Have you ever found yourself in this position? Your sysadmin is awesome. Your sysadmin is also busy and does not install software in a timely fashion. You could install what you need in easily if only you had root privileges.

The truth is that most software does not require root privileges to run. Root privileges are only needed to install the software in sensitive directories. There is generally no reason why a local user install will not work.

This post will cover installing software in $HOME/local. Specifically, the keychain utility will be built from source and manually installed. Root privileges are specifically not required.

Software Versions

$ date -u "+%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S +0000"
2016-03-17 17:49:50 +0000
$ uname -vm
FreeBSD 11.0-CURRENT #0 r296925: Wed Mar 16 20:53:04 JST 2016     root@mirage.sennue.com:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/MIRAGE_KERNEL  amd64


First, create $HOME/local.

mkdir -p $HOME/local/bin
mkdir -p $HOME/local/lib
mkdir -p $HOME/local/share

Add $HOME/local/bin to your path in $HOME/.profile. If you are not using sh, this line may belong in another file. Adding $HOME/local/bin before $PATH is important. You probably want your local install to take precedence over a system wide installation.


export PATH="$HOME/local/bin:$PATH"

Reload $HOME/.profile so changes take effect.

. $HOME/.profile

Clone the keychain git repository into $HOME/local.

cd $HOME/local
git clone https://github.com/funtoo/keychain.git
cd keychain

Build and install keychain. So far as I can tell, keychain needs to be manually installed on systems that do not support RPM. Other software may have options to configure the installation directory. In any case, a manual installation is a valuable experience.

install -m0755 keychain $HOME/local/bin
mkdir -p $HOME/local/share/man/man1
install -m0644 keychain.1 $HOME/local/share/man/man1

The keychain utility and man page should now be available.

man keychain

Finally, consider letting your sysadmin know what you installed. A system wide install may make sense.