Repair Permissions... What's the point of it??

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by diehldun, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. diehldun macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #1
    What's the point of "repairing permissions"? I mean, I heard everyone talk about it when I bought my PB last year, so I've been going thru Utilities and doing it, but I have no clue what's the point of it.

    I do "Repair Permissions" about once a week, and I always see a HUGE list of "things to repair"! What is going on????

    Any explanations would be great... sorry, not exactly a software genius! :p
     
  2. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #2
    When you delete, install, modify, move, or make any changes to a file or app, the system doesn't always do it cleanly. Apps may have parts of them left behind or defunct and this will cause conflicts (instability) in the OS and your apps.
    Repairing permission does exactly what it says. It goes out and cleans up. It reconstructs parts of an app or file that may be messed up.
    Usually when you install, uninstall, and delete many files, it is necessary t repair permissions.
    I think of it almost like defragmenting apps.
     
  3. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    #3
    um... no.... Repair Permissions. What part of "permissions" is repairing applications or reconstructing files? eerr... ok

    Basically the OS X system seems to have a few issues with permissions information being messed up, not sure why or whatever, but if a file has permissions that you SHOULD be able to access but cannot because you aren't part of the "group" or the permissions are set to high then you cannot access said file(s). Repair Permissions fixes this.
     
  4. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #4
    Here is an example: I installed Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory on my PB when the game was finally released. After installation I had several permission problems. The entire contents of the Games folder was locked. I would have had to go through each folder and unlock it's contents. I also noticed that my entire Applications folder was also locked so I was not able to write it. Repair permissions fixes these read/write problems.
     
  5. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 15, 2003
    #5
    Is this the easiest/fastest/cheapest way to mainatain a Mac? I remember using "Disk Defrag..." on my Dell. Or is there other included applications in my Powerbook? :confused:
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
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    New Zealand
    #6
    OS X automatically defrags in the background, so you don't need to worry about that. Repairing permissions is really the only maintenance task you need to do manually, as the system automatically performs most maintenance tasks every night. I don't know why Apple haven't scheduled automatic permissions repair for, say, once a week. Anyone know?
     
  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    Jul 17, 2004
    #7
    This is the ONLY maintenance to do on a Mac. Cron jobs (they clear out caches, log files, etc.) run at 3 AM if the computer is on but they are not purely necessary to leave your computer on for. There are programs that will force them to run... if you need/want them to.

    They do not, BTW, run in sleep. My PowerBook hasn't had to undergo a running of the crons for a while and it is fine, but repairing permissions is good to do, and I run that every when-I-remember-to.
     
  8. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #8
    Repairing permission is for one thing and one thing only. Third party software installs sometimes screw up system-level files. It's not a fix-all, and running it when no SW has been installed is a waste of time. Doing a disk repair (By booting from the Panther instal disk) is nice to do once a month, AND when you get stalled boots. Say it boots to the spinning wheel, or to a blue screen that won't go away. Boot from the CD, run Disk utilities, repair the disk TWICE, and it will boot. Norton tools or any of the other tools are useless to OSX. X is Unix, and defragging is pointless also, unless you want a huge amount of contiguous space. But on the modern Macs it makes no real difference you'll see. See?
     
  9. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    Nov 12, 2004
    #9

    Say what??? :confused: I liked the first description much better.
     
  10. Logik macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 24, 2004
    #10
    ok.. you have 3 permissions.. read, write and execute

    read means you can read.. write means you can write to the file.

    if you cannot write to a file that needs to be written to then you'll get an error or something won't work right

    if you can't read a file that you need to read.. say a library or a configuration file.. then you'll get an error or something won't work right

    this is all set with permissions.

    if you install a program or a program alters these permissions in anyway, then you'll get instability and crashes and OS X will just not work as it should.

    Repair permissions goes through and fixes these issues. if you should have read access, it gives you read access, if you should have write access, it gives you write access. that way you don't get those problems due to file permissions.

    make sense?
     
  11. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    Jun 29, 2004
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    Vermontana
    #11
    Why doesn't OSX repair permissions automatically like it does with cron jobs?

    Also, has anyone else noticed that the status box in the First Aid pane of the Disk Utility has been changed from small black to bold red? I haven't even installed 10.3.8... how could this have suddenly changed without an update? Or am I the only one....


    One more thing- why is it that when i repair permissions once, and then do it again, it "repairs" the same exact permissions in the same exact way? Shouldn't they be fixed?
     
  12. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    #12
    probably because apple's own apps don't cause the problems... it's 3rd party apps that are the ones that don't do things right and as such screw up the permissions on files and folders.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Another thing that you may do is to start-up in single-user mode. Run fsck -f from the command prompt.
     
  14. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #14
    Whoa... wait.. you mean, the one that says S.M.A.R.T. or something? That used to say Verified?

    If the above answer is "uh...yeah...." then BACK UP NOW and don't wait. It could mean hard drive failure. Take a screen shot of it and upload it (Command+Shift+4) to us. But I have a bad bad bad feeling about it....
     
  15. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #15
    Fortunately, no- it still says verified. The text in the box that appears during activity... reporting what it's up to. You know, "We are using special permissions for the file or directory ./System/Library/Filesystems/cd9660.fs/cd9660.util. New permissions are 33261", etc. Before, it used to be in normal thin black text (and possibly green bold when it was finished?), but now has been replaced by all bold red.

    EDIT: Whoa- now it's black again. Is that a bad sign?
    EDIT 2: Here's a picture of the current state. Previously, ALL the text inside the box was the bold red of "Stopped by user". Anyone know why?
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #16
    True, but I read somewhere that since it's journaled (IF it's journaled) that fsck runs better from the CD, not the volume itself.
     
  17. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #17
     
  18. gallagb macrumors 6502

    gallagb

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    IN
    #18
    a bigger question

    ok- so i run 'repair permissions' quite often
    here's my big question

    when i run it
    it corrects a few things
    then i run it again (right away)
    and it corrects a few more things
    (perhaps even the same things i'm not 100% sure)

    why ?

    should it ever come up 'clean'?
     
  19. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    Supposedly, if the disk is journaled, using fsck is a waste of time.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214

    At least, that's one way to interpret the above quote from the kbase.
     
  20. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #20
    Anything prefixed with "We are using special permissions for ..." isn't actually an error. Just a message. It means that the system thinks that the permissions should be different but there is a file saying "No, really, trust me on this one." That way your computer still runs nicely.
     
  21. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #21
    It can assure you from personal experience that it is not.
     
  22. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    Cape Breton Island
    #22
    I've read that booting from the CD is a bad idea to repair permissions, as they change when the os is updated, so when ou boot from the cd (say your computer came with 10.3.4) then the cd will be checking to make sure permissions match that. Even though 10.3.8 may have different permissions.
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #23
    There are a couple of repaired permissions that are sort of a minor "bug" in OS X. On most systems, there is a cd9660.iso or something like that file somewhere that gets repaired permissions...here it is. This one:

    Code:
    We are using special permissions for the file or directory
    ./System/Library/Filesystems/cd9660.fs/cd9660.util. 
    On most systems, this one will come up every time you repair permissions. I guess it's a bug or an idiosyncracy, but I am not aware of any issue that is caused by it. There might be a couple more like that.
     
  24. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    That is correct.
     

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