General rule of thumb for repairing permissions?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by CubaTBird, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #1
    Is their a general rule of thumb for repairing permissions in os X? Like once a week etc.
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #2
    There are a lot of threads on this, and no one agrees exactly. Generally, the suggestion is that you should do it after an install which requires an admin password. Otherwise, do it when you feel like it. Once a week is rather frequent - it can't hurt, but it's not necessary. A lot of people do just fine never doing it at all, and, if you do it after installs which require a password (and esp. a reboot), you'll be fine.
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    definitely do it after any install that requires a reboot, or any OS X updates, other installations i dont always do it for but some people advise it

    also some people advise using the OS X cd that has Disk Utility on it for repairing permissions

    id say do it as much as you feel is necessary if you are not having problems you dont have to do it technically
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    Repairing permissions are supposed to fix things that a software installer may mess up.

    Running fsck -y is probably something that should be done far more frequently that repairing permissions, since these file system/catalog problems tend to get worse and worse until you end up with a flashing question mark.
     
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #5
    Slightly dated but germane and useful article here.
     
  6. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #6
    i do it once a month or whenver i install something
     
  7. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2004
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    Tokyo
    #7
    Do it when the computer starts acting weird and slowing down.
     
  8. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #8
    being a pc user, and not very familiar with macs, what exactly is repairing permissions? we have defragging, checking the disk for errors, compression, indexing...etc. what is the windows equivalent?
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    All those things exist, visibly or not, on Macs as well. Repairing permissions is a UNIX-derived thing; to simplify a tiny bit, all Mac files have three 'groups' to consider - the owner, the owner's group (i.e., all admins, etc.), and the world at large. Each of these might have read, write, and/or execute permission for a given file. So, an application should be executable by all three groups - or at least the first two - but not necessarily writable. A Word doc is likely readable and writable by the owner, but perhaps no one else (the 'root' user or superuser - like an administrator on Windows - can see everything).

    Anyway, sometimes permissions get messed up, and something which should be readable isn't (or something similar), and things get flaky - for example, if an application needs to read settings in a file which it no longer has read permission for while the given user is logged on.

    When we repair permissions, we fix any such errors.
     
  10. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #10
    ok, thanks. i always see people say "repair permissions to fix it" and im like "what on earth is that"
     
  11. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #11
    See the article posted above by jsw. It answer your question.

    I also use "Repair Permissions" after doing installations.
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Here it is, the skinny...

    Repair Permissions, The Skinny:

    Repair Permission compares a working directory's current permissions with those specified by an installer's BOM (bill of materials) located in /Library/Receipts/. If the permissions differ, the permissions are corrected on the boot volume.

    Repair Permissions will NOT descend into your /User hierarchy. If you are having troubles with permissions of files in your home directory, get cuddly with chmod and chown.

    One should NOT run a permissions repair from an installer CD unless one is desperate. The BOMs on the installer CD are mostly out of data in comparison with more recent updates and installs.

    One can Repair Permissions from the Disk Utility or via command line using diskutil, which is quite useful for remote permissions correction. Try using:

    sudo diskutil repairpermissions /

    Permissions repair is quite important after any install that asks for an admin password. Otherwise, you're usually just doing it to make yourself feel better but has no impact on your boot volume.

    There are known bugs in repairing permissions that will consistently report invalid permissions, these can be safely ignored. Refer to your friendly neighborhood Apple Support Site for more info.
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #13
    Wonderful summary! I'll bookmark this thread for the next time this comes up.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Jul 16, 2002
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    Palookaville
    #14
    Another tasty bit:

    Download and install "applejack" from VersionTracker. This little script adds a number of functions including repair permissions to Single User Mode driven from a simple menu. Very geeky and very useful.
     
  15. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #15
    Why the hell would you do that? Just bookmark his post. :D

    Actually, there are sticky threads on Apple's discussion forums (most of them) suggesting that one repair permissions before and after running an installer requiring a password.
     

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