I have a local admin user and a few "network" mobile users (without admin privileges) who need to be able to brew on a Mac. So, these 'network' users are not members of the group admin and probably shouldn't be.

$ ls -l /user/local

-rw-r--r--   1 localadmin  admin   491 Jan 21 18:04 CONTRIBUTING.md
drwxr-xr-x   6 localadmin  admin   204 Jan 21 18:23 Cellar
drwxr-xr-x   8 localadmin  admin   272 Jan 21 18:06 Library
-rw-r--r--   1 localadmin  admin   789 Jan 21 18:04 README.md
drwxr-xr-x  44 localadmin  admin  1496 Jan 23 23:44 bin
drwxr-xr-x   3 localadmin  admin   102 Jan 21 18:06 etc
drwxr-xr-x  27 localadmin  admin   918 Jan 21 18:24 include
drwxr-xr-x  98 localadmin  admin  3332 Jan 21 18:24 lib
drwxr-xr-x   6 localadmin  admin   204 Jan 21 18:24 opt
drwxr-xr-x   9 localadmin  admin   306 Jan 21 18:24 share
drwx------   3 localadmin  admin   102 Jan 21 18:37 var

My question is would there be a problem with, say, changing the group from admin to something like brewers for /usr/local -R (recurseively)? Then add root, localadmin and each network user to the brewers group. Would each network user now be able to brew?

I have read that I might need to change the umask for each network user to 0002?

1 Answer 1


This can work if you also then make /usr/local/ and everything under it group-writable with chmod. The current permissions have them writable only by localadmin.

Yes, you will need to do something about the umask for users running brew. Otherwise users won't be able to modify stuff brewed by other users, even if they're both in the brewers group. You probably don't want to change their default umask, because then all the files they create would be group-writable, which is probably not what you want. You might use a custom wrapper script around the brew command which sets the umask to 002 for just the duration of that command, e.g. by doing the umask and brew calls in a subshell.

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