We have a bundle App.component and inside it we have a 'Contents' directory with the following permissions:

 drwxrwxrwx  4 root  wheel  136 Mar 18 15:05 Contents

When I try to delete this directory using

rm -rf Contents

It fails with the reason

rm: Contents//MacOS/APP: Permission denied
rm: Contents//MacOS: Directory not empty
rm: Contents//Resources/App.rsrc: Permission denied
rm: Contents//Resources: Directory not empty
rm: Contents/: Permission denied

lsof shows that there are no processes that are using this bundle and running stat Contents/Resources/App.rsrc outputs:

234881026 3691189 -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 733 "Mar 18 16:10:13 2012" "Mar  8 17:00:18 2012" "Mar 18 15:04:39 2012" "Mar  8 17:00:18 2012" 4096 8 0 Contents/Resources/App.rsrc

We do have permissions to delete the 'Contents' directory so why does it still fails?

Edit: If I move the bundle from /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Component to ~/tmp/ then It will delete the folder without any problems

Thank you


The directory is owned by root, so you will need superuser privileges to delete it. Try,

sudo rm -rf Contents

which will ask you for your password before executing. This will also give you temporary superuser privileges for all commands at the command prompt, so be careful with subsequent commands.

In fact, if you're not used to doing this, I suggest moving the directory to trash in the first instance, until you're sure you don't need anything in the bundle:

sudo mv Contents $HOME/.Trash/
| improve this answer | |
  • We can't use sudo since this is done as part of an automatic-updates process – kambi Mar 18 '12 at 14:38
  • 1
    @kambi It's owned by root, so you can't delete it without either being root or being an admin and using sudo. – CoffeeRain Mar 19 '12 at 15:03

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