I’m tearing my hair out! (Not much left!) When I run easy_install -U scikit-learn as admin I get the following error:

Admin$ easy_install -U scikit-learn

error: can't create or remove files in install directory The following error occurred while trying to add or remove files in the installation directory: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/test-easy-install-42472.pth' The installation directory you specified (via --install-dir, --prefix, or the distutils default setting) was: /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/ Perhaps your account does not have write access to this directory? If the installation directory is a system-owned directory, you may need to sign in as the administrator or "root" account. If you do not have administrative access to this machine, you may wish to choose a different installation directory, preferably one that is listed in your PYTHONPATH environment variable.

here is my system info:

Running Yosemite 10.10.5 Python 2.7 “which python” yields /usr/bin/python “which easy_install” yields /usr/bin/easy_install

I’ve tried everything and haven’t seen any good answers to this on various forums. If anyone can help, I’d really appreciate it!!!


You can check and see who owns the site-packages directory by using

ls -l /Library/Python/2.7/

You'll get results similar to this:

total 0
drwxr-xr-x  3 root  wheel  102 Jan 13 17:58 site-packages

The third column (that shows root above), shows the directory owner. In the above example, this directory is owned by root. I've seen similar errors related to this. I know that you stated you are running these commands as Admin, but prepending these install commands with sudo has worked for me, however, it will install the package globally:

sudo easy_install -U scikit-learn
  • Wow! That was too simple! Using sudo command above as you suggested fixed the install problem. I did get about 36 warnings, but so far its working. Thanks Chaz! – Paul Z Feb 3 '16 at 0:24

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