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mac57

 
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Member Since: Apr 29, 2006
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The above is a good link that explains permissions fairly well. In summary, they are simply a way for OS X to record who owns a file, who is allowed to access it, and what kind of access they are allowed to have. In general, you shouldn't have to mess with them, or even think about them.

There is an oft quoted recipe for curing almost anything wrong with your Mac that involves Repairing Permissions. This is almost always a waste of time, since permissions don't spontaneously change themselves.

So, while it is nice to know about permissions, you shouldn't need to worry about them. I understand the one exception to this rule is if you are running Classic OS 9 stuff. OS 9 and earlier didn't use permissions and so Classic programs have been known to change or corrupt permissions. So, if you are running Classic software, you may want to Repair Permissions from time to time. If not, you shouldn't ever have to worry about them.

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
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