How to use Homebrew on a Multi-user MacOS Sierra Setup

You can also change the group permissions to admin or another group that both of your users are in:

chgrp -R admin /usr/local
chmod -R g+w /usr/local

Original source:


In macOS High Sierra you can't change the owner, group or permissions of /usr/local. So you have to change the group and permissions of the subfolders:

chgrp -R admin /usr/local/*
chmod -R g+w /usr/local/*

UPDATE September 2018, High Sierra 10.13.6

  1. Determine the path of the brew prefix, ie. the path that will be used to store files related to working with homebrew
  2. Check that all users on the system who need access to brew are in the admin group
  3. Optional Add a user to the admin group if a user needs access to brew

    Will require access / privileges to use the sudo command

  4. Set the brew prefix path to be recursively owned by the admin group
  5. Set the brew prefix path to be recursively writable by all users who are in the admin group
  6. Verify the permissions of the brew prefix
  7. brew

echo $(brew --prefix)
echo $(groups $(whoami))
sudo dseditgroup -o edit -a $(whoami) -t user admin
sudo chgrp -R admin $(brew --prefix) 
sudo chmod -R g+rwX $(brew --prefix)
ls -lah $(brew --prefix)

Every answer that tries to hack permissions, or use sudo is wrong.

Do not use sudo and do not share a single brew installation across user accounts.

The correct answer per the Homebrew docs is to use zero or one global brew installation on a machine, and for all other users install a local version of brew.

This is especially important on Mac, but works on Linux too.

This can be done by one of the following approaches

  1. Git approach: doing a git checkout of the source repo
  2. Untar-anywhere approach: expanding a tarball into some directory – owned by your user

Git approach

For the git approach you'll need to clone brew.

Arbitrarily choosing my user home directory for my checkout:

cd $HOME
git clone
./brew/bin/brew tap homebrew/core

Untar-Anywhere Approach

As documented at, run this command in your home directory, which will create ~/homebrew.

mkdir homebrew && curl -L | tar xz --strip 1 -C homebrew

Finishing up

For either installation method, you'll need to change your PATH to prefer the new brew bin directory, adding something like this to your shell's dot file.

export PATH=$HOME/homebrew/bin:$PATH

Since this is a new installation, you have to install all your desired brew packages (again).

EDIT: Please use the answer by Vitim, it's the correct one :)

Hacky workaround solution for macOS Mojave 10.14

This is a edited version of user4815162342's answer, which didn't work for me out-of-the-box.

  1. In System Preferences, go to Users & Groups, click the lock symbol in the bottom left corner to unlock user/group creation, then create a new group called brew-usergroup. Add all users who work with brew to the group (like in the attached screenshot from a german macOS).

enter image description here

  1. In terminal, do this:

     echo $(brew --prefix)
     echo $(groups $(whoami))
     sudo dseditgroup -o edit -a $(whoami) -t user brew-usergroup
     sudo chgrp -R brew-usergroup $(brew --prefix)/*
     sudo chmod -R g+rwX $(brew --prefix)/*
     ls -lah $(brew --prefix)

Note that this doesn't change rights of brew folders anymore (like in other answers), it changes subfolders/files of brew folders. brew install should now work fine without errors.