"Operation not permitted" Error on macOS

This section provides a tutorial example showing 'Operation not permitted' error when executing a shell script file on macOS system.

On macOS systems, you may get the "Operation not permitted" when accessing a file with a command in the "Terminal" window. Here is my experience on my Mac computer.

1. Download a package in ZIP file format.

2. Unzip the package, I see a shell script file, start.sh.

3. Run the script file, I see the error, "Operation not permitted".

herong$ ls -l *.sh
  -rwxr-xr-x@ 1 herong  staff  3922  start.sh

herong$ ./start.sh
  -bash: ./start.sh: Operation not permitted

4. Copy the script file and replace the content with one line. I still get the same error.

herong$ cp -p start.sh s.sh

herong$ echo 'echo "Hello world!"' > s.sh

herong$ ./s.sh
  -bash: ./s.sh: Operation not permitted

5. Create a new script file. I can run it no problem.

herong$ echo 'echo "Hello world!"' > n.sh

herong$ chmod +x n.sh

herong$ ./n.sh
  Hello world!

6. Compare both script files with "ls" and "diff" commands. I see no differences.

herong$ diff s.sh n.sh

herong$ ls -l *.sh
  -rwxr-xr-x@ 1 herong  staff    20  n.sh
  -rwxr-xr-x@ 1 herong  staff    20  s.sh
  -rwxr-xr-x@ 1 herong  staff  3922  start.sh

The easier solution is to clone "start.sh" by taking its content only.

herong$ cat start.sh > start-2.sh

herong$ chmod +x start-2.sh

herong$ ./start-2.sh
  ...

So there must be a hidden attribute on "start.sh" that prevents the shell command to execute it.

On the Internet, I see articles relating the "Operation not permitted" error to 2 possible root causes. But I don't think they apply to my issue presented above.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Introduction to Linux Systems

 Process Management

Files and Directories

 "find" - Search for Files

 "more", "head" and "cat" - Read Files

 "split" and "cat" - Split and Join Files

 Truncate Log Files

 "compress/uncompress" - Compressed *.Z Files

 "gzip/gunzip" - Compressed *.gz Files

 "xz/unxz" - Compressed *.xz or *.lzma Files

 "tar -c" and "tar -x" - Create and Extract Archive Files

 "zip" and "unzip" - Create and Extract ZIP Files

"Operation not permitted" Error on macOS

 Running Apache Web Server (httpd) on Linux Systems

 Running PHP Scripts on Linux Systems

 Running MySQL Database Server on Linux Systems

 Running Python Scripts on Linux Systems

 Conda - Environment and Package Manager

 GCC - C/C++ Compiler

 Graphics Environments on Linux

 SquirrelMail - Webmail in PHP

 Tools and Utilities

 References

 Full Version in PDF/EPUB