Install Glyphs for all users

by Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer

7 March 2021 Published on 23 September 2015

Need to install Glyphs or Glyphs Mini for many users on a machine, e.g., in a lab? Here is how to do it quickly.

Download the latest stable version

There is a download link that always points to the latest stable version of Glyphs 3. You can curl it right into the App folder:

curl > ~/Desktop/
unzip -o ~/Desktop/ -d /Applications
rm ~/Desktop/

This is the same for Glyphs 2, in case you need to install that version still:

curl > ~/Desktop/
unzip -o ~/Desktop/ -d /Applications
rm ~/Desktop/

And who would have guessed, there is also a link that points to the latest stable version of Glyphs Mini. Well, there you go:

curl > ~/Desktop/Glyphs\
unzip -o ~/Desktop/Glyphs\ -d /Applications
rm ~/Desktop/Glyphs\

Unlocking the app for all users

When you open the .glyphs3License, .glyphs2License or .glyphsMini2License file on a Mac, Glyphs will be registered in the current user. But what if every (future) user is supposed to access a registered Glyphs? Here’s the trick. If you sudo the install process, the registration will be stored in the Mac-wide Library rather than in the user’s Library. So what you do, is place your license file on your Desktop, and run this command in Terminal:

sudo /Applications/Glyphs\\ 3 -disableUI 1 "~/Desktop/file.glyphs3License"

Or, in the case of Glyphs 2:

sudo /Applications/ -disableUI 1 "~/Desktop/file.glyphs2License"

Or, in the case of Glyphs Mini:

sudo /Applications/Glyphs\\ Mini -disableUI 1 "~/Desktop/file.glyphsMini2License"

Needless to say, replace file.glyphs3License etc. with the name of your license file (the one you probably received via e-mail). This assumes that you have put your copy of Glyphs in the /Applications folder and that you did not rename the app after download. And you probably guessed that the disableUI 1 option runs Glyphs in a headless mode, without starting the user interface.

Oh, and if you are deploying in a school lab, please do not leave any license files on the machine. Be so kind:

rm ~/Desktop/*License

Thank you.

Scripts and plug-ins for all users

Actually, you can do the same for scripts and plug-ins. Just move scripts folder and your plug-ins folder into the system-wide Application Support folder of Glyphs. Just run these lines in Terminal to create the necessary folders for Glyphs 3:

sudo mkdir "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/"
sudo mkdir "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/"
sudo mkdir "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Plugins/"

For Glyphs 2:

sudo mkdir "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/"
sudo mkdir "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/"
sudo mkdir "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Plugins/"

Now, you can easily clone your favourite GitHub script repositories, and make them available for all users on your Mac. Copy and paste these lines (yes, all at once!) into Terminal, for Glyphs 3:

sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/mekkablue/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/schriftgestalt/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/hagenburger/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/Tosche/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/Mark2Mark/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/huertatipografica/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/weiweihuanghuang/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/freemix/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/MarcFoley/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/SimonCozens/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/harbortype/"

Or for Glyphs 2:

sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/mekkablue/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/schriftgestalt/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/hagenburger/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Tosche/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Mark2Mark/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/huertatipografica/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/weiweihuanghuang/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/freemix/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/MarcFoley/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/SimonCozens/"
sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/harbortype/"

If you install these scripts, it is a good idea to also install a library called vanilla. It is a popular wrapper for accessing Cocoa user interface classes in Python scripts, and some of the scripts from above make use of it:

sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Modules/vanilla/"
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Modules/vanilla/"
sudo python3 install

Or for Glyphs 2:

sudo git clone "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Modules/vanilla/"
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Modules/vanilla/"
sudo python2.7 install

And once you have installed these scripts, you can update with git checkout, like this for Glyphs 3:

cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/mekkablue/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/schriftgestalt/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/hagenburger/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/Tosche/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/Mark2Mark/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/huertatipografica/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/weiweihuanghuang/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/freemix/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/MarcFoley/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/SimonCozens/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs 3/Scripts/harbortype/"; sudo git checkout

… or for Glyphs 2:

cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/mekkablue/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/schriftgestalt/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/hagenburger/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Tosche/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Mark2Mark/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/huertatipografica/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/weiweihuanghuang/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/freemix/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/MarcFoley/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/SimonCozens/"; sudo git checkout
cd "/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Scripts/harbortype/"; sudo git checkout

Just paste these lines into Terminal, and a minute later, it should all be done.

Pretty epic.

Write access for the Adobe Fonts folder

Dor your lab computers have Adobe apps? While you're at it, you should change the read and write permissions for the Adobe Fonts folder. Just copy and paste this line into your Terminal:

mkdir /Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Fonts/
sudo chmod o+rw /Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Fonts/

Then all users can test their fonts in Adobe apps, cool!

Local user (no sudo)

In case you are installing for the local user only, it is best to use Window > Plugin Manager for Glyphs 3. It has all the modules and scripts and plug-ins you can think of.

If you want to quickly install all the scripts for Glyphs 2, which can be quite a pain, you can do the same as above, but leave out the sudo, and install the scripts in the user library. Here is the set of terminal commands for your copy-and-paste pleasure:

git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/mekkablue/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/schriftgestalt/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/hagenburger/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Tosche/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Mark2Mark/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/huertatipografica/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/weiweihuanghuang/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/freemix/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/MarcFoley/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/SimonCozens/
git clone ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/harbortype/

And still in Glyphs 2, to have vanilla installed locally, you can just as well go to Glyphs > Preferences > Addons > Modules and click the Install Modules button. When a green check mark appears next to the button, the modules are installed, and all scripts are ready to use in the Scripts menu. You may need to either restart the app, or hold down the Opt key and choose Script > Reload Scripts (Cmd-Opt-Shift-Y). Then all scripts ought to appear in the user’s Script menu.

Once you installed the scripts that way, you can update them to their latest versions (yes, they change a lot) with these:

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/mekkablue/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/schriftgestalt/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/hagenburger/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Tosche/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/Mark2Mark/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/huertatipografica/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/weiweihuanghuang/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/freemix/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/MarcFoley/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/SimonCozens/; git checkout
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Scripts/harbortype/; git checkout

Just paste these lines into Terminal, give it a minute or two, and you’re all set! And again, that is just for Glyphs 2. In Glyphs 3, all modules, scripts and plug-ins can be one-click installed through Window > Plugin Manager.

Update 2016-09-25: fixed link for Mark2Mark repo, added JAF, SimonCozens and Marc Foley repos.
Update 2017-10-28: updated vanilla install instructions, fixed a few typos. Updated Terminal formatting.
Update 2019-06-18: fixed local path: ~/Desktop instead of /Desktop. Updated Mark2Mark link, added hagenburger and harbortype scripts, added local installation guide.
Update 2019-09-01: added git checkout commands for easily updating scripts to their latest versions.
Update 2019-09-10: added .git suffix to git links.
Update 2019-10-22: corrected a typo.
Update 2021-01-14: updated for Glyphs 3.
Update 2021-01-20: added SUEnableAutomaticChecks tip.
Update 2021-02-03: fixed some types in the Terminal commands
Update 2021-03-05: fixed Terminal commands for Glyphs 3, changed capitalisation on