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Monday November 24, 2003
11:46 AM

Repairing wonkiness in Mac OS X

[ #15978 ]

My laptop has been a bit wierd lately---I think the desert might be slowly horking it (need to find compress air to blow out the dust). A couple of times it seizes, and I think some files get messed up when I restart it.

For instance, all of a sudden I could not add applications to the Applications folder, and I cannot change the printer list. I am a admin user, so I should be able to do that. After I checked my account settings, re-logged-in, and tried a few other things. The Mac Help just kept saying "See your system administrator." Well hell, Apple, that's me.

Google pointed me towards a "Repair Permissions" utility for 10.1.5, and then I remembered a little button I had seen in Disk Utility---"Repair Permissions". This must be a common problem. I give that a whirl and several problems immediately disappear.

2003-11-24 10:35:51 -0600 - Repair of privileges has started
Permissions differ on ./Applications/Utilities, should be drwxrwxr-x , they are drwxr-xr-x
Owner and group corrected on ./Applications/Utilities
Permissions corrected on ./Applications/Utilities
Permissions differ on ./Applications, should be drwxrwxr-x , they are drwxr-xr-x
Owner and group corrected on ./Applications
Permissions corrected on ./Applications

This reminds me of a program I wrote a long time ago when I had to wrangle a group of web designers. We were a small company so a lot of people had access to most of the servers (although I changed that by getting a good sysadmin). When a lot of non-techie types have access, they hork things in various ways. I wrote a little database app to store a list of files and their correct permissions, then had a cron job check every 15 minutes or so. When things have to be a certain way, I always like to check that they are, even though they should not change. I wish MacOS X did that.

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  • mtree (Score:2, Informative)

    Aaron suggested:

    * mtree

    "The utility mtree compares the file hierarchy rooted in the current directory against a specification read from the standard input.

    Messages are written to the standard output for any files whose characteristics do not match the specification, or which are missing from either the file hierarchy or the specification."

    Haven't tried it myself yet.