User account type

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by macaddictann, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. macaddictann macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2004
    I've been seeing talk of this on boards, and it's been kind of lingering in the back of my mind... Pardon if this comes off as an unbelievably stupid question. Many of mine are (as you'll soon learn :D).

    A lot of people talk about how many PCs are set up to make the first user (the purchaser, most of the time) the admin. And people say that if you're an admin on your Mac, you can do damage, so people who could do damage shouldn't be admins. I understand those points... in principle. When a computer-newbie family member has a computer at their disposal, you might make yourself its tech and have them call you for help.

    But I'm flummoxed still at the idea of a computer's owner not having admin privileges. I'm admin on this Powerbook, and I'm its only user. I just don't see how a PC or Mac can be made such that the person who buys it and plugs it in doesn't have full rights. How would they install software or fix problems?

    This same issue comes up at work a bit. On the one hand, the decree is that most users should be normal users (we have a shared admin account among three of us, plus us three are admins of our own accounts). On the other hand, they say, oh, have your users run Software Update. To me, those two statements are contradictory.

    I feel like I'm missing something really stupid here, and I'm sure I am. I know we wouldn't want the less-techy going into their Terminal and typing random code, but I don't see how they could do basic things they'd need to do as the machine's owner.
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    To put it in more practical terms, it's a good idea save the admin account for doing admin-type things, and make a second one for day-to-day work. It's just nice insurance against accidentally clicking on the wrong thing. Everyone has bad days and mistakes happen, separate accounts just make those bad days a little bit less disastrous =)

    OS X is (usually) pretty good about asking questions before proceeding with potentially bad things, but it doesn't stop and ask for a password in every such case. I'm sure that most people are using their admin accounts for everyday use and getting along just fine, it all depends on how much of a risk that seems to you. The answer will vary depending on who uses the machine, and where.
  3. stealthy macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2004
    NYC Metro Area
    I am relatively new to Mac and to OS X alike. I've gotten on fine with having my primary account as an admin account.
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The ones that doesn't maintain the system or install apps have no use for admin rights.
    The adminusers is compared to SA (system admin)
    Yo can also have a root users or Super User (SU) on macosx, but its not enabled by default. Very few people has use for this SU or have the knowledge to use it. (There is no use for the root(SU) outside the Terminal.)
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I'm a long time Mac user, and I've always used an admin account as my primary account. Streamlines things such as software update, just makes life easier in general. The computer gives you a warning when it's going to do something potentially "bad."

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