Changing Permissions in Finder

Discussion in 'macOS' started by AzureCloud, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. AzureCloud macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #1
    I have noticed something strange in Snow Leopard when dealing with file permissions in a Get Info window. Previously, in Leopard, when I would Get Info on a file and open the "Sharing and Permissions" tab, I would be unable to edit permissions until I had clicked on the lock icon and entered the admin password.

    However, I have found that in Snow Leopard, I can edit permissions with the lock icon closed. It doesn't even ask for a password to change file permissions. I have been searching around to see if anyone else had noticed this, but to no avail. I am concerned, as not having to enter a password to change file permissions could be a bit of a security issue, couldn't it? I also don't believe it to be specific to my machine, as I have access to another Snow Leopard computer and it is the same there. Both machines are running 10.6.2.

    Does anybody know why this happens or a way to return it to normal?
     
  2. germanix macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Hannover, Germany
    #2
    I have checked my system and like you I can do all of the changes without having to enter a password. This is quite concerning. I have looked in all the books I have on SL but can find no explanation for this, sorry. I hope someone does know.
     
  3. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #3
    You do not need to unlock a file/folder if you have write permissions to it. What the lock actually does is allow you to authenticate as root (aka run sudo) so you can modify files your user account cannot modify.
     
  4. germanix macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Hannover, Germany
    #4
    Yes, now that you have explained the logic behind it, it does make sense. I thank you for this insight. Have a nice day.
     
  5. AzureCloud thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the reply, J, but I actually noticed this issue when Finder asked me to enter the admin password to delete some files (wallpapers) I had pulled from a bonus DVD. When I checked permissions with Get Info, I noticed that I only had read privileges, but I was able to change that permission to read & write without having to authenticate as admin. So it would seem that this issue may not only apply to files that the user has write access to. When I checked this in Leopard, I also noticed that even when the user had write access to a file, I couldn't change permissions settings without inputting the admin password.

    On a possibly unrelated note, when I updated Safari to 4.0.4, Software Update did not ask for my password like it usually does. It may just be coincidental, but could these issues be connected to some kind of overall problem with permissions on my system? I have tried repairing permissions with disk utility, but it doesn't find any errors to repair.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    That doesn't answer the question. The fact is, in Leopard, you can't modify file permissions in the "Get Info" window until you click the lock icon and enter your admin password. The OP is saying that in Snow Leopard, that security step is no longer there. You're not unlocking the file or folder... you're unlocking the access in Finder to modify permissions.
     
  7. AzureCloud thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #7
    Even after trying to search for it online, I haven't come upon any relevant information on the topic. I was really hoping that someone would have an explanation/fix for this issue. I wonder if some people just don't mess with file permissions in the Finder...
     
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #8
    1. You are likely logged in as an administrator. You don't have automatically the right to delete a read-only file, but the Finder can do it if you enter your password. You _do_ have the permission to change a file from read/write to read/only as long as you have permission to change the folder containing the file.

    2. Safari is an application that uses "code signing", which means there is some information attached to it saying which application it is, and who created it, and that information cannot be forged. When you upgrade Safari, the operating system _knows_ that it is the same application and created by the same people, so you can trust it just as much or just as little as the previous version. Without "code signing", the operating system knows that you are trying to replace one application named "Safari" with another application named "Safari", but anybody could write an application, and name it "Safari".

    If Safari remembers passwords for you, you will notice that you are not asked anymore whether the new version is allowed to access those passwords, because the operating system _knows_ it is a new version of the same application. This is all absolutely correct and as it is supposed to be.
     
  9. AzureCloud thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #9
    Ah, so this behavior is normal in Snow Leopard? I was mostly concerned with it being a potential bug since changing permissions was handled differently in Leopard. It is also good to know that the Safari thing was okay.
     

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