Automatic Installer for 2.4 on Mac OS 10.5 for Intel processors

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This article has been retained as a historical document. It is not up-to-date and the formatting may be lacking. Use the information herein with caution.
This deprecated feature should no longer be used, but is still available for reasons of backwards compatibility.

This feature was deprecated in version 2.6. For up-to-date information view Github.

See also: History of WeBWorK version control

The script installs a personal copy of WeBWorK 2.4 to run on an Apple computer running Mac OS 10.5 (it may or may not work on OS 10.6). It is not designed to install WeBWorK on a server that will run a school's WeBWorK installation. It also assumes that you will only be running one version of Apache and MySQL at a time. -Tom Hagedorn (hagedorn at


You will need to have a user account with administrator permissions to run the script successfully.

1. Download and install the XCode3 developer tools from Apple.

2. Install X11 (if not already installed).

3. Download and install the most recent version of MacPorts (currently, it's 1.8.2). Macports is a project aimed to facilitate the installation of unix/linux software on the Mac. The website is Disk .dmg images are available at

3a. (Mike Gage) If you are updating from an earlier ports version (or MacOS) read as well.

4. Save the attached script "" to a directory. Note which directory you save the script to. It may be easiest to save it to the desktop.

5. Open the Terminal program (found in Applications/Utilities) and change the directory (using the cd command) so that "" is in your directory. If you saved the script to the desktop, then you'll just run the command "cd" and then the command "cd Desktop". Typing "ls" will give you the contents of the directory, which should contain the script.

6. Decide on account and group names for WeBWorK. The defaults are:

account name = wwadmin

group name = wwdata

If you use these names, you need to goto "Account" under "System Preferences" (under the apple in the upper left corner) and create an account named "wwadmin" (with administrator privileges) and a group name called "wwdata". After creating "wwdata", please make sure that the group contains the "wwadmin" account by clicking on "wwadmin."

6b. Alternatively, you could run WeBWorK in your own account and use the default group name. In which case, edit the lines (at the top of the file).






(* Note: "staff" is the usual default group name for a user-account. You can check that this is correct on your machine by opening the Terminal program and typing "ls -l". You should see "youraccountname staff" listed as the owner of your files *)

7. From the Terminal program, run the command "." (there should be a space between the period and") to execute the script.

8. The script is compiling programs and will take about 30 minutes. You'll need to enter your administrator password several times.

9. WeBWorK should then run by opening a browser and typing in "localhost/webwork2" or the address "" in your browser. If that doesn't bring up the course administrator menu, then try "" (if this works, then the apache installation is working fine, but something didn't work with the WeBWorK installation.)

Here is the link to the file to download:

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