How to install Azure CLI on macOS with MacPorts

Azure Command-Line Interface (CLI) is a great tool. Unfortunately the only installation instructions they have for macOS assumes you’re using Homebrew. I’m not. Luckily there are other - undocumented - ways of installing azure-cli and the az command.

It’s just a Python package

The basic trick is the fact that azure-cli is really a Python package and can be installed via pip.


Make sure you have pip and Python installed

$ sudo port install py39-pip

# Make the installed pip the default version when running pip and pip3
$ sudo port select --set pip pip39
$ sudo port select --set pip3 pip39

Install the azure-cli package

# Now use pip to install azure-cli
$ pip install azure-cli

Now, this might not get you the expected behavior default (it didn’t on my machine):

$ az
zsh: command not found: az


This is because pip installs its packages in your user Library folder at ~/Library (assuming it doens’t have write access to your systems site_packages folder). It also maintains a bin folder there, where it has placed the az command:

$ ls ~/Library/Python/3.9/bin/az

We can run the command directly from there by specifying the full path:

$ ~/Library/Python/3.9/bin/az --version
azure-cli                         2.39.0

But that gets tedious fast. So we need to add that folder to our PATH environment variable to tell our shell to look there for binaries.

Add az to your PATH

# In your shell config extend your PATH with something like the following.
# Note that we can't expect ~ to work in $PATH, so we've replaced it with the
# $HOME variable.
export PATH="$HOME/Library/Python/3.9/bin/:$PATH"

On my machine I place the above in ~/.zshrc, but this varies dependent on what shell you use and how your system is set up.

After reloading our shell we can now run az directly:

$ az --version