Software across multiple user accounts on the same Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kman12, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. kman12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi, I did a search but I couldn't find what I was looking for.

    We got a new mac and I attempted to set up two new user accounts (newest update of lepoard) last evening. In one I registered some of the software that I've purchased. Afterwards I went into the other account and the software acted as shareware, ie I had to re-enter all of the codes again. This happened with all of my registered software.

    Is there any way that I can bypass this and make the registered software accessible to all of the user accounts across the system?

    Thanks
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    It really depends on the software. Properly configured software should register itself globally -- e.g. you don't have to put your license code in for each account with Office, Photoshop, etc, AFAIK.

    Are there any programs you installed that do NOT display this behavior?

    If the programs you're using are registering themselves on a per user basis, then that's the way they're designed, most likely, and there's nothing you can do about it. You might contact the maintainers of those apps for support?
     
  3. kman12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #3
    thanks for the quick reply.

    Maybe I'll have to contact each.

    More info: I set up both accounts as admin, so I'm not sure if this is the problem?

    Most of the software included the last MacUpdate bundle and Marsedit. The only programs that I many that work across both user accounts is Hazel & Liteswitch, both of which are located within the system preferences area.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Yeah... sounds like sloppy programming to me. Sorry.
     
  5. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #5
    As mkrishnan mentioned this is depenedant on the software not the OS.

    I setup my mom's MB this way, I have an account, and an Admin account on the MB and installed several software. When she logged in for the first time, we ran each application (from past experience I knew this would happen) to ensure they were registered properly.

    The reason they do this? Licensing. A lot of software is licensed per user not per unique hardware. 2 User accounts would be seen as needing 2 licenses. It would be the same as if they are on 2 different machines. Some software is machine specific so installed once, used by many, Office is pretty much like this (at least on the windows side). In the Windows world some software even asks you "Install for this user only" or "Install for all users."

    Regardless of where it puts the license key, it's still going to be a gamble if every user has to register the software or not.
     
  6. kman12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the help.

    It seems kinda silly to me that some software isn't automatically available across all accounts.

    I might just set up one admin account and work from there.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Yeah, true, that is a good point. But are these MacUpdate apps really per-user licensed? Per user licenses can be very important, particularly for expensive products, because for instance, one could buy a single copy of Unigraphics and run it on a really powerful server with four terminals, and avoid paying for four licenses, since all users would be sessions on the same machine. But (1) usually licenses just specifically prohibit this, and (2) again, the MacUpdate apps are hardly the kind of apps where this is sensible. I would hope they wouldn't be per-user licensed. That's kind of silly, especially if the automatic action of the user is to do just what the OP did, and use the same license code on each account on the machine anyways.

    P.S. Sorry, I glossed over one of your questions -- no, the issue is pretty unlikely to have anything to do with whether the accounts involved are admins or not. You need one admin account to install anything, but if applications are system-licensed properly, they should work on all accounts that are allowed to run the app (i.e. all accounts except any managed accounts that have application restrictions in place). Certainly they should work for all admins.
     
  8. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #8
    Good points. I was just pointing out that it's not something that's easy to do. LIcensing is the main reason. However, what I believe (and I just thought about this) is going on is specific ~/user/preferences issues.

    The software is licensed for the user that registered it yet when another user logs in the software looks for a license is a predefined place keyed for the user and it doesn't exist thus causing the user to re-register/enter serial number. I do software development and this is pretty typical.

    It doesn't matter whether it's a $5 or $500 dollar, it's how the software was architected, how it looks for validation, etc. Remember piracy is on software companies minds so they have a set way of doing things/architecting applications. A $5 piece of software might have in it's aggrement "per user" which could mean literally that... PER USER, even on the same machine.

    If you could put a watcher on the application during the serial number entry process, see what new files are created, you might be able to fake the other user or copy and paste in that users directory to avoid this. It might prompt them but have the serial number pre-populated then all they have to do is click 'ok'. That also happens sometimes, the software is just creating a valid key-pair for the user-to-serial number relationship and that in itself is something to think about when adding applications with many users on the same machine. The software might be licensed for any user on one machine, but a specific relationship does NOT exist thus forcing a reenter of serial numbers.
     

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