Need help understanding user accounts

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by u6crash, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. u6crash macrumors member

    u6crash

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    DeKalb, IL
    #1
    I recently purchased a new computer for my parents' home. It's a Mac Mini running Lion and I've transferred all the files/settings from their previous Mac (and old G4 running OX10.4 I believe). Anyway, I'd finally like to setup different user accounts on this new system, but want to make sure I understand how it all works first. On top of the two separate accounts for my parents, I'd like to setup a third one for my cousin who lives with them.

    So my understanding is that if I want them all the have their own accounts with their own Home folder and Documents folder, etc., that they will also have their own copies of each application they use. Is this correct? It seems needlessly redundant. If my mom purchases Pages and Numbers in her account and installs it, does it have to be installed in the other user accounts separately and does each install require a license? I think that's my main concern right now.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    No, they will have their own folders, documents, preferences, etc. but usually applications are available to all users. So you have one copy of the app in your /Applications folder that any user can access. Only if you install an app in your ~/Applications folder under your account would it not be available to other users. Application licenses are typically per computer, not per user.
     
  3. canuckle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    #3
    Thank you OP for a great question, could I ask a follow up?

    Do you get a choice when you're installing software to have it available for all users or only the current user? Or is it automatically all users? If you want it only for the current user, can you detail how this should be done? (new to Mac myself, obv :eek: )
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Some apps which have an installer package will give you the option to install for all users or only the user installing the app. Most apps install simply by dragging the app to the /Applications folder, so there's nothing to ask. If you want to install such an app for just one user, drag it to the /Users/yourusername/Applications folder. If there isn't such a folder, you'd have to create it. Be aware that some apps may not function or update properly if they're not in the /Applications folder.
     
  5. u6crash thread starter macrumors member

    u6crash

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    DeKalb, IL
    #5
    Thanks for the info. I guess the confusion on my part was that I used to have a separate user account on my parents old computer for when I would visit. I was always surprised when Firefox would be up to date on their account, but several versions behind in mine. Similarly, I updated iPhoto and Garageband in the default account on my parents computer when I set it up, but when I created a new account I had to update those applications there as well.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    That's strange. When you update an app (if it's in the /Applications folder), it should be the same version, no matter which user launches that app. The only way I can see having different versions for different users is if the apps were installed in each user's account, rather than for the whole computer.
     
  7. canuckle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    #7
    OK that makes sense. We're getting a new iMac soon, so this is particularly top of mind for me ATM. How would iTunes work then? If I have an account and my wife also has an account, can we have separate iTunes libraries? How about pages, mail, etc?

    Sorry if these questions are really basic...
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Yes, you would share the iTunes app, but could each have separate libraries. The same for Pages, Mail, etc. You would share the app, but all documents created, email accounts, even app preference settings would be unique to each user.

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User
    iMac Fast Start: The new user's guide to iMac
     
  9. canuckle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    #9

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