my day to day account by attempting to install them there.

If something did go wrong, I'm guessing that nothing on my admin account or standard day to day account would be touched? I could simply just delete the "test" account?


  • What command lines tools?
    – Gilby
    Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 23:50
  • Most command line tools are installed outside of any user account, e.g. /usr/local/, by default. It's hard to imagine what 'messing up' a user account might mean -- at worst, you can just delete the software.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


I can see two questions there.

  1. Is it best to use yet another account for command line software?

You don't say what command line software, but may well be quite pointless as the installation may place the software for use by all users. For example, the Homebrew package manager places software under /usr/local.

  1. Would deleting the 'test' account clean everything up?

Not unless the software was installed under /Users/test.

  • Thanks, the software is Spleeter - ezstems.com/installing-spleeter-mac
    – ubuntuuser
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 8:44
  • Note Homebrew does make assumptions that there is one user - other package managers follow Unix standards and install so equal access to all users.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 9:27
  • However as the OP's wanted too is installed via conda - this is irrelevant.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 9:27
  • @ubuntuuser I am not familiar with Conda, but a quick skim of the documentation suggests that, by default, it installs to ~/opt and so would be specific to the user and deletable with the user. Worry to me is that it suggests using python 3.7 whereas other package managers (e.g. home-brew) install 3.9. Mixed versions of python can cause unexpected issues.
    – Gilby
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 22:59
  • @Gilby That is not a worry - conda started as a tool for managing python versions so it really makes sure that only one version of python is in use at the same time. The version used to install conda is not necessarily the one that you use in your current environment. At the moment I also would be careful in using 3.9 some API changes did occur which require some user code to be chnaged
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 12:05

As the tool you want is installed via conda this makes some difference.

First conda itself sandboxes things to some extent (It alters the path for different environments) . Set up a new conda environment and then install Spleeter in that, unless you switch to that environment the tool will not be on your path and so can't be run (easily)

If you really want to be safe then you could set up a test user. All the things installed by conda will be in the test user's home directory. For testing and if you are worried this might be the best.

For things not installed via conda e.g. by a standard Unix ./configure;make install see the other answer but better use a package manager e.g. Macports, Homebrew etc. where someone else will have worked out how to install the tool.

For both cases if you are really worried then install macOS in a Virtual Machine and then install into that

  • Thank you for your answer, much appreciated. I will try the VM route.
    – ubuntuuser
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 10:49
  • Using a VM is the 'safe' way. Must admit I am more cavalier and just use my normal admin enabled account - and trust I can fix up any messes!
    – Gilby
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 23:01

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