Mac OSX System Integrity Protection

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Part of the OS X 10.11/El Capitan changes is something called System Integrity Protection or "SIP".

SIP prevents you from writing to many system directories such as /usr, /System & /bin, regardless of whether or not you are root. The Apple keynote is here if you'd like to learn more. As noted in the keynote, Apple is leaving /usr/local open for developers to use, so Homebrew can still be used as expected.

One of the implications of SIP was that you could not simply create /usr/local if you had removed it. This issue was fixed with the update.

If you see permission issues instead try:

  • Reboot into Recovery mode (Hold Cmd+R on boot) & access the Terminal.
  • In that terminal run: csrutil disable
  • Reboot back into OS X