Overlap of System 'Cleaners'

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by efoto, May 3, 2005.

  1. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I was reading through for 'Free Apps Thread' and saw many people recommending a plethora of apps for system maintenance/cleaning.

    I was just wondering, do Cocktail/MacJanitor/Onyx/TinkerTool overlap one another or do they each do a special little job and are all necessary?
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Hmmm...I would venture to say *none* are *necessary*. I think they overlap in the sense that all of these (except maybe TinkerTool?) involve a front-end to do system tasks that are built into the operating system, but are either located in different places (e.g. disk utility for repairing permissions, the "cron" tasks are automated in the background, etc) or can only be accessed by terminal (prebindings, for instance). All the tasks that fall into the maintenance category, however, that any of these do, are available without installing any tool.

    There is also some overlap in that all of them except for MacJanitor (which only does maintenance), also act as a front end for some system appearance / interface modification. This stuff...some of it can be done with defaults write statements in terminal, but you need the apps for it much more. It's probably a *bad* idea to install multiple apps that all hit these same switches and modify them, because use of these kinds of mods sometimes leads to system instability, and the apps may not be able to see, for each one, that the others are also changing some of the same system variables. But you *definitely* don't need this functionality at all -- this is purely something you can do if you want to.

    FWIW, I used to have MacJanitor, but I don't anymore. The cron tasks (which are all that it does), first, were changed in a mid-cycle refresh of Panther, in scheduling somehow so that they're supposed to run effectively even on notebooks that are not on all day (originally, they ran at a fixed time of the day, which might mean that they never have the opportunity to run, if a notebook user had their computer asleep at that time every day). I also happen to run these tasks directly from the terminal. I have a script that contains:

    diskutil information disk0
    diskutil information disk0s9
    diskutil repairpermissions /
    update_prebinding -root / -force -debug
    softwareupdate -i -a
    shutdown -h now
    And I output the whole thing to a log file. This basically does all the maintenance tasks that are really necessary and then some. If you do prebindings, you have to reboot :(, which is why there's a shutdown at the end. I try to do this every couple of weeks, which is probably overkill. But all of these commands are OS X native (Panther and Tiger).

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