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View Full Version : What is 'repair permissions'?


tech4all
Aug 9, 2004, 10:09 PM
What does 'repair permissions' mean? I have no clue. I've read on the board before but don't know what it is. Is it something one should do often? How do you do it? :confused: :)

jsw
Aug 9, 2004, 10:18 PM
To do it:

Go to Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.

In it, select the drive which hosts OS X (likely, your only drive) by clicking on its icon on the left-hand side. "Repair Permissions" should now be clickable - click on it.

What it does:

OS X is UNIX-based, and all UNIX files have permissions (essentially, read, write, and/or execute - run - for you, for people in your "group" and for everyone in general). If the permissions get messed up, then, for example, you wouldn't be able to run an applications because the "execute" permission wasn't set for you. Sometimes, permissions get screwy - often during major installs - and Repair Permissions makes sure it's all fine and dandy again.

jsw
Aug 9, 2004, 10:21 PM
As to how often you should do it:

Generally, it's a good thing to do after major upgrades, or, essentially, after everything Software Update throws at you. It can't hurt, and only takes a few minutes.

Other than that, it's not a bad idea to do once a month or so. it won't kill you to never do it, except that you risk an increasingly flaky system.

starcrossed
Aug 9, 2004, 10:53 PM
In simplier how I began to understand permissions (and hopefully my information is correct) but its like having various users using your computer but the are not of human, they live in the system. Each user is supposed to be given permission to only do certain things, but sometimes during system changes, a virtual users permissions may change and they may get permission to do things they should not that could result in slugglish performance. So it helps to put them back in line every once and a while.

jsw
Aug 9, 2004, 10:54 PM
In simplier how I began to understand permissions (and hopefully my information is correct) but its like having various users using your computer but the are not of human, they live in the system. Each user is supposed to be given permission to only do certain things, but sometimes during system changes, a virtual users permissions may change and they may get permission to do things they should not that could result in slugglish performance. So it helps to put them back in line every once and a while.
Essentially true. The system works best when "everybody" can do what they need to do, but can't do anything they're not supposed to do.

tech4all
Aug 10, 2004, 03:56 AM
Thanks for the info! :)