Originally posted by piwozniak
Look, if i clone my hd onto a fw hd, then connect it to any other mac i can read all my files without any passwords...
That makes me think...
WHY IS THIS POSSIBLE? are permissions ignored on external hds?
or am i imagining things?
this is inherent in unix (and unix-like, probably other systems') security. the users on your computer are stored in a special database, on your computer. for example, lets say you have 1 user "piwozniak". under the scenes the OS translates the name into an ID, example 501. these IDs are only valid locally. so, when a file is owned by piwozniak, under the scenes, it's owned by 501; and in the dirty 1s and 0s of the OS' mind, piwozniak, his home directory, his password, everything, is just a extra information, directly associated with that ID. But, when you pull out the hd, and pop it into another computer not as the root (boot/startup) partition, the OS has to think about the permissions.
it says to itself, "i have a file here, owned by 501. i wonder if they mean 501 as defined in my set of users, or 501 by some foreign set of users. afterall, i can't be certain that my 501 aligns properly with this foreign disk's 501, i don't even know if i can access a user database on this disk. and if i could, i don't know if the user really wants me to. maybe i'll just ignore the permissions on this drive, and let the users run willy nilly all over the place. or, i could force all files owned by 501 to refer to my
501, and assume that they align. even if i have an ID 501, i don't know if the passwords will match up. i just hope i dont run into any IDs on this hd that i don't have in my database. o woe is me, the lowly OS."