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Old Nov 23, 2006, 11:51 AM   #1
YS2003
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Log in as Administrator before installation?

I am wondering if there is any difference between the 2 methods:
1. Log in as an administrator and proceed with software installation.
2. start the software installation in "non-administrator" user status and authenticate by entering your administrator's user name/password before software installation (as the installation typically prompt you to do so).

Either method can achieve proper software installation with OS X. But, is #1 better than #2? Or, does it make any difference? For certain applications, #1 is the better way, I think.
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Last edited by YS2003; Nov 23, 2006 at 12:55 PM.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:00 PM   #2
Eraserhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YS2003 View Post
I am wondering if there is any difference in the between the 2:
1. Log in as an administrator and proceed with software installation.
2. start the software installation in "non-administrator" user status and authenticate by entering your administrator's user name/password before software installation (as the installation typically prompt you to do so).

Either method can achieve proper software installation with OS X. But, is #1 better than #2? Or, does it make any difference? For certain applications, #1 is the better way, I think.
Both the same, just 1 may involve entering your password less.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
Both the same, just 1 may involve entering your password less.
There are some apps for which this is not true - specifically when they don't follow Apple's security guidelines. However I haven't found any that, once installed, won't run just fine from a non-admin account.

Fink requires that it be installed with an administrator account. So do certain Adobe products (note that these will appear to install from a non-admin account; but when you go to run them they'll fail). Actually one of the Adobe products (Acrobat? I just don't remember) required that the first time I ran it after install, it had to be from an admin account as well - but after that I could run it as a non-admin.

Generally this is because of product activation or other such nonsense. With Fink it's just that they haven't figured this all out quite yet.

Shoot I've got a list somewhere - if I can find it, I'll post it here.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:22 PM   #4
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Okay, I just lifted a post I made on Slashdot regarding this where I'd included the apps I found that had this issue...

------------------------------------

The main issue will be the occasional app that doesn't use the security model. I've run into just a few:

- Google Earth (mentioned by someone else) will run fine, but you'll have to install it using the admin account.

- App Zapper requires an admin account to even use the app. I wrote to them about it, and got back a somewhat generic "yeah we've thought about it, but you should be deleting from an admin account" reply. I'm guessing this is an old-school Mac developer that has a bit to learn about Unix.

- Most Adobe applications need to be installed as an admin, and run for the first time as an admin (because of their activation crap). After that they'll work fine run under your normal non-admin user account.

- Fink (shame on them) will not install correctly unless you run the installer from an admin account.

If you find an app that won't install, email the developer! Chances are they just haven't thought about it. There have been a few I've written to that, once they were aware of the problem, fixed it pretty quickly. But in the meantime you'll probably have to log in under the admin account a few times to install some apps.

Since we like to pick on Microsoft here, I'm going to mention that Office will install just fine under a non-admin account - they've used Apple's security framework. Say what you will about the company as a whole; their Mac Business Unit seems to be on the ball.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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I did note that if you install an app that installs by being dragged to /applications as a non-admin, you authenticate and then the app gets copied over. But interestingly, it has ownership by the non-admin user. Nonetheless, it seems to work just fine for other users. Which makes no sense to me. But seems harmless enough.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:54 PM   #6
YS2003
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I make it a habit to log out from my non-admini daily user account to the admini account for installing and updating the software. For automatic software update for Adobe CS2 and MS Office2004, their updaters won't run if you are running from non-admini account anyway.
But, sometimes I get tardy and install some minor apps from my non-admini account. My rule of thumb has been the software would install correctly as long as the installer prompts me to enter my Mac's admini name/password to authenticate before going forward with the installation.
For Adobe software, I don't even take chances; I update in the admini account at all times. They have an aggressive activation mechanism and I don't want to mess up the activation issues when I do the clean software install or updates.
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 07:05 PM   #7
sarge
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Does that hold true for Plug-in's??

I have loaded a PS camera raw plug under my admin account, but when I try to open PS in under my user account it won't work. In the file conversions folder there is a locked folder where the camera raw plug in should be. Anybody have any idea what is going on here?
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 08:16 PM   #8
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If you are installing an application in the home directory of the logged in user you wont need to. ANYTHING that installs system wide (all users) or accesses any core services/hardware will require an admin password.
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