Question about administering other accounts in Leopard

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by g-boac, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. g-boac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #1
    I'm in the process of setting up a new 20" iMac I bought for my parents for Christmas.

    I have an administrator account that I created when initially started up the computer; from the administrator account, I created four Standard user accounts (one for each family member). Is there a way to give "complete' privledges to the administrator so that the main administrator account can see, read, and write to ANY user account folder on the iMac?

    thanks!
    Mark
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    You can give anyone in the admin group permission to read & write to those user directories.

    It feels strange saying that.
     
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #3
    that would be "root" which the administrator enables and gives a password in directory utility - edit->enable root user. you then log out and click "other" and type root as the user name then provide the root password (do not forget this password!!!). with these privileges you can read/write everywhere but it isnt recommended for normal use as you can delete any file.

    if your not using the imac for regular use and just setting it up why dont you make at least one of your family members accounts an admin so they can install applications and updates in the future.
     
  4. g-boac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #4
    Rich - thanks for the lead. I'll read more about root users, but that's exactly what I was going for here. The basic setup I'm shooting for on the iMac is having an "admin" account that any of us (mom, dad, sister, or I) can use for installing s/w and updates. Our "daily use" accounts are set up as Standard accounts to prevent inadvertent installation/removal of software (principally, from spyware/adware attacks).

    As for the root user, my motivation for that was I was in the admin account, downloaded a couple of Apple tutorials, and wanted to drop them into specific folders for my mom on her account, but couldn't.

    Not to get too far off topic, but I'm trying to get my family trained on the Mac (they are computer literate, so I'm trying to get them trained as power users) before I head back to Texas -- just up north in the midwest visiting for Christmas. The had a Dell, but that PC was an absolute disaster. Four years old, and so loaded down with viruses, spyware, and a zillion ad-ons that it was essentially useless. I even did a clean install the last time I was up (October), and two months later, the computer again was laden with junk. I know that they will LOVE the Mac!!

    Back to the topic -- and guidance, or links from Apple's website or OS X users guide on the concept and cautions of the root user account would be very helpful!

    thanks!
    Mark
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    I had a family with a similar problem. I moved them over to limited user accounts in XP and told them the administrator was only for software installation and updates.

    I haven't heard from them since.
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #6
    haha well if you installed all the necessary apps like say a secondary browser, adium, perian+flip4mac etc on the rock solid Tiger there would be no reason for beginner user mac users to install updates or new apps in an admin account.

    i dont consider my self a power user at all but i constantly find myself trying new apps and installing updates straight away... especially for Leopard. so a standard user account for myself is useless and annoying. but for a family just starting to learn Mac OS X limited accounts would be fine. this is where Mac OS X shines as you dont get multiple users installing all sorts of crap slowing down the system i.e. your family's dell g-boac

    dont enable a root account that say your dad can use all the time to install apps and updates. if your away in Texas most of the time create an admin account for your dad and only let him and yourself know the password so he can install. just use the root account to drag and drop the files you want to put in your families home folders and to delete useless junk whenever you visit.

    standard accounts can also install apps in their home folder. just create application folders in each of the home folders with root.

    g-boac heres an article on the root user from Apple link
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    I live on the edge as an administrator on my Mac as well. ;)

    Real Player, Flip4Mac, and Perian are always stock on my OS X images. I've had a lot of users thank me for suddenly opening up a large chunk of media to them.
     
  8. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #8
    having your main account as an administrator has its security risks but we're on macs here. common sense is the best protection ;). i just cant be bothered typing my user name in the password window all the time and not being able to drag and drop to anywhere other than my home folder without providing an admin password.
     

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