Deleting root files/folders in Catalina

Just when I was setting up Catalina (Beta 19A501i) after an upgrade from Mojave, I mistakenly created a folder at the root on my system drive in Catalina. I populated the folder with some LightRoom libraries, before realising that I should/could not have these at the root of my system drive.


I have copied them elsewhere, but now I need to get rid of that folder, and I can't...


I tried disabling SIP, but still I can't delete the folder (I have enabled SIP again).


What can I do?

Accepted Answer

1. Disable SIP (recovery mode, csrutil disable).

2. Restart.

2. Mount drive for read and write (sudo mount -uw /).

3. Assign rights for read and right ([sudo] chmod - R 775 /your\ folder\).

4. Delete it ([sudo] rm -rf /your\ folder\).

5. Restart.

5. Enable SIP (recovery mode, csrutil enable).


"sudo" in square brackets means it may be required (like in my case) while others report they managed to get result without it.

Answers

sudo mount -u -o rw /


Then remove the directory. I was able to create a directory in root, haven't tried removing one that way.


I'd reboot after you're done (root will be remounted RO)

You lost me a bit there...


I should use "sudo mount -u -o rw /" in Terminal in macOS, after disabling SIP, or does that matter?

1. Disable SIP (recovery mode, csrutil disable).

2. Restart.

2. Mount drive for read and write (sudo mount -uw /).

3. Assign rights for read and right ([sudo] chmod - R 775 /your\ folder\).

4. Delete it ([sudo] rm -rf /your\ folder\).

5. Restart.

5. Enable SIP (recovery mode, csrutil enable).


"sudo" in square brackets means it may be required (like in my case) while others report they managed to get result without it.

Thank you. I can now delete the BLOATware that Apple is inflicting on what may beome a decent operating system.

Sorted...


I ended up piecemealing a solution together from all the feedback and suggestions:


1) Booting into Recovery, disabling SIP

2) Mount the Master drive, using -uw

3) Change to the mounted partition

4) Deleting the unwanted directories using rmdir -r

5) Enabling SIP

6) Reboot and be happy...


Thanks!

That also works to remove the bloatware (Chess, Home, News, Siri, Stocks, VoiceMemos) that keep this from being a decent workplace operating system. This assumes you have booted into Recovery mode and disabled SIP.


1. Restart the machine in normal operating mode.

2. sudo mount -uw /

3 cd /System/Applications

4. sudo rm -rf Appname.app

5. Voila! No bloatware

6. Command-R to enter Recovery mode

7. Re-enable SIP

8. Restart to get rid of left over icon place holders

9. Ask your people if the can do their normal work on the new beta.

I followed your steps and was able to delete preinstalled apps. Could you please tell me how to delete default wallpapers? They are located in Library folder, under "Desktop Pictures". I'd like to delete them becuase they take up about 2 GB space in Catalina. Thank you!

I installed Anaconda which defaulted to creating /opt and installing everything there. I decided to delete it but now cannot remove the empty /opt directory no matter what I do. I have tried EVERYTHING, including everything mentioned on this page as well as xattr, Setfile, chflags, booting in single user mode, disabling SIP, enabling full disk access via System Preferences. I keep gettting the error 'operation not permitted'. I don't want to wipe the whole drive and start again, but this is really annoying.

This is along the lines of what I'm looking to do. In Mojave I turned off SIP, went in to the System Fonts folder and deleted the unnecessary fonts in there. Now that Catalina has the drive set as read only, struggling to figure out how to move those out of there again.


My first attempts were to start up off a USB Catalina Installer drive and use Terminal to cd to the folder. I got to where I could ls my HD from the bash prompt but a bit unexperience to then drill down into the System folder and then I guess I'd have to rm each font? Not even sure if that would work. There are 332 files in that folder. I only need 18. It was easy before because I could see and drag in the Finder.


Got to be an easier way.

>figure out how


Last time I needed to delete/move/manipulate something that Catalina had it's teeth into, I ended up booting from a Mojave volume and working on them from there...

Post not yet marked as solved Up vote reply of KMT Down vote reply of KMT

Thank you KMT! My first attempt at using Terminal was attempting to use a Mojave bootable installer USB which gave me a white NO symbol when trying to start my Mac off it, but I'm assuming you I need to do a full install of Mojave on a hardrive then boot directly off of that drive where I should then see my Mac and volumes as attached drives on the system. I'll try that.

Success! Couldn't install Mojave on to an external becuase the installer won't launch on Catalina. Installed another copy of Catalina on an external drive, when booted from that drive I was able to get to the system fonts folder and remove the typefaces I wanted out of there. Restarted back to that HD and no issues. THANKS!!

Glad you sorted things out, thanks for the followup and Happy Holidays!


Ken

Hi! This method works! (But I didn't need to use step #3).

Thank you for sharing your expertise!