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While using OS X El Capitan 10.11.x, is it safe to disable System Integrity Protection? There are all these additional apps that modify folders and the dock that I want to install but you have to disable rootless first.

Good idea or bad idea?

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    Welcome to Ask Different. Please define safe. SIP is there to secure you, so it's like disabling a "check brakes" light - that's never really "safe" unconditionally. – bmike Dec 11 '15 at 20:12
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    What files do those apps want to chnage - I would suggest that they are not well written as SIP only protects directories that Apple should write to (There are exceptions but very few) – user151019 Dec 11 '15 at 20:17
  • @Mark I don't know but these are apps that give you more detail in your finder or additional options for your dock. Things that prior to SIP were OK to do. But I guess Apple thought it was bad so in the last few OS's they enforced SIP. Just wondering how dangerous it is to deactivate something like that to have more power user features. – Micro Dec 11 '15 at 22:26
  • It is on a case by case basis - and wether you think a malicious app can do you damage or do you trust the apps - SIP I think cuts down on support issues so that only those who can calculate the risks should break it – user151019 Dec 12 '15 at 0:03
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If you disable SIP you'll get the same level of protection as you had with OS X versions before El Capitan. Whether this is enough for your needs it something only you can decide.

OTOH it's not that much trouble to disable SIP briefly to chance a protected part of the system. If you want to be on the safe side, disconnect from any networks while you do this.

  • Is it possible to disable SIP, install whatever program (while disconnected from any networks), and then once the program is installed, enable SIP again? Or would the program no longer function then? – Micro Dec 12 '15 at 16:46
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    Short answer: yes. Longer answer: it depends on the application – nohillside Dec 12 '15 at 18:37
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I felt like it had a negative impact on the battery life of my macbook pro(around 300 cycle counts but not more than 300).After I disabled SIP, I was hardly getting five hours of battery. Few days ago, I enabled it, and it's back to normal.

About the safety issue of the core system file :If you know what you're doing, you should be fine. The following link should help you more about the SIP. http://www.imore.com/el-capitan-system-integrity-protection-helps-keep-malware-away

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    Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link and a recommendation to look where it points to. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. – nohillside Apr 19 '16 at 19:51
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    “If you know what you’re doing, you should be fine.” No, not really, because you don’t control whether the software is acting maliciously or not. I have 35 years of experience in software engineering. I’m leaving SIP on. – Lloyd Sargent Feb 24 '17 at 1:36

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