Strange accounts under sharing & permissions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jcloughesy, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. jcloughesy macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
    While in the Get Info window for my hard drive, I find strange names under the Sharing & Permission section, such as "staff" or "wheel". I usually delete these, but new ones typically pop back up every once in a while. Any idea what this could be?
  2. jcloughesy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
    I've found a shared computer that is connected as a guest. Could this have anything to do with it?
  3. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    Seems normal to me - although deleting them could cause some massive problems down the road.

    Attached Files:

  4. StrudelTurnover, Sep 13, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011

    StrudelTurnover macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    Oh my goodness gracious... do not delete things just because you don't see why they should be there. :eek:

    If you run Repair Permissions in Disk Utility, hopefully that will fix your system before you end up with a kernel panic one day, because OSX can't open a system file it created.

    You really should read the links, but just in case you don't care to: because OSX is based on the security model of Unix, it needs its own permissions to create and modify files. "Wheel" is basically the "root" or "admin" user(s). System is all local users, so you are effectively deleting your own permission to access your files. (Yes you can actually do that, yes there are valid reasons to be able to do that, and no you will never encounter those reasons yourself. [​IMG] )

    They are not related, no. But there are two things you should be aware of.
    Guest accounts fall under the "everyone group", which is normally read only. Permission groups have a cascade effect. Everyone can stand on your front lawn, including you. Only you have a key to get in your house, because you are the owner. So as the owner, you also have permission to do everything that everyone else can do, without diminishing your authority.

    The second thing is if you're sure that no other device or person should be using your computer without identifying themselves, simply disable the Guest account. It should be in your Accounts section of System Preferences.
  5. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009

    Don't worry after a few months you'll look back on this post and smile too.

    Short answer: these are built-in accounts - used by Unix systems. Do not mess with them, they are necessary for the system.
  6. jcloughesy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
    so no more deleting permissions. got it. lol thanks guys

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