I got Homebrew installed, but:

>brew install iftop
==> Downloading http://www.ex-parrot.com/~pdw/iftop/download/iftop-0.17.tar.gz
File already downloaded in /Volumes/0/z/Library/Caches/Homebrew
==> ./configure --disable-debug --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/iftop/0.17 --mandir=/usr/local/Cellar/iftop/0.17/share/man
==> make install
ln: iftop: Permission denied
Error: The linking step did not complete successfully
The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local
You can try again using `brew link iftop'
Warning: /usr/local/sbin is not in your PATH
You can amend this by altering your ~/.bashrc file
==> Summary
/usr/local/Cellar/iftop/0.17: 7 files, 116K, built in 3 seconds

FYI, ~/.bashrc does not exist, and

-bash: /Volumes/0/z/android:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/git/bin:/usr/X11/bin: No such file or directory

What should I do? Thanks!

  • I fixed this by chowning all the folders in /usr/local
    – Dan
    Mar 29, 2012 at 1:06
  • 2
    Does brew doctor give back any problems? Also the fact you have permission issues is worth looking in to. Apr 10, 2013 at 23:54
  • That package isn't failing for several people here. Have you isolated what is different on your setup? Is this still a problem that you haven't solved?
    – bmike
    Jan 6, 2014 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


You can remedy things in your current shell by doing:

mkdir -p /usr/local/sbin
export PATH=${PATH}:/usr/local/sbin
brew link iftop

That'll get you past the warnings and let Homebrew install the iftop package. If the iftop package is installing things in to /usr/local/sbin that you're looking to run, you'll need to ensure this is on your $PATH when you open a shell. To do this, edit ~/.bash_profile and add the line:

export PATH=${PATH}:/usr/local/sbin

To the end of the file to prepend /usr/local/sbin to each new shell you open.

  • I got it running by fixing permissions ... but is there any way to run iftop without sudo? Without sudo I get: Permission denied (I want to use this with GeekTool) Thanks!
    – Dan
    Mar 29, 2012 at 1:12
  • 1
    Nope. Binding to a network interface is a privileged action. Only super users can do that.
    – Ian C.
    Mar 29, 2012 at 1:15
  • Ah ... so no way to make it a Geeklet?
    – Dan
    Mar 29, 2012 at 1:29
  • Well... You could make your own script that gets run by a root cronjob, and puts the relevant data into a text file every minute. Then you could get geektool to read the file every minute... To create a root crontab, you just run sudo crontab -e. Everything you put in there will run with root permissions.
    – daviewales
    May 18, 2013 at 14:05
  • iftop doesn't seem like the kind of program that could be run in geektool anyway. It needs to output static text, but it appears to run dynamically in curses.
    – daviewales
    May 18, 2013 at 14:09

Have you tried using:

$ brew link iftop

As the message recommended? Otherwise it's likely you need to be su to successfully create the symlink. Try:

$ ./configure --disable-debug --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/iftop/0.17 --mandir=/usr/local/Cellar/iftop/0.17/share/man
$ sudo make install

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