brew update – Error: /usr/local must be writable!

Logo for Homebrew

[UPDATE – View updated solution at the bottom of the post.]

So, you wanted to update homebrew with the command

brew update

but received a similar error below:

Error: /usr/local must be writable!

Simple fix is to run

sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local

Your problem should now be fixed. If not, you might have ran into this issue that i’ve come across, too:

Error: update-report should not be called directly!

I fixed this by running both these commands

brew upgrade

then

brew update

Ta da! No more errors! Hopefully.

Happy brewing. Cheers, y’all.

UPDATE (2018.03.27):

A commenter pointed out an issue they were having, and after i did some digging, it seems that if you’re running the latest Mac OS High Sierra, you can no longer do the commands i wrote about above. You’ll have to use the tweaked command below:

sudo chown -R $(whoami) $(brew --prefix)/*

I found the updated solution here. Thank you to ilovezfs.

There are some other comments below it that may apply to your development environment. Hope this helps!
Cheers and peace.

If you found this post useful ...

Buy Me a Coffee logo
Wondering why you keep seeing lower-cased 'i' in my posts? Read -> Why ‘i’ is not capitalized

6
Leave a Reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Michelle
Guest
Michelle

It’s still not working on Mojave. I have tried everything. And yes I have tried sudo chown -R $(whoami) $(brew –prefix)/* nothing is working I still can’t make local writable and i cant update brew ……

maria
Guest
maria

hi! while trying to fix this error i’m getting this other error: chown: /usr/local: Operation not permitted . Any other things I can try?

weienw
Guest

Thanks a bunch, macariojames! This helped me out perfectly. :]