OS X: Install package with administrative rights

There are some packages that can be properly installed only with administrative rights. If you are like me, and run your account with regular rights, you might face some installation failures with poorly build packages.

For example, you might encounter error messages like these:

Checking the console will reveal a permission problem:

   10-08-11 23:15:44 com.apple.installd.user[2978] Permission denied

Fortunately, Apple designed the .pkg packages to enable authorisation requests for such packages, and changing this setting is quite easy, requiring only to edit a text file.

The steps to fix this are listed below.

Show Package Content

The first step is to open the package. Right click on the .pkg package and select Show Package Content. You will get something like this:

Edit the Info.plist

Open the Info.plist file, either with a text editor or, if you have the developer SDK installed, with the Property List Editor.

Locate the  IFPkgFlagAuthorizationAction key


If you are using the Property List Editor, you will see something like this:

Change the value from NoAuthorization to AdminAuthorization

Save the file and close the editor.

Run the install

Click on the .pkg package and follow the instructions. At a certain point in time the installer will ask for administrative credentials. Provide them and the installation will complete properly.


About Liviu Ionescu (ilg)
Hi! My name is Liviu Ionescu (ilg, ilegeul or eunete for colleagues and friends) and I’m a senior IT engineer. Or should I say a real programmer?

3 Responses to OS X: Install package with administrative rights

  1. lixp says:

    Cool man… you should send a link to this page to the CadSoft guys!

  2. Pingback: Mac OS X: How to install EAGLE as a non-administrator user « ilg The Geek's blog

  3. Emanuel says:

    Or you can try opening the .pkg installer from terminal with admin privileges, it worked for me:
    $ sudo open ~/path/to/pkg/installer.pkg

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