Repair Permissions does not repair anything

Discussion in 'macOS' started by celticpride678, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    When I go to run repair permissions in Disk Utility, it runs fine and finds all these permission differences:

    However, when I go to run repair permissions right after the first time, it comes up with the same list as before. Why is this? How can this be fixed? Thanks.
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    There is nothing wrong and you will always get that same list. Repair permissions has been doing that for so long that I've forgotten why. Unless you actually have a permissions problem, which is generally better fixed in Get Info, repairing permissions is just Mac voodoo.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    There are some situations where it actually is helpful, but it is not always apparent what those are

    But to your point, there are many instances when it doesn't seem to do anything and it finds and repairs the same things repeatedly

    I don't think it hurts to repair permissions ;), but it is not the cure all
    It is a starting point

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Disk Utility and the new iMovie are complete crap. I'd like the new iMovie if I could get it to work, but it chooses not to. I'd like Disk Utility if Leopard weren't so weird with it. Why does it list all those weird errors if they aren't really errors???
  5. germanix macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Hannover, Germany
    The disk utility is an important program serving two key functions.
    1. It serves as a powerful hard drive administration tool that lets you repair, format, and partition disks. In everyday life, you will probably use Disk Utility most often for its Repair Permissions feature, which solves an uncanny number of weird little Mac OSX glitches. But it is also worth keeping in mind, in case you ever find yourself facing a serious disk problem.
    2. Disk Utility also creates and manages "disk Images", electronic versions of disks or folders that you can exchange electronically with other people
    (the above is quoted from "Mac OSX- The missing manual by David Poque"

    So it is by no means crappy, and it does solve many permissins and other problems.
    So why does it seem that the list of permissions as with the example given here by celticpride678 are not repaired?
    First one has to understand what "permissions realy are:
    You will see at the end of the line of almost all of these "permissions" as per our example, there are some letters in a format like this: -rw-r--r--, or lrw etc.
    Each file, folder or application are given permissions in the form of:
    r (read)
    w (write)
    rw (read and write)
    l (launch/execute) under Linux also means shortcut to another file.
    When you set-up your own Mac at home you are also the administrator meaning you can read, write and execute any program or file. When you need to make changes to the system you only need to give your password. Should you however allow others to also use your computer or you share files with someone, you can give them certain access rights. For example you can allow them to read but not write to a file and you would certainly not want them to change certain system preferences etc.
    The next time you do a "permissions repair" take the time and count all the entries after you "verified the permissions" and then recount the list after you "repaired permissions". If the number of entries remain the same you had no repair issues (nothing was broken) in the first place, but most probably the entries will be less after the repair meaning the real problems were fixed, and you will see right at the end, the entry "permission repairs completed".
    Those entries that seems not to have been repaired were not broken in the first place. As you will see on your list that you posted here that the permissions remaining on the list "differ" from what the program expected.
    So what did it expect?
    It expected to find permissions on all of those files/applications that allows you to either r(read) w(write) or rw(read and write) but not l(launsch/execute). The program is simply telling you that anybody with access to your computer can read, write, delete anything they want, because it does not know if this computer is in private hands or part of a network at home or office. As this is your own private computer and you are also the administrator, you automatically have all power and rights over all the contents, so you do have "lrw" rights.
    Should you however allow others to use the computer and give them accounts on your computer, you should beware which rights you give them as far as your own files are concerned. So you give them only r or w or rw on each specific file.
    So actually your permissions as they stand at the moment are correct and there are no problems. (no fix required)
    Hope this helps somewhat to help you understand the issue.

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