My machine is Macbook Pro mid-2014 Big Sur.

Here is my use case: I want to find a book called "How to think like a Java scientist" or something like that. I could use the the built-in spotlight search on Mac, but I want to try out find command as I am trying to teach myself Unix command. Find command did return the intended location of the files, (as well as other similar files since I used the wildcard *.) but only after it has returned a buch of "Operation not permitted" & No such file or directory" command. See the exerpt:

apple@apples-MacBook-Pro ~ % sudo find / -name "How to*"
find: /Library/Caches/com.apple.aned: Operation not permitted
find: /System/Library/Templates/Data/private/var/db/oah: Operation not permitted
find: /System/Volumes/Data/.Spotlight-V100: No such file or directory

Would some one be kind enough to tell me what's going on here?

1 Answer 1


I'm not that familiar with Mac OS X but I suppose that the terminal process is spawned with not so high privileges as needed to browse those paths. And since you're not supposed to be able to browse those paths as a user and the errors have to be shown, you could just ignore them by throwing them away to /dev/null:

 find / -name "How to*" 2>/dev/null

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