I upgraded to El Capitan yesterday and everything was good until recently when I noticed I can't write anything (with sudo ofc) on /usr/bin as I tried to install phpbrew.

What could be causing this and how to troubleshoot it?

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  • OS X El Capitan is rootless. The feature can be disabled from the recovery partition. – fd0 Jun 26 '15 at 10:13
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Since OSX 10.11, Apple reinforce the security system. Called System Integrity Protection, Apple locks down :

/System
/sbin
/usr (with the exception of /usr/local subdirectory)

To disable this security feature you have to reboot your computer and hold CMD+R at start to boot into OS X Recovery Mode.

Then OS X Utilities > Terminal

Type the command csrutil disable; reboot

Your computer will restart. You will see a confirmation message about the desactivation.

To verified the status of CRS type csrutil status

  • 1
    I disabled and it still doesn't allow me to do anything: /Users/Rob$ csrutil status System Integrity Protection status: disabled. /Users/Rob$ touch /usr/bin/yes touch: /usr/bin/yes: Permission denied – Roberto Sep 7 '17 at 6:18
  • Try with sudo. – Ragnar Feb 16 at 9:53

One can verify if a particular file or directory is restricted by OSX's System Integrity Protection (SIP)/Rootless by listing the file flags using the -O option to ls (e.g. to see which directories in / are restricted):

ls -Ol /

The directories or files that are controlled by SIP show as 'restricted'.

There's full details in the answers to this question about SIP/rootless.

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