Disk Utility - Permissions How Important?

Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
5,117
Reaction score
479
Points
83
Location
North Carolina
Your Mac's Specs
Air M2 ('22) OS 14.5; M3 iMac ('23) OS 14.5; iPad Pro; iPhone 14
Hello All - I've been reading Pogue's new 'missing manual' book on Yosemite and am now on the Utilities chapter - SO, I've been exploring the SSD on my MBPro - the disk verifies OK, but I just checked 'Verify Disk Permissions' and a bunch of issues were posted - attached are a few screen captures - most seem to relate to my printers and others (the second image) to other concerns.

These seem to be unimportant and my laptop is working fine - thus, does it make much difference to correct these (most seem to want to change directory/file permissions) and will I potentially harm my functioning computer? Thanks for your comments - Dave :)
.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 6.41.58 PM.png

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 6.42.32 PM.png
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
17,639
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Your Mac's Specs
2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
Just use DU and click the Repair button.

If you have pages of them listed, just run the DU Repair again a few times. You'll probably always have a few that keep showing.
 

bobtomay

,
Retired Staff
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
26,561
Reaction score
677
Points
113
Location
Texas, where else?
Your Mac's Specs
15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
I'm guessing, I did not count them - there are over 100 documented items that will not be repaired. Updates can and do update/change permissions on various items and "apparently" puts a flag in the files letting the Permissions verification tool know not to change them back. Why they can't just update the Permission verification tool so that it does not show those - who knows?

Mac OS X: Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions messages that you can safely ignore - Apple Support

I think we've all learned to just ignore whatever it won't repair. I'm sure not going to go through that list to see if the ones I have are in it or not and then worry about it when one of them is not listed when my machine appears to be functioning normally.

There is much discussion whether that utility is even needed. I "almost" agree with those who say it is not - but, I have seen a few things over the years that a permissions repair did fix - so, it remains in my arsenal even though I know it will do nothing to solve an issue most of the time.
 
Last edited:

vansmith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
19,946
Reaction score
583
Points
113
Location
Queensland
Your Mac's Specs
Too many devices to list
Why they can't just update the Permission verification tool so that it does not show those - who knows?
I've been asking this for years. If you ever find out why, let me know.

Dave, the permissions tool is probably, in my opinion, one of the most overrated maintenance tools available for OS X. It's a common "first fix" and often times, has little consequence for much. It sounds nice (who wouldn't want to fix permissions) but often times makes minor changes that don't directly deal with issues that need resolution. Suffice it to say, I'd ignore those and let your Mac play nice as is.

(Also of note, DU misses a whole host of permissions that need fixing).
 
OP
RadDave
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
5,117
Reaction score
479
Points
83
Location
North Carolina
Your Mac's Specs
Air M2 ('22) OS 14.5; M3 iMac ('23) OS 14.5; iPad Pro; iPhone 14
Thanks Guys for the great comments and the links - I've also read that 'repairing permissions' usually does little if anything unless indeed file or folder access is indeed blocked - I'm the only one using this laptop (have not checked my wife's iMac but I'm sure the same type of list would be generated w/ DU).

At the moment, I'll probably just leave the list alone unless I indeed have a software issue that might relate to file access - thanks again for all of the 'experienced' advice - maybe I should stop reading Pogue's new missing manual that closely - ;) Dave
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
17,639
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Your Mac's Specs
2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
One thing about Mac OS X and permissions that is often omitted is the fact that DU permissions Verity and/or Repair can only work on files and folders installed by the OS or the Installer app as the Receipts folder is needed to do the check or fix on such applications.

Don't ask me how it can fix anything if anything is goofed up in the Receipts folder, but maybe why a re-install might be suggested. ;)

I did encounter a permissions problem that I could not fix with DU nor manually, but Onyx did with the odd infrequent time I've used it.

But oddly enough, I see that Onyx for OS Yosemite Sam Permissions Repair has now been omitted with the developers comment of "… completely useless". Hmmm…??? :D
 

vansmith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
19,946
Reaction score
583
Points
113
Location
Queensland
Your Mac's Specs
Too many devices to list
But oddly enough, I see that Onyx for OS Yosemite Sam Permissions Repair has now been omitted with the developers comment of "… completely useless". Hmmm…??? :D
I'd venture to guess that they're probably right - they are sort of useless. I see why it might help if you actually had an issue with permissions but really, that is a tiny fraction of the possible causes for issues.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
17,639
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Your Mac's Specs
2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
And maybe I misread what the developer actually wrote…???

"OnyX version 2.9.4
• Checking SMART Status removed (too many problems...)
Checking Preferences files removed (useless...)
• Removed the Verifying pane
….
"
Titanium Software - Release Notes
Bold mine.

My bad… ;P
 

vansmith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
19,946
Reaction score
583
Points
113
Location
Queensland
Your Mac's Specs
Too many devices to list
Not knowing what "checking preference files" included, it sure does sound kind of useless.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
17,639
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Your Mac's Specs
2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
Not knowing what "checking preference files" included, it sure does sound kind of useless.



Agreed! And not too clear...

Could be Preference Pane files or Users Preferences files… who knows, but nothing to do with actual permissions it seems. :D
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
6,879
Reaction score
191
Points
63
Location
Tucson, AZ
Your Mac's Specs
Way... way too many specs to list.
For the record, I don't think permissions have been a significant issue since the move to OS X. Back in the OS 7 days, sure...
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
17,639
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Your Mac's Specs
2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
LOL!!! Back in System OS 7, or 8 or 9 days, we didn't have no dang permissions!! ;)

Only got them when OS X came along, and as Breen or Pogue of MacWorld said when talking about and taking permissions when they arrived — and you can take those *&%^# permissions as far as possible… ;)
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
6,879
Reaction score
191
Points
63
Location
Tucson, AZ
Your Mac's Specs
Way... way too many specs to list.
LOL!!! Back in System OS 7, or 8 or 9 days, we didn't have no dang permissions!! ;)

Only got them when OS X came along, and as Breen or Pogue of MacWorld said when talking about and taking permissions when they arrived — and you can take those *&%^# permissions as far as possible… ;)

Ummmm not really. The over use of 'repair permissions' is a legacy of the old OS, dual boot, days.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
25,564
Reaction score
486
Points
83
Location
Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Your Mac's Specs
Silver M1 iMac 512/16/8/8 macOS 11.6
From our own Randy B. Singer's Journals "MacAttorney ~ Useful Mac OS X Routine Maintenance":-

OS X Maintenance And Troubleshooting


Very interesting reading particular all the speculation about the advisability of still running Repair Permissions and legacy myths.

I am sure Randy will not object to his article being linked, with acknowledgement.
 

vansmith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
19,946
Reaction score
583
Points
113
Location
Queensland
Your Mac's Specs
Too many devices to list
I'd tend to disagree with Randy's assessment. First, he suggests the following:
Slow operation and generally unusual behavior are signs that may indicate that permissions need to be repaired on your Macintosh's hard drive
I'd disagree and argue that it, more often than not, is a placebo for something more problematic. He argues that it's valuable because, in his words:
The reality is that Repairing Permissions doesn't require that you purchase anything to do it, it can be accomplished fairly quickly, it doesn't hurt anything, and after repairing permissions sometimes the problem(s) that the user is experiencing are gone.
Given that his two primary defences of repairing permissions are rooted in ease of use and not grounded in technical knowledge (and the third is, I suspect, an example of correlation not causation), I suspect something crucial is missing from his argument. I haven't read the rest of his article, which looks fine, but I'd disagree about putting this as option number one.

Permissions, by their very nature, regulate access to something. Most of the time, the issues we see have nothing to do with accessing content and, more often than not, it's errant hardware or corrupted software.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top