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I have a Mac workstation which is shared between two users, User°1 who first installed the machine, and User°2 who came along after, both administrators. User°2 has installed Drush using brew and Acquia Drupal and all this works very nicely. However, when User°1 tries to start Acquia Drupal he just gets an alert box saying that the Apache server failed to start - nothing shows up in the Apache error logs (the MySQL server starts ok though). I can't help thinking this is something to do with permissions, but no idea where to look.

So user n°2 has installed MAMP and that all works ok except for one thing: running Drush. Here is an example:

imac:~ martinknapp$ drush @eco pm-info views_bulk_operations
Extension        :  views_bulk_operations                                                                            
Project          :  views_bulk_operations                                                                            
Type             :  module                                                                                           
Title            :  Views Bulk Operations                                                                            
Description      :  Provides a way of selecting multiple rows and applying operations to them.                       
Version          :  7.x-3.1                                                                                          
Date             :  2012-12-03                                                                                       
Package          :  Views                                                                                            
Core             :  7.x                                                                                              
PHP              :  5.2.4                                                                                            
Status           :  enabled                                                                                          
Path             :  sites/all/modules/views_bulk_operations                                                          
Schema version   :  6002                                                                                             
Files            :  plugins/operation_types/base.class.php, views/views_bulk_operations_handler_field_operations.inc 
Requires         :  entity, views                                                                                    
Required by      :  admin_views                                                                                      
Permissions      :  none                                                                                             
Configure        :  Aucun(e)          

It appears to be running PHP5.2.4 (which I believe is almost certainly the reason I am constantly getting errors on db objects). I've done everything I can to get this working, in particular by using the alias command like so:
alias drush='/Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php5.3.27/bin/php /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.2.0/libexec/drush.php'
but all to no avail.

Any ideas?

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when User°1 tries to start Acquia Drupal he just gets an alert box saying that the Apache server failed to start - nothing shows up in the Apache error logs (the MySQL server starts ok though).

Have you ensured you are only running a single apache process as OSX ships with it's own version and MAMP also has it's own. You can confirm it by running ps aux | grep apache in your shell.

Additionally, you can check which version has priority on the system (based on $PATH) by running which apachectl in a shell (example output).

$ which apachectl
/usr/sbin/apachectl

Which will help you determine that if there are conflicting version trying to run, who will be serving the requests.

I've done everything I can to get this working, in particular by using the alias command like so: alias drush='/Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php5.3.27/bin/php /usr/local/Cellar/drush/6.2.0/libexec/drush.php' but all to no avail.

I am not sure whether you should be executing that drush.php file directly as all of the installations I have ever completed all point to an executable that I usually move the /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin for system wide availability - But then again, I haven't tried installing drush 6 yet so that could have changed.

If you do a bit of development and don't like dealing with issues like this, I recommend you look at virtualising your environments using a tool such as Vagrant. Doing this will allow you to build an isolated development environment where you can configure the environment then package it for reuse should you ever need to reset it.

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