Repairing permissions - why doesn't OS X just do it automatically?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ss957916, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    To repair permissions I just click a little "Repair Permissions" button. Don't know why nor what it actually does, but I understand that I should do it from time to time.

    But if it's so important, why doesn't OS X just do it automatically?
  2. ecapdeville macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2005
    Mexico City
    You can program the task in Automator...cant you? :)
  3. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Imagine how many less posts there'd be in this forum if it were done automatically...:rolleyes:
  4. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Repair Permissions reads a permissions database, then checks the permissions of the items referenced in that database. If an item does not match, permissions are corrected (if you chose repair and not verify).

    It only looks at items originally placed by the OS.

    It is not necessary to repair permissions unless you are having a permissions problem. In other words, it is only "important" if you are experiencing issues related to permissions. That is why the OS X doesn't do it automatically.

    Hardly. This notion that permission repairs fix everything is out of hand. It is useful in very few cases. I honestly wish people would stop tossing it out as a solution. It is a very "noob-ish" thing.

    Here is what goes down:

    OP: I am having a problem
    MRUser: Did you repair permissions?
    OP never returns
    Everything thinks repair permissions solved the problem
    The end.
  5. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
  6. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Now you're talking crazy stuff. :)
  7. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    What did you mean by 'originally' there?
  8. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    From the wiki:
    It's always the darn flash player that gets repaired every time I run it.
  9. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    I was under the impression that since 10.5 - macosx does repair automatically on start up if its needed. And always has - as long as your Mac was turned on at some ridiculous hour like 2am.
  10. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    [not sure if you were replying to me, but since you didn't quote anyone else...]
    Just highlighted those two words because i want to add that 3rd-party apps often use that procedure (such as Adobe). However, since late Jaguar (or thereabouts?) Disk Utility ignores any 3rd-party stuff which did not ship as part of Mac OSX (i.e., on the system install DVD). That wiki excerpt could leave the impression that any old bom sitting in the receipts area would be employed when a repair is run.

    For the record, the only Flash changes i've seen show up are that Adobe has tightened security (by removing admin group write privs), and Disk Utility insists on loosening it again (by restoring admin group write privs). Either way, there is no "problem" with Flash working (other than its normal funkiness :D ) due to those particular differences in permission. So really... the new Adobe settings are preferable, from a security standpoint.

    The actual problem there is that the software update process in general has been failing to reeducate Disk Utility as to what the latest modes should be [a bug introduced when Leopard totally revamped the receipts database and perms enforcement policies.] Perhaps in the case of Flash, it's Adobe's fault for not tweaking the file Disk Utility references (idunno). I do know that all those CodeResources and SUID warnings which folks are supposed to just "ignore" are all due to a bug that Apple has yet to squash.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    As the other poster mentioned, 9 times out of 10, you don't need to do it.

    Yeah back when OSX was at 10.0 or 10.1, it was needed before/after any updates but things have progressed to the point that needing to repair permissions to actually fix something is a rarity
  12. dirt farmer macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2005
    You're confusing permissions repair with the running of the daily/weekly/monthly Cron maintenance tasks (now handled by "launchd" in Leopard and above).
  13. bmartin66np macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2014
    my hp was having trouble connecting to the network....

    .... so the online help said to repair the permissions. which i did. and now it works. so much for no longer needing to repair the permissions????
  14. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    And, that's HP for you… :D
    No one says that permissions repair never fixes anything - but it's much less likely to help, compared to how often it is suggested.

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