Mac OS forum


Chaning Sharing & Permission on Utilities Folder in Lion

by jonahleewalker / July 20, 2011 10:35 AM PDT

Updated to Lion today, and had a surprise with the Utilities folder, as it is now set as an Admin folder. I went to change the Permissions to add myself as a user so I can do anything without typing in a password. Well the weird thing is that I can hit the plus key, and select myself, but when I hit it, nothing happens. The permissions do not change! What is going on?

This is an annoyance, much like hiding the users Library folder.

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Clarification Request
Want to change the utilities folder permissions
by jonahleewalker / July 20, 2011 12:35 PM PDT

The problem is that I want to be able to change the permissions of this folder, so that I can change the items in the folder without typing a password. I want to know why I am locked out from being able to change permissions on this folder. It acts like I should be able to add a different user, but it just doesn't stick. Why am I not allowed to change permission on this folder if I have an administrator password? I should be able to do whatever I want. And I want to know how to change permissions on this folder and make them stick. I have fixed permissions. Can you change the permissions on your folder, and add your user to it? I have even re-installed today and it is still not possible

And I don't find the Library a minor annoyance. At the least there should be a way to make it normally visible instead of having to go to the folder.

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I'm still not understanding
by Jimmy Greystone / July 20, 2011 1:01 PM PDT

I'm still not understanding the NEED to change the permissions on this folder. Why do you need write access to it?

And if you want total autonomy over the system, you're using the wrong platform. You want something more like FreeDOS. Even Linux and the other *BSDs tend to set the permissions on key areas such that they cannot be tinkered with easily. You don't want someone being able to just come along and blow away the kernel file by accident do you? Or get rid of some of the key support programs in /usr and /sbin (which exist on Mac OS X too, but AFAIK, they've been hidden from Finder since 10.0) that would basically render the system unusable.

What are you trying to accomplish by altering the permissions on the Utilities folder?

Same goes for the Library folder thing. If you're mucking about in there routinely, then you're doing something wrong. You shouldn't need to ever go into that folder without a rather specific reason, and those reasons should be pretty far and few between. Frankly, the Library folders probably should have been hidden from the beginning. You go messing around with things in there, you're likely just going to create problems for yourself.

Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to remove personal attacks on 12/09/2011 at 9:53 AM PT

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You may not see the need, but I do
by jonahleewalker / July 21, 2011 10:19 AM PDT

And I am asking if anyone has figured out a way to bypass this, and not your reasons why I should not need to.

And as for the Library thing, I have solved that. Just do this in the terminal as SuperUser

chflags nohidden /Users/Library

This should all have Unix underpinnings, so it shouldn't be able to not let you change permissions on something, but somehow they have.

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That's because
by Jimmy Greystone / July 21, 2011 10:50 AM PDT

Mac OS X's ACLs are an overlay to standard Unix permission bits, and that while Apple's developers have done a pretty good job of abstracting the details, it's not perfect. YYou'd also know better than to use folders that have clearly been staked out by Apple. And you'd have the experience to be able to recognize a lost cause when you see one, sigh, and move on.

And be careful when using the command line, because once you fire up Terminal, virtually all the training wheels come off. You have pretty much all the access and control you ever wanted. One little typo on a command can have some pretty serious side effects. Most of the time we learn the hard way. Once upon a time, since some moron compiled a program with extremely strict lib linking, and used an obscure name for the lib, I needed to create a symlink pointing to the actual lib that the program needed so that ld could find it and the program didn't crash at startup. Reversed the order by mistake, and in doing so not only wiped out the lib I was trying to make a symlink to, but created a dangling symlink. From that day forward, if I ever had doubt about the order, I'd just flip to another VT and consult the ln man page.

So be careful what you ask for, because you may not like it when you get it.

Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to edit out offensive personal attacks on 12/09/2011 at 10:01 AM PT

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Why be rude, and so completely unhelpful?
by jonahleewalker / November 10, 2011 2:23 AM PST
In reply to: That's because

It is always so much fun seeing people sit behind the wall of the internet and be rude, and completely unhelpful in a thread that is trying to find some solutions to problems. There is no point in insulting people, when you know nothing about them, and your post is completely unhelpful.

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Well stated
by eidco / November 25, 2011 12:32 PM PST

I agree. There's no need for anyone to be rude or arrogant.

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Just my 2c
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 21, 2011 11:52 PM PDT

documents in the documents folder,
Applications in the Applications folder,
Music in the Music folder,
etc., you get the idea.

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Permissions in Lion
by alipies / November 9, 2011 7:58 AM PST

Number one rule of the Mac operating system: The user is in control.

All Answers

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So what exactly is the problem?
by Jimmy Greystone / July 20, 2011 10:46 AM PDT

So what exactly is the problem? On my system running 10.7, the Utilities folder is set as read-only by default, which is probably a good thing, since there's no particular reason you should be needed to add anything to that folder. It shouldn't prevent you from being able to run programs, or require a password to do so, so if that is happening then maybe you should try a repair permissions op first.

And the ~/Library hiding is a minor annoyance to people who know what they're doing, but there's really no reason for 99.9999% of people to ever be nosing around in there 99.99999% of the time. So you just either need to brush up on your Unix command line skills or just use the Go To Folder option. If you're mucking about in the ~/Library folder more than once every couple of blue moons, you're doing something wrong.

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Same problem
by Kevin M. Dean / July 21, 2011 9:12 AM PDT

I noticed the same issue but I eventually got it to work after some repetition. Not sure what exactly it took to do it. Problem is I think repairing permissions may revert it because looking now it's not what I set it to yesterday.

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OK, no dice
by Kevin M. Dean / July 21, 2011 9:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Same problem

So, apparently Repairing Permissions will now revert the Utllities folder for the Admin setting as well.

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by alipies / November 9, 2011 8:03 AM PST

Hi Johanlee

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I am kind of siding with Johnny Greystone
by macnerd10 / November 9, 2011 10:42 AM PST
In reply to: Solution

Why would one need to modify the Utilities folder if it contains mostly applications? How often a user will modify an application, and how? If I want to put, other utilities, say, Onyx, in the Utilities folder, the only thing I will need to do is authenticate, a.k.a. type my admin password. You have to type it every time when an update is being installed anyway. So, what is the problem? Would be interesting to learn... BTW, maybe a stupid question: if one logs in as root, does one still need to authenticate if one wants to modify the Utilities folder?

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Altering folders
by alipies / November 9, 2011 12:49 PM PST

Why? Dragging a file or folder from a common folder like utilities or applications shouldn't be a pain in the ***. As time goes on, the mac os looks more and more like windows... Dragging a file should ALWAYS be the same. With lion, if I drag a file from one of my folders to the desktop, it moves the file. But if I drag file from the app folder, it creates an alias, just like windows. It's inconsistent behavior on the part of the finder, confusing, and stupid. Dragging a file should have only one result: moving the to where the USER wants it to go, not what the programmer thinks the user should be doing with it. Dragging a file on the desktop is meant to emulate moving a piece of paper on a real desktop. When you move a piece of paper on a desktop, do you get a copy of it that points to the original location of the piece of paper? I don't think so.

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For what it's worth,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 9, 2011 8:37 PM PST
In reply to: Altering folders

my Preference folder, in Lion, is not locked.

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re locked pref
by alipies / November 10, 2011 3:54 AM PST
In reply to: For what it's worth,

No, the entire preference folder was locked on its own. But will try what you said....

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Helpful answer
by LambdaEnt / February 28, 2012 3:58 AM PST

1. Select the Utilities folder

2. From the File menu, select Get Info
3. Click the padlock icon on the lower right<div> - enter your password
4. Under Sharing and Permissions<div> - select admin
- change to Read and Write
5. From the options icon (gear) menu at the bottom
- select Apply to Enclosed Items
- click OK

Now any admin can change (copy, move, delete) anything in the Utilities folder. Just did it myself, and it works.

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