User Accounts

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by efoto, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I have been a longtime windows user and my first Mac is set to arrive tomorrow, hopefully the morning shipment :rolleyes:

    I was just curious if the user structure on a Mac is similar to that of a windows system, ie Administrator, End Users, Guests

    I have always heard that it is not the best idea to always be logged into your windows system under the Admin account and that it was better to create a second account with admin privledges and login under that. Is the case similar with Mac systems or is it fine to just create one login and use it exclusively for all access? (of course more accounts for other users).

    Thanks in advance. I am really excited to start playing around in OSX and getting to know the new computer....just want to make sure I do things proper. Any other "config" related advice is more than welcome too.
  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    There are generally 3 classes of users in Mac OS X:

    - Plain old users
    - Administrators (can change system settings)
    - root (is completely unrestricted)

    The default account is an Administrator account. It's fine to be logged in as this regularly, because there is no central registry to screw up and no viruses or spyware to be concerned with in the Mac world (at least I've never heard of any). You will need an Administrator password to install software and make most system settings changes.

    So, normally, user accounts are not anything to be concerned with. Things are pretty straightforward on the Mac and don't tend to need much tweaking. Hope you enjoy your new Mac!!
  3. efoto thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    Thanks a lot for the reply. I have read that there is little messing around I am forced to do with Mac but due to my lack of experience I just wanted to make sure that being the Admin was an alright thing.

    It is out for delivery ATM so hopefully it comes before lunch. My afternoon classes have all been cancelled so an afternoon and evening entirely full of Mac-in' would be awesome.
  4. Electric Monk macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2005
    The user account structure is based on Unix.

    root is god. Can do anything. This account is disabled in OS X by default. Very rarely needed.

    Admin account can indeed be used as the normal account.
    However I suggest adding a few more accounts:

    test - for software you're unsure about. Install it and run it there. Now even if it is malware of some sort (very very unlikely) it will require an Admin password to run, even in the Admin account so this is only an extra step to ensure system stability.

    blank - for a completely untouched default log in. This is to test whether issues you're having are software or hardware related. If they're software related "blank" account should be fine when you log in to test.

    For other people who want to use your computer I suggest a account with restrictions. You can set it up so all they can do is use programs, and save documents.

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