Installing AWSCLI on OSX – Problems uninstalling six

I had to install the aws cli on os-x the other day and ran into a problem towards the end of the install. I used the instructions provided by Amazon AWS here:


I opted to use the pip install method ( since that seemed the least fiddly. The instructions provided by amazon are thorough, and likely all that you need:


  • Ensure you have python installed and that it’s a supported version, and how to upgrade
  • how to install pip (a python package manager)
  • installing the awscli


Unfortunately, when I ran the commmand to install the client:

$ sudo pip install awscli


The install ended with the following error:
Found existing installation: six 1.4.1
DEPRECATION: Uninstalling a distutils installed project (six) has been deprecated and will be removed in a future version. This is due to the fact that uninstalling a distutils project will only partially uninstall the project.
Uninstalling six-1.4.1:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip/", line 215, in main
status =, args)
File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip/commands/", line 317, in run
File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip/req/", line 736, in install
File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip/req/", line 742, in uninstall
File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip/req/", line 115, in remove
renames(path, new_path)
File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip/utils/", line 267, in renames
shutil.move(old, new)
File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/", line 302, in move
copy2(src, real_dst)
File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/", line 131, in copy2
copystat(src, dst)
File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/", line 103, in copystat
os.chflags(dst, st.st_flags)
OSError: [Errno 1] Operation not permitted: '/tmp/pip-FVOAIy-uninstall/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/six-1.4.1-py2.7.egg-info'

After a few failed attempts and some searching I found the following suggestion (look for mmtsweng’s comment on Nov 23, 2015):

$ sudo -H pip install awscli --upgrade --ignore-installed six

Using the above command allowed for a clean install of the awscli.