Permissions?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by Declan, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Declan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    #1
    I am a new MAC user, so things like permissions are totally new to me. I have a few questions regarding them.
    My MAC slowed down suddenly, i read that this can be down to invalid permissions, i repaired them and it solved the problem.
    1 What exactly are permissions?
    2 Files relating to itunes, the application folder and a install log needed repairing, i have only just installed panther, the only thing i can think off, is i updated itunes but why would the other two be damaged?
    3 Is this a regular occurrence on OS X?
    4 Are there other maintenance things that need doing?
    Thank You
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #2
    Welcome new Mac user!

    Permissions exist to keep items secured and the system running as planned. They also keep other users from your items. Many operating systems, besides Mac OS X, have permissions but do not announce them. Windows NT was the first common MS desktop operating system to make use of permissions to allow multiple users to exist on the same machine.

    Unfortunately, the permission problems are still occurring, but at a much slower rate with Panther. Vigilance is still necessary. After installing new software or anything through the Software Update panel, you should repair permissions.

    Using Diskwarrior, Drive 10, or Tech Tool Pro 4 to diagnose disk problems on a regular basis would also be a good idea, as they can go further than Disk Utility.
     
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #3
    to add a little...

    permissions were a part of UNIX... because UNIX was meant to allow multiple user logins, it sets three kinds of permissions for each file/folder: one for yourself, one for your group members and one for everyone. when you pull up info screen on OS X, you will see those three permissions... permission can be any combination of read, write and execute for each group.

    or, you can pull up a terminal and type "ls -l". you will see something like:

    -rwxr--r--

    to the left of each file.

    the first letter would be - if it's just a file, d if it's a directory (folder) or l if it's a link (alias)

    the next three is permissions for yourself - r for read, w for write and x for execute.
    the next three is for group members and the last three for everyone.

    (so above example means this item is a file with read/write/exe permission for yourself and just read permission for your group members and everyone else.)

    type "man chmod" to learn a bit more. that will pull up an online manual for command "chmod" which is used to change permissions from the command line.
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #4
    to add a little more, just had to mention this. i have never touched my permissions on a 2.5 year old quicksilver, upgraded ram,upgraded video card, upgraded cpu and have never even had to go into permissions. wife's imac is another story.
     
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    I'm still trying to figure out exactly what causes these incorrect file permissions.
    Probably installers, maybe force-restarting?

    Anyway, whenever I do a "full office" install of Mac OS X with M$ Office, FileMaker Pro, all the updates, media players etc.... I verify the disk permissions, and I always must repair them!

    I assume a couple installers need to change some file/folder permissions (in /system and /Applications) in order to be able to write or adjust files, but don't change them back to its original settings.

    Any other ideas?
     
  6. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    So how do you know if you need to repair permissions, or is it something you just do if you suspect you need to? How do you do that?

    I see that the Mac Sweeper software offers this service; can anyone vouch for its quality/ability?

    For that matter, what about running the daily/weekly/monthly scripts? Will they improve performance? Is it true that they are scheduled to run at certain times of day, and if you're computers not on at that time, may never run as intended?

    Thanks!
     
  7. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    Well, you can manually run these scripts, and see for yourself.
    Yes, they do run at certain times (at night), so if you shutdown your Mac every evening these scripts will never take place.

    To manually start 'em:
    Go to the terminal.
    Type "cd /etc"
    Then type "sudo ./daily" (for the daily script) -followed by your admin password.
    or type "sudo ./weekly" (for... ofcourse)
    or type "sudo ./monthly" (you guessed it)

    In short these scripts clear log files, backup NetInfo database, rebuild the locate database... etc.

    Hard to tell if you *need* to repair the disk permissions, as mostly it goes unnoticed when the permissions are incorrect.
    I bet that most Mac OS X users have no idea about disk permissions or how to repair them.
    But whenever some strange behavior is noticed (or system feels slow), fixing disk permissions is the first piece of system maintenance you do trying to solve the problem.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #8
    i just kind of run them once in a while when i have some time to kill. not really a big deal... but that's just my opinion.

    the times cron jobs are relics of UNIX age when computers were kept on 24/7 with no sleep. those jobs will not run unless your computer is on and not asleep at scheduled times... go to versiontracker and find macjanitor. excellent utility app. i run it also once in a while. it won't kill your machines if you don't run them, but it probably doesn't hurt either...
     
  9. JDar macrumors 6502a

    JDar

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #9
    To add a minimal bit to what MacsRg8 told you--the cron demon will not wake up a sleeping computer to run the maintance programs. There are various shareware programs that will run the programs for you. A slightly simpler way to do them all at once is in a Terminal window:

    "sudo periodic daily weekly monthly"

    I got this from David Pogue's excellent book _OS X The Missing Manual_.
     
  10. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #10
    Didn't know about the sudo periodic etc. Could be good to know, in fact I'll do that right now :)

    Now for the nitpick. If I don't say it, I'm sure someone else will :p - it's Mac not MAC.
     
  11. damson34 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #11
    after running the sudo periodic monthly command you must also repair permssions again as it causes a few logs to become changed.
     
  12. huntsman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    Hmm, I get a not found error in both Mozilla and Safari when trying to download that utility. Tried a few other places after a search but they point to the same broken download spot. Anyone know an alternate source?
     
  13. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    I went to the publisher's web site, and a few days ago it said that the program was temporarily not available due to a legal dispute. As of just now, the web site no longer mentions a legal dispute, but says the software is still not available as it's being worked on over the holidays. Mebbe they're making legally-required revisions...
     
  14. huntsman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Australia

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