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Solved: File permissions fubar'ed - how to fix?

Discussion in 'Apple Mac' started by gurutech, Jan 25, 2013.

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  1. gurutech

    gurutech Thread Starter

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    My iMac at home was starting to run very slow, to the point that clicking on anything would take a few minutes to bring up something simple, even with one user logged in. I thought something may have happened to the hard drive, so I was finally able to bring up the disk check utility, but it found nothing.

    I also ran a permissions check, and it apparently found a bunch of things wrong, and I allowed the utility to fix them.

    Now I am having problems (as well as the other users of the computer) with just about everything. I can't even load Firefox because it says it's already in use, but I don't have it open, and there are no other users logged in. (I think I may have figured this one out, as other users had the Firefox DMG file mounted, but shouldn't that only mount when they log in???)

    Anyway, no one can download files because the Downloads folder is "read only", and even the Desktop is "read only", so documents saved to the desktop load "read only", and saving them to a new file name fails as well. I am in the process of restoring permissions, but for some reason, I can only change the "everyone" user to read/write - I can't add a specific user name to the list and give them read/write access.

    What is the easiest way to restore permissions without screwing things up even further? I am familiar with Linux, so if I can just use chmod and chown to fix everyone's user folder (recursively), that would be the best option for me, but how would I do something similar for the Applications folder and the Libraries folder?
     
  2. Headrush

    Headrush

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    1) Start /Applications/Utilities/Console (if possible) and look for messages there. (Could be more than permissions)
    2) Run a
    Code:
    ls -l /Applications/
    ls -l /Users/yourAccount
    and take a peek and see if that is indeed the problem.
     
  3. gurutech

    gurutech Thread Starter

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    Ownership is root:wheel for just about everything. Some others are root:admin.

    WTF is "wheel"? Never seen that before. Seems to be a group though. How do I get to it?
     
  4. Headrush

    Headrush

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    wheel is a group generally used to give some users permission to the su command.

    If the user is root for the files in user's directories than that is your problem.
    Just like Linux you can use the chmod and chown to fix your permissions. (I think if you are an admin account, group needs to be staff)

    Edit: Your user Applications folder, your user Library folder and your user Public folder will need execute bit set for group and others.
     
  5. gurutech

    gurutech Thread Starter

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    Ran the permissions checker a couple more times, seems to have fixed the issue. Even set up SSH access via command line in case something happens again later. :)
     
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