I'm new to the os X platform and I want to know what the heck are file permissions?
I read and hear ppl saying that every so often I should check and verify and fix my file permissions regularly.
In windows I presume that this is something similar to scandisk?
If I haven't done anything different to my imac for over a week how is it possible for a file permission to get messed up?
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.
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