New user gaining file permissions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by adammcd, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. adammcd macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Computer: iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    System: OS X 10.5.8

    I used to only have one user account (user1) on my iMac, but recently I made a second one (user2) that is intended to eventually replace my original user account.

    (Why I did this: Photoshop CS3 was unusable with errors, and after trying every fix known to man [aside from a clean install of Leopard], the only thing that worked was to use Photoshop on a new user account ... weird, I know.)

    Here is my problem:

    I moved all my files from /user1/ to /user2/ (e.g. - photos from /user1/Pictures/ I moved to /user2/Pictures/, and so on...). The problem is that most of these files do not have user2 listed under "Sharing and Permission" when I get information about the files (so I don't have permission to access them).

    I tried this:
    *clicking on an enclosing folder and going to 'get info'
    *adding user2 and setting permissions to read & write
    *clicking the gear symbol and selecting 'apply to enclosed items...'

    Didn't work; 'user2' did not get added to the user list for 'Sharing and Permissions' of the enclosed items.

    In the meantime, I did this:
    *I noticed that every item already has the 'staff' group listed (with read only permission)
    *I changed staff from 'read only' to 'read & write'
    *I clicked the gear symbol and applied to enclosed items.

    Now all enclosed items allow staff to read & write. This is ok for now, but I'd rather just allow 'user2' permissions when needed, instead of allowing the whole 'staff' group (whatever staff group includes... ?)

    Any help would be appreciated. Also, is there anything else I should know about transferring user accounts that I might not have thought of? Thanks!
  2. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    You need to either:

    1. Open Terminal and adjust the ownership on the home folder and its contents.

    2. Boot to an install disk, run Password Reset from Utilities, select the new user (user2) and click the "Reset Permissions and ACLs" button on the bottom. (I am reciting the button name from memory, that may not be exactly right).

    I have never tried option 2, but theoretically it should work.
  3. adammcd thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Thanks calderone.

    I am only somewhat familiar with the terminal, but calderone's comments pointed me in the right direction; after some searching around I think I found some helpful terminal commands. I thought I would post my findings to anyone else who might read this thread in the future...

    I believe calderone is referring to commands such as chown, chgrp, chmod, etc. If one is a layman like me, I would advise creating some test files and folders and playing around with these commands to make sure you understand what they do (of course, you should also read about what these commands do as well as what attaching "-R" to the command does, and so forth).
  4. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    I didn't want to throw out the commands as to avoid potential problems. Sometimes people copy and paste commands that are meant to be an example and not a working command.

    But you are correct on which commands should be used.

    -R is recursive, which means it will be run on that item and any child of that item.

    For those uncomfortable with that approach, I would try the Repair Home Folder Permissions option available in the Password Reset Utility.
  5. annk Administrator


    Staff Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Since I'm struggling with a problem very similar to the OP's, I'd like to ask a bit more about this ^. Can the repair home folder permissions function let an admin account set permissions for all the content on the computer, so that for example the admin would have permissions to access everything on all accounts?
  6. kleakak macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2010
    maybe this thread can help me

    Hey everyone, ok i am not new to mac, been around the block of sectors many of times. here is my dilemma. In the old system 10.3.9 We used to able to make an alias of folders to share calendars, itunes, photos, Basically anything my creating an alias of a folder and swapping it out in other users in the same computer. Now with 10.6 I can't figure out a damn thing. I have tried folder sharing and giving permissions to other users, and then tried alias folders, Nothing is working PLease help
  7. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    When i tested the "Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs" feature in Leopard a few years back, it did only very specific tweaks:
    • it removed ACLs inside user homes which weren't put there by Apple
    • it restored ACLs inside user homes which Apple wants, but had been altered

      and... strangely enough,

    • it changed the group assignment of altered items to 'wheel' (gid = 0).
    I imagine it also sets the proper ownerships... which should help the OP, just as calderone proposed.

    I guess you mean "easy GUI" access? Because —via the sudo command in Terminal —admins already have access to anything anywhere.

    The aforementioned utility does not provide such an adjustment. One could come up with an ACL to grant admins access to all subfolders of /Users i suppose... but that would need to attach an ACL to every single folder (and file?) inside the /Users hierarchy. [kinda messy]

    EDIT: hmm, or possibly a simpler POSIX tweak would work...
    sudo chgrp -R admin /Users; sudo chmod -R g+rwX /Users
    ... still seems a bit drastic though.

    It may also be possible to launch a program such as RBrowser with root privileges, and use it for GUI navigation... idunno. But as i implied, admins can do sudo -s in Terminal, and then go anywhere/do anything.

    Sorry, not sure if i helped much there. Perhaps with more info about the kind of access you wanted, we could do better.


    As far as the OP's situation: yes Finder Get Info windows are supposed to work for that, but (again) using Terminal is the only way i know to be 100% sure of seeing all of the permissions on any given item... and/or propagating changes down through a directory tree.

Share This Page