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  1. #1

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
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    The Republic of Neptune
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    My permissions nightmare! (happy ending)
    I recently discovered I was being afflicted by those permissions issues that reportedly had been plaguing Leopard since its release. I had all kinds of crazy things scattered around, like permissions for "Other" to read/write; myself or "Other" with "custom" permissions; myself listed twice; and on and on. Running "Repair Permissions" didn't help. It's entirely possible it made things worse. I had a couple apps that wouldn't run. My "Data" drive, which holds my Time Machine backups plus some TV shows, music, and such, was completely overrun with the bad permissions, starting at the root of the drive. I tried to delete some TM backups... they wouldn't delete, though I got no error messages or such. I tried a couple terminal commands I knew of to retake ownership... no dice. Trying to modify the permissions via the "Get Info" panel wouldn't work. In the case of the "Others"... they simply would not delete. Nor anything with "Custom" permissions.

    I finally decided to wipe OS X off and start fresh. And rather than migrate my users back, I'd carefully copy back over only what I HAD to (documents, bookmarks, etc). Well in the process of doing this, I find out I'm no longer a member of the admin group, but "staff". THAT threw me for a loop... then I read that this change was normal in Leopard, though I never saw it before now. I think that, despite doing a "clean" install the first time, when I migrated my users, the existing group stuck. Odd... though now I think that little change coupled with the migration had much to do with the problems that arose.

    Anywho.. despite being careful, I found the permissions issues started creeping back in. And I had yet to figure out what to do about my Data drive. NOW I'm really ticked off! So I did a little searching on VersionTracker, and found a couple utilities that completely saved the day! First one was ACL Fix. This handy little utility stripped off the permissions for any folder I selected (and all its contents if I desired) and reset them to what should be the appropriate ones. Within seconds, I had fixed the folder/files that had the "bad" permissions creep back in. Oh if only I had found this BEFORE reinstalling! Next tool was iRepair. This lets you change the ownership and group permissions very very easily.

    Unfortunately even those utilities couldn't help my Data drive, presumably because the bad permissions started from the root of that drive. It may have been further complicated by the immense size of the Time Machine backup folder also. Anywho... I backed up my media to my other drives (thankfully I had the space, AND moving them to the other drives auto-fixed their permissions) and formatted the Data drive. Moved everything back, used iRepair to set some permissions to my liking, and all is good!

    At any rate, I hope this experience will come in handy to someone. I simply can't recommend those 2 utilities in particular highly enough... they should be in everyone's arsenal!

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location
    London
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    8,968
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    thanks for the info

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Oct 05, 2007
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    88
    Good call man! Thanks for the info. I too have been fighting a permissions nightmare since going to Leopard and I thought it was just me being a Noob to the Mac life. Still bothers me that I don't know what the world is causing my problems but at least now I have a quick way to fix them when they occur. Thanks again.

    Jason

  4. #4

    Mac_Biodiesel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 06, 2007
    Posts
    41
    Specs:
    15" MBP, 2.4GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200 RPM, OS 10.5
    Is there a good permissions/ownership tutorial out there? I'm having a difficult time getting my files set-up the way I want them to. I grew up on Macs, but am rather new to MacOS X. I've done some work with UNIX, but I'm not a power user.

    My user account is set to Standard, not Admin. I used to run as Admin when I was a Windows user, but I decided to roll with MacOS's convention of NOT giving users Admin privileges by default. My wife has a user account, and I often have family members who will log on as guests.

    Here's the issue: I have a "Games" directory that is in my "Applications" directory. There are perhaps 20+ directories inside that which house various games. Some of those I installed with my Standard account, some with my Admin account (logged-in, not just "authenticated"). I want everything INSIDE of the "Games" folder to be read/writable by ALL users. I also want all users to be able to create their own folders inside of "Games".

    I thought chmod'ing "Games" to 777 (and using the -R argument) would take care of this, and the permissions did indeed change, but from time to time I'll still get prompted to authenticate or simply be told that I can't run a game. Another example, albeit trivial, is something like a high score not being saved, which I assume is due to a permissions conflict.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 05, 2007
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by Mac_Biodiesel View Post
    Is there a good permissions/ownership tutorial out there? I'm having a difficult time getting my files set-up the way I want them to. I grew up on Macs, but am rather new to MacOS X. I've done some work with UNIX, but I'm not a power user.

    My user account is set to Standard, not Admin. I used to run as Admin when I was a Windows user, but I decided to roll with MacOS's convention of NOT giving users Admin privileges by default. My wife has a user account, and I often have family members who will log on as guests.

    Here's the issue: I have a "Games" directory that is in my "Applications" directory. There are perhaps 20+ directories inside that which house various games. Some of those I installed with my Standard account, some with my Admin account (logged-in, not just "authenticated"). I want everything INSIDE of the "Games" folder to be read/writable by ALL users. I also want all users to be able to create their own folders inside of "Games".

    I thought chmod'ing "Games" to 777 (and using the -R argument) would take care of this, and the permissions did indeed change, but from time to time I'll still get prompted to authenticate or simply be told that I can't run a game. Another example, albeit trivial, is something like a high score not being saved, which I assume is due to a permissions conflict.
    There's no book that gets down to the nuts and bolts that I've found, but if I find one I'll sure pass it along as a recommendation. All the books I've read really dance around the nitty gritty of file sharing and just show you the basics.

    Jason

  6. #6

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
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    7,717
    Quote Originally Posted by Mac_Biodiesel View Post
    Here's the issue: I have a "Games" directory that is in my "Applications" directory. There are perhaps 20+ directories inside that which house various games. Some of those I installed with my Standard account, some with my Admin account (logged-in, not just "authenticated"). I want everything INSIDE of the "Games" folder to be read/writable by ALL users. I also want all users to be able to create their own folders inside of "Games".
    Personally, I suspect you are better off having the "standard" users keep a copy of the Apps/Games they use in their own Apps folder. I'd be hesitant to modify the permissions of even the subfolders in the root Apps folder to give blanket rights to all. But if you are determined to try.... read on...

    Try using iRepair to set the permissions for your Games directory. Be sure to tell it to include subfolders. On the settings tray, set Owner to "nobody" and Group to "everyone". Give them both Read/Write/Exec privileges. Then hit Apply. Perhaps this will do the trick.

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