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I have had a recurrent problem with the login screen getting stuck at 50% for a long time. One possible cause is that after an update, OS X is attempting to move /usr/local out of the way and then put it back. As I have many files installed there with homebrew, the update can take many hours. This is certainly true for OS X upgrades as reported here.

However, I've also seen this problem for what seem like minor system updates (e.g. Printer software upgrades). Does anybody know if OS X always try to move usr/local out of the way, even for minor updates?

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    I haven't seen this issue for x.y.z updates, only for x.y upgrades. This was especially painful for the last Yosemite upgrade. Apr 20, 2015 at 20:38
  • Wesley, thanks. I saw this too. After further research, I found /usr/local was unrelated to the issue affecting my machine.
    – Carlos
    Apr 22, 2015 at 23:00

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