OS X: How to install EAGLE as a non-administrator user

There are few EDA programs that run on Mac OS X. One of them is CadSoft EAGLE PCB & Schematic software (v5), but unfortunately the integration with Mac OS X is minimal.

The first problem a non administrator user encounters is an installation failure:

Checking the console will reveal a permission problem:

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

A short problem identified the problem: the package tries to write in the /Applications folder (that requires administrative rights), but the .pkg is not configured to ask for administrator authorisation:


One solution would be to alter the Info.plist file in the package (see the Install package with administrative rights post). After this it is necessary to adjust the ownership of the bin folder in order to write the licence key.

Another solution is to avoid the /Applications folder and choose a user folder, for example $HOME/Applications.

The entire process is fully supported by the Mac OS X package installer, and it is not required to patch any file.

Start the installation process, and when the Destination Select window is displayed, click on the Macintosh HD icon:

 This will expand the window with a button allowing to choose the installation folder:

 Click on this button and a folder chooser window will be displayed. Click on your home folder and select the Applications folder:

Since the EAGLE installer wants to add several sub-folders, it is mandatory to create a new folder for this, otherwise all these sub-folders will reside directly in the Applications folder. For this click on the New Folder:

Click on Create and check the new folder:

If everything is fine, click on Choose.

Check if the installer properly displays the desired folder and Continue.

Proceed with the standard installation until completion. No further customisations are required.


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?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: