'Ignore ownership on this volume' not sticking?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by mojolicious, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #1
    This seems to have been a regular occurrence over my last two Macs and at least three OS versions (10.6/7/9, having skipped 10.8). Has usually manifested itself thus: the 'family' iTunes music library has its own partition on the internal HDD, and every so often one of the children will lose access to the library because the 'ignore ownership' checkbox has magically unticked itself.

    However, it appears to be getting worse. Three times in the last week my wife has been unable to launch Photoshop because the primary scratch disk (set to the above 'sound' partition) has been unavailable. Again, the 'ignore ownership' has become unchecked.

    Between the second and third launch failure I stripped out the ACLs from the partition, as described here. This seems to have worked, in that all files/folders now appear to have the same permissions (me=r/w; staff and everyone=r/o). I'm assuming that all this permissions are explicit, but that's coming from a position of knowing bugger-all about POSIX/ACL. Do implicit permissions even exist any more? New folders, and files saved directly to this partition take on the same permissions. The root permissions on the partition itself are r/w for each of system/admin/everyone; when 'ignore ownership' is checked they change to r/w for each of me/staff/everyone.

    Anyway... having done the above, Photoshop failed to launch for the third time and again this was corrected by rechecking 'ignore ownership'. Have subsequently given up and reverted to the startup partition as scratch.

    In the course of writing this I've had a few further thoughts, namely:

    a) Regardless of 'ignore ownership' settings, my wife's account should have sufficient privileges to access the root of the partition – she's an admin! she's a staff! she's an everyone! – which is *presumably* where Photoshop will do it's scratch magic, and

    b) Having turned on invisibles, Photoshop does not appear to create a temporary file on the scratch partition upon launch, so the hissy fit about scratch disk availability seems rather unnecessary.

    Hmmm. It seems like Photoshop might be bringing its own issues to the party, but it doesn't change my basic questions (congratulations if you've made it this far):

    1) Do other people's non-OS partitions (whether internal or external) regularly lose their 'ignore ownership' setting?

    2) If yes, is there a fix that prevents this from happening?

    3) If no, am I doing something terribly wrong?

    4) LATE-BREAKING OBSERVATION: a 'get info' on the partition suggests that I can make the entire partition a 'shared folder'. I can find next to no info on what a 'shared folder' actually does. Is there any magic to it, other than it changing the permissions of contents?
     
  2. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #2
    *gentle bump*

    Anyone?

    Further worrying thought: I was planning on installing an SSD for OS/apps in the near future, with user accounts remaining on the present HDD. Is there anything to prevent 'someone' selecting the 'ignore ownership' checkbox on this HDD, and if so would that irrevocably screw the permissions on each user account? Is 'ignore ownership' an explicit change of permission, or just a temporary override?
     
  3. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

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  4. moonman239, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    moonman239 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Why not just place the iTunes library and Photoshop files into the same partition that your computer uses to boot into Mac OS? :confused:

    Edit: My solution is to move the library and relevant Photoshop files onto a folder in the main partition, then adjust the permissions on that folder by clicking on that folder to highlight it, then going to File -> Get Info.
     
  5. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yep, I guess I could do that.

    I've always created separate partitions for iTunes and 'photography' so that I can keep an eye on just how much rubbish we're accumulating. Now that it's possible to buy a 3TB USB3 drive for ~£80 in the UK there's no longer any need to worry about disk space.

    (re 'relevant Photoshop files', I was simply targeting the 'sound' partition as the primary scratch disk)

    But even if I do abandon the current three partition setup I'm still worried about the possibility of the following...

    I was planning on installing an SSD [hopefully it's arriving tomorrow] for OS/apps in the near future, with user accounts remaining on the present HDD. Is there anything to prevent 'someone' selecting the 'ignore ownership' checkbox on this HDD, and if so would that irrevocably screw the permissions on each user account? Is 'ignore ownership' an explicit change of permission, or just a temporary override?

    Any thoughts on the above?

    Given that Google searches bring up very few similar problems I'm starting to wonder if I'm mistaken in saying this was a problem on my previous Mac, and instead it's simply a glitch on my current Mac which survived the incremental update from 10.7 to 10.9...
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    There is a file called volinfo.database at /var/db that stores this information for each volume and the file can get corrupted. Try running the command below in Terminal (you will be asked for your password) to delete the file, then reboot your system and reset "ignore ownership" however you want on each volume.

    Make sure you have a good backup before you do this.

    If you are curious you can open Finder then Go menu then Go to folder and paste in /var/db and enter then scroll down to volinfo.database and open it with Textedit. You will see a string that IDs each volume followed by 00000001 if ownership is on or 00000000 if it is off. Just command-q quit out of Textedit when done.

    Code:
    sudo rm /var/db/volinfo.database
    Just my opinion, but it seems every time I see someone try and keep the users/home folder on a separate volume from the OS they have no end of problems. I would not do it. I would keep the home folder on the SSD along with the OS and apps, then just put your big data folders (like maybe Music and Photos etc) on the HDD if you need to.
     
  7. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #7
    'Ignore ownership on this volume' not sticking?

    Thanks, Weasel. The SSD arrived a couple of hours ago, the Mini successfully rebooted post-install (always a bonus!), Mavericks is safely installed on the SSD, and i'm now watching Migration Assistant's time estimate yoyo up and down while I copy everything across. I think this means I can ignore the first part of your response.

    Re the splitting of 'Users' I've taken your advice onboard. Will retain the HDD sound'n'vision partitions, where there are no complex permission structures, but Users will be staying on the SSD. The HDD will be reformatted once the I'm satisfied that the SSD's up and running correctly, so no worries about old volinfo files.

    Hopefully the Migration will go smoothly: my lovely Samsung Go/N310 finally died on Friday so I'm temporarily computerless, and the iPhone Experience doesn't make research/questions any easier!
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    I'm not sure, but I think Migration Assistant is going to copy that old file over from your old drive. Might be worth deleting it and starting over after the migration is complete.

    You can tell my opening it like I described and seeing if there are entries in there.
     
  9. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #9
    'Ignore ownership on this volume' not sticking?

    Ah, I was thinking of an invisible on each partition rather than a single file on the boot. Please tell me I'm not migrating/retaining that sort of info! I ticked every option to migrate, but beyond apps and users I thought it was transferring just a couple of hundred kb of 'other data', which comprised of network settings and... um... something else.

    Anyway, will check out volinfo.database once I've migrated (7 minutes remaining, supposedly).

    ----------

    23 minutes... 9 minutes... 18 minutes... at least the progress bar doesn't turn round and head backwards...
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #10
    Oh no... sorry I was not clear. That file is on the OS volume and it saves those settings in that file for all your other drives/volumes. It identifies the drives/volumes by a unique UUID.

    I do believe it will come over under Migration Assistant as part of the "something else" stuff. :)
     
  11. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #11
    No, you were perfectly clear. I think I was having an AppleShare flashback.

    Right... volinfo.database was created thirty minutes ago. Looking at TextEdit it contains no fewer than 17 volumes, of which all bar one are set to 0000001. The single exception is my 'vision' volume. Unchecked 'ignore ownership' of 'vision' and the volinfo.database was updated.

    If the volinfo.database on the SSD was created on startup, then the 'ignore ownership' attribute must have been gleaned from a file located on 'vision' itself?

    To add to the confusion, the volinfo.database on the HDD – which has the curiously recent creation date of 6 Feb 14, mod date 31 March – has 0000001 against *every* partition.

    Re the 'what's in other data' question, it's scary to think just how many files can be crammed into 250ish kB :(
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #12
    The reason all those entries are in there is because, as I suspected, Migration Assistant brought them over from the old drive.

    They are all 01 because at some point you UNchecked the box on each of those volumes.

    I just did some testing with a USB key and here is how this appears to work.

    I erased the drive to HFS+ and check get info and the box is checked. This is the default for a freshly formatted external drive.

    I opened volinfo.database and there is no entry for the USB key test volume and the file dates are old. I then went to get info on the test volume and UNchecked the box. The looked at volinfo.database again. The modified date was changed to now and there is a new entry showing the test volume as a new entry with 01. I carefully checked all hidden files/folders on the USB key and nothing was added or modified.

    I dismounted the test volume then deleted volinfo.database and plugged the USB key back in and checked get info and the box is back to being checked and there is no entry in volinfo.database for the USB volume unless I toggle the check mark again.

    So it does appear to work like I thought. The default is the box checked and this is not stored in volinfo.database. If you toggle the box to unchecked it creates a volinfo.database entry with 01. If you toggle back to checked then you get another entry below the first with a 00.

    So it does not appear anything is stored on the external volumes and it is all in volinfo.database.

    If you just delete your volinfo.database I suspect you will see all your externals go to checked. Try deleting volinfo.database then restart and see if the setting now stick to the externals like you want.
     
  13. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #13
    Agreed. Initially I hoped that I actually did have 17 volumes knocking about the place at the time (SSD + partitioned internal HDD + 2x partitioned external HDDs all mounted) but it's now evident that EFIs and Recovery Partitions aren't magically added to the figure, so I fell short.

    Now there's a thing...

    If I format a USB flash drive (HFS+ and don't let me to forget to turn it back to FAT) it will mount as CHECKED.

    If I format the internal HDD it will mount as UNCHECKED. And, judging by the settings on my external USB HDD partitions, UNCHECKED is almost certainly their default too. Although this doesn't make sense from a portability perspective.

    Hopefully your comment that CHECKED 'is the default for a freshly formatted external drive' is incorrect, in so far that's it actually just the default for a flash drive. Because a) that would explain why all my partitions are ...001, and b) it suggests that my OS hasn't unilaterally elected to Think Different.

    Ignoring what the default value is, I think we're seeing the same behaviour...
    1) There's *always* a volinfo.database entry for the startup volume (...001 / UNCHECKED)
    2) No other volume has an entry until its 'ignore ownership' status is changed, at which point the new entry is generated immediately
    3) Once the 'ignore ownership' status of a volume has been changed its entry remains in volinfo.database, ie toggling back to the default status leaves a ...001 record.
    4) Sending the active volinfo.database to the trash immediately generates a new volinfo.database file, and this file will contain the explicit ...000/...001 entries for every volume mounted at that moment in time, regardless of whether or not a volume's 'ignore ownership' settings have been altered.

    *****

    So, what have we learnt? Not a lot :)

    Given that I'm keeping the user accounts on the SSD (bar iTunes and photo storage) it's not the end of the world if the permissions on the old internal HDD's partitions go walkabouts: there's absolutely no magic in the privileges structure on these partitions.

    Does the mysterious 'other data' setting in Migration Assistant move more than one might have thought? Seemingly so.

    Given that I was experiencing no OS problems with the Mini (other than the privs of partitions) I'm not that bothered and will give it a go with the 'other data' in place. If I had been doing a clean install of 10.9 in an attempt to address proper problems I think I'd have started over again and omitted the 'other data'.

    The migration itself, whilst admittedly just from one disk to another within the same computer, was *fantastically* smooth. I've opened every application and utility and the only trouble I've found was a single, aged Photoshop plug-in that required re-entry of the registration details. Other than that it was flawless.

    The 840 EVO Basic itself has changed my life and I should have bought one sooner.

    The biggest single lesson, though, is that I need a new pair of glasses. Fitting the SSD was hard work; much more so than fitting a larger HDD a couple of years ago. Time for a trip to the optician.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #14
    I double checked yesterday and just tested on a USB key and also an external USB hard drive. Any newly formatted HFS+ volumes mount with the box checked to ignore permissions.

    Have you tried deleting volinfo.database then remounting those externals. When I do that they all revert back to checked.
     
  15. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #15
    Compare and contrast!
    It's a Mid 2011 Mini I bought second hand in May 2012 when my old iMac died. It arrived with a fresh 10.7.x installation. I would have...
    a) repartitioned
    b) reinstalled 10.7
    c) created box-fresh user accounts
    d) installed all my applications
    e) recreated from fresh every application preference
    f) manually 'populated' each user account from a backup of the iMac

    So I'm confident that there's no legacy preferences from a previous Mac or from anything pre-10.7. I'm now marginally less certain that I experienced my thread-starting 'ignore reverts to unchecked' issues prior to the Mini, but I'm still pretty sure I did.

    I'm not a Terminal wizard and I'm cautious of running commands I don't understand, so I'm at a loss as to how the default state of newly formatted volumes/partitions has (seemingly) become reversed.

    Will now install 10.9 on an external partition and see what happens. This seems like a two pipe problem...
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #16
    Odd... I Googled around a bit and every thing I have found shows the default for a HFS+ external of any kind is checked to ignore permissions. Look at the 5:39AM post from Mark here that describes exactly how my system behaves.
     
  17. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #17
    'Ignore ownership on this volume' not sticking?

    Thanks, W. Can't chat, back on Tapatalk :)

    Installing 10.9 on an XHD and will see how it behaves. If that's 'correct' I'll try again with the 'other settings' migration. The least unlikely explanation seems to be that I'm carrying over a hidden file that toggles the default behaviour...
     
  18. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #18
    Installed 10.9.2 to a partition on an external HDD.

    From this box fresh startup partition I reformatted a flash drive, another partition on the startup external HDD, and a partition on the internal HDD.

    Flash drive: mounts CHECKED
    int/ext HDD partitions: mount UNCHECKED

    Deletion of volinfo.database sets all presently mounted partitions to UNCHECKED.

    This is getting bizarre.

    The upside is I don't have to go any further with re-migrating stuff to discover the point at which things get 'reversed'...

    *****

    Re the quote below, I got carried away with duplicating Weaselboy's post. Freshly formatted USB keys *will* mount with 'ignore permissions' CHECKED.
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #19
    I wonder if this does not behave as expected because you are running the OS from an external drive?
     
  20. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Just because it's you, I'm prepared to install Mavericks on an internal HDD partition.
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #21
    Hah... :D I do appreciate the back and forth here. I have learned from it.

    Just to get back to your original issue, with a fresh volinfo.database do your external HFS+ drives now remember the checkmark, or does the forgetting the checkmark problem still exist.
     
  22. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Heh, because the underlying permissions on these partitions all belong to me I don't notice if one flips to unchecked, and the rest of the family haven't had a look-in at the computer what with all the installs I've been doing...

    As stated in the original post:

    Has usually manifested itself thus: the 'family' iTunes music library has its own partition on the internal HDD, and every so often one of the children will lose access to the library because the 'ignore ownership' checkbox has magically unticked itself.

    However, it appears to be getting worse. Three times in the last week my wife has been unable to launch Photoshop because the primary scratch disk (set to the above 'sound' partition) has been unavailable. Again, the 'ignore ownership' has become unchecked.


    Additionally my wife would occasionally be unable to save edited images opened directly from 'vision', because for her it had become read only.

    But the problem with the problem is that the problem is intermittent. Generally every couple of weeks (until the recent scratch disk issue). I guess there's a trigger for it, but I haven't a clue what that trigger might be.

    I'm still puzzled by the volinfo.database creation date of 6 Feb 2014. The date means nothing to me. If I didn't delete it, and it's too old to have been recreated by the monthly maintenance cron (or whatever it is now), then... how/why?
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #23
    Well, hopefully deleting volinfo.database will have fixed it. That file is not in your user space, so everybody on the machine shares those settings for all externals.
     
  24. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Nah, there are plenty of files/folders on both 'sound' and 'vision' which are me-RW, staff/everyone-RO. And these permissions seem to survive 'sudo chmod -R -N' too. Should I be alarmed by this?

    Haven't tried overwriting via 'apply to enclosed items' yet, although I guess there's no harm in doing so. At least it would (should) render all *current* data available to everyone, regardless of the state of the 'ignore ownership' toggle.
     
  25. mojolicious thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #25
    You wondered correctly.

    Installed 10.9 on a partition on the internal HDD. Then proceeded to reformat each of another internal HDD partition; a USB external partition; and a flash drive.

    'Ignore ownership' defaults were:
    internal – UNCHECKED
    external – CHECKED
    flash – CHECKED


    The above is 'correct', yes? It makes sense for removables to default to permissionlessness.

    Then used Migration Assistant to bring over 'computer settings' only. I believe this was <200KB in size. From the values in volinfo.database I could see that this was one of the migrated files, but I think that's besides the point. Reformatted the three volumes again, and:
    internal – UNCHECKED
    external – UNCHECKED
    flash – CHECKED


    So there you have it. Something that's migrated in 'computer settings' is changing the default 'ignore ownership' setting for a newly erased USB HDD drive.

    I don't know what the difference is between a USB HDD and a USB flash drive. Perhaps an unpartitioned external HDD would also default checked rather than unchecked. Or possibly the first partition on the drive. Or possibly if I used a different external drive. Or port. Or cable. Or something.

    Looked for a Migration Assistant log but couldn't find one.

    I *could* make another clean install of 10.9 and compare files using Kaleidoscope, but the idea really doesn't appeal to me. :)

    I *could* start over and migrate everything bar 'computer settings'. It wouldn't actually be too onerous a task.

    But instead I shall stick my head in the sand, pretend there's nothing unusual, and (if it remains an issue) be prepared to re-check the 'ignore ownership' box on my internal partitions once every few weeks.
     

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