Isn't admin omnipotent?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by josepho, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. josepho macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2004
    Surrey, England

    I'm fairly new to Mac OS X, but have an okay understanding of basic UNIX concepts, etc.

    Yesterday, I was looking through the HD and I went into the Users folder. To my horror, I was informed that I did not have sufficient privileges to access other users' folders. Surely, if I'm logged in as the admin of the system I can view any files, no?

    Maybe something's got to be set up?

  2. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Even the admins don't have access to everything (you can have several admins on a single Mac). Only the root user is omnipotent, and thus quite dangerous (you can really srew things up whilst logged in as root.

    If you want to gain access to the folders of another account, you need to get the permssions changed for the files/folders in that account. Alternatively, if its just for sharing a few files, ypu can use the 'Public' folder.

    You can enable root user in NetInfo Manager, but I strongly recommend you do some reading up on how Unix works and what root user can do (this is of course, if your knowledge of *nix is limited ;) )
  3. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Admin is pretty powerful, but root is truly omnipotent. I'd be very careful if you decide to run as root. The command line is not very forgiving and you can sudo yourself into a nonworking system pretty easily if you don't know what you're doing.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Okay, here's the deal. Being in the "admin" group is the OS X equivalent to being in a Linux/BSD system's sudoers file - it means you have the right to run programs as root. But it doesn't mean that, in your normal state, you can access everything.

    If you want full access to everything (and this is a BAD idea), enable the root user and log in as root.

    Another option is to use chgrp and chmod to make all user's directories readable to members of the admin group.

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