FIX: Operation not permitted as root in OS X Terminal

Switch OffWhen running commands in El Capitan OS X terminal, even as root  you may be greated with a rather unhelpful error message of ‘Operation not permitted’. In fact, this isn’t an error message at all – it’s part of an OS X El Capitan feature called System Integrity Protection.

The following is a description from the Apple website:

System Integrity Protection is a security technology in OS X El Capitan that’s designed to help prevent potentially malicious software from modifying protected files and folders on your Mac.

In OS X, the “root” user account previously had no permission restrictions and could access any system folder or application on your Mac. Software gained root-level access when you entered your administrator name and password to install it and could then modify or overwrite any system file or application.

System Integrity Protection restricts the root account and limits the actions that the root user can perform on protected parts of OS X.

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 In order to switch off the System Integrity Protection, you firstly need to boot your Mac from the built in recovery partition, to do this follow the steps below;
  1. Power off your Mac
  2. Press and hold CMD + R on your Mac keyboard
  3. From the Utilities menu, select Terminal
  4. Copy and paste or type in the following:

    csrutil disable

Once El Capitan has finished booting back up, you should be able to perform your advanced file manipulation without any more operation not permitted messages.

It is worth bearing in mind, if you leave this switched off you’re leaving your Mac vunerable to accidental or malicious system level file changes, which could result in it needing a complete reinstall or worse. So unless you are a confident advanced user, it would be worth repeating the steps above but replacing disable with enable.

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Watch BBC iPlayer in Safari without installing Flash Player

Last week, due to the demands of a busy Sky Planner, I wanted to watch a programme on BBC1 at the same time as two other channels were recording. My preference being that I wanted the output on a larger screen rather than an iPad therefore I setup my MacBook upstairs, plugged in the TV and navigated to the BBC iPlayer page, only to encounter the problem that I do not have Flash Player installed.


Since I have only recently started on a clean OSX installation again, I have been trying my very best to avoid installing third party software like Flash. It was looking like I would be left with no choice until I stumbled across the following workaround:

  1. The first step is to enable the Develop menu in Safari (if you already have this enabled, just proceed to step 3). Start by opening the Safari preferences, finding this in the Safari menu in top left hand corner
  2. Select the ‘Advanced’ tab and set the ‘Show develop menu in menu bar’ option to active
  3. Whilst on the BBC iPlayer page (which should still be demanding that Flash Player is installed), open the Develop menu then from the User Agent option, select any of the ‘Safari – iOS…’ options. It will be set to Default as standard however I generally choose the iPad option
  4. You should now find that the iPlayer is happy to allow you to view the content using the HTML5 framework

This is because the BBC has only released the HTML5 version of iPlayer to tablets at present. By following the above steps, you are simulating your browser as a tablet which is why the functionality is enabled.

Credit goes to the original source Unop for this suggestion.

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How to screen share Yosemite screens using iMessage

OS X has included the ability to remotely screen share using a VNC style server for some time now. However, a new feature ‘hidden’ in Yosemite iMessage application is the ability to request a screen share via an iMessage conversation! If you initiate an iMessage conversation with another Yosemite user who is also using iMessage, you can use a built it request facility to view to recipients screen. The ability to share your screen originally appeared within iChat, though required an AIM, Gmail, Jabber or Yahoo account.

Once your recipient has responded to your iMessage request, click on the details link in the top right hand corner of the chat window. This will expand a second box, with the option to FaceTime, Video Call or screen share. Clicking on the Screen Share option will then pop up an additional menu offering to send a request to screen share. The recipient will then receive a popup “Allow [your name] to control my screen”. Should the recipient accept your request the screen share should commence.

iMessage Screen Share


This does come with some caveats:

  1. Both users must be using Yosemite or above.
  2. Both users must have an Apple ID
  3. Both users must be signed into Apple ID in the iCloud preferences pain in System Preferences


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Switch OS X default Mail application

By default, OS X handles all mailto: and ‘send to mail’ actions with its built in Mail app. Which is fine… If that’s all that you use, however power users (or maybe corporate mac users with exchange servers) may want to use Microsoft Outlook (2016 actually not being all ‘bad’)

In order to switch the default action for mailing, it seems somewhat backwards, but you actually have to launch the Mail application!

Once the app has launched, click on the ‘Mail’ menu item and then click preferences. Right at the top of the pop up window you should see the option to select the default email reader. Doing this also associates the chosen app with all mail functionality in OS X.

Mail Preferences

You can of course, set up Mail to connect to and use a Microsoft Exchange mailbox. To do this, follow the instructions on the official Apple Support site


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Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10 Yosemite

OS XUnlike Microsoft Windows, by default OS X hides system files from end users. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. Some of the files which are hidden, are important and damaging them could prevent your system from booting all together.

However – on the flip side, there is often a valid reason for needing access to those files. Anything from needing to change a system setting to removing files an unruly application has left behind.

There are several ways to show hidden files in OS X, the easiest would probably be to follow this tutorial on how to build an Automator script. This will give you an icon that you simply have to double-click on to show or hide the files.

Alternatively, if you are just looking for something in your Library folder, did you know that if you click “Go” in the menu bar whilst in Finder, then whilst the menu is expanded click the Alt key on your keyboard the Library menu will appear.

Another method would be to run a command in a terminal window to change the system setting. To do this all you need to do is:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open the Utilities folder
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Copy and paste the following line in:
  5. Press return
  6. Enter your administrator password when prompted
  7. Press return

You should find the finder window will disappear, along with the icons on your desktop. However, if you now launch a new finder instance you will now be able to see any hidden files or folders. Once you are done, perform the steps above however, replace the terminal command in step 4 with:

If the above is not working for you, you may want to try switching YES/NO to TRUE/FALSE .. Beware that this is case-sensitive!

If you are experiencing issues using the examples above, please post a comment using the comments system below.

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