Repair Permissions

in macOS edited January 2014
Can Someone please explain what exactly repairing permissions does. And what exactly it eould fix. Thanks.



  • Reply 1 of 3
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    Basically, it looks for messed up permissions in your OS X install and fixes them.

    Permissions are part of UNIX's security. They say what the owner of a file can do with the file, what that owner's group can do with the file, and what everyone else can do with the file. When they get borked, and say something inside of an app becomes unreadable because you aren't allowed to access it, then you need to repair permissions. A few examples of this that I ran into were Classic breaking due to bad permissions on TruBlueEnvironment, and Disk Copy dying. This was because my user couldn't access files the files it needed to to run those applications properly.

    Brad or someone more knowledgeable than I can explain it in better detail, but that's the gist of it.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    What I want to know is why these permissions seem to get messed up with every install.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    johnsonwaxjohnsonwax Posts: 462member

    Originally posted by GardenOfEarthlyDelights

    What I want to know is why these permissions seem to get messed up with every install.

    Well, unix and Mac OS X has a set of conventions for how permissions should be set. The problem is that a lot of installers don't respect those permissions and write files and directories out however they see fit and change things along the way. Basically, they're bad citizens on your HD.

    As a rule of thumb, repair before and after each install, and don't automatically install from an admin account. If it freaks out from a regular user account, there's a 90%+ chance it's going to screw something up during it's install.

    If you provide an admin password, assume that your machine will get screwed in the install.
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