We have dealt with permissions problems with Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) thrice. The third one really was a
head-scratcher and yes, I’m a Mac newbie. The first two instances, we just had to change the permission to “Read Only” from the file’s info. The third one – it made me think.
The Macs in our lab are set to authenticate to a Windows Active Directory server. User accounts are from this server and a local Administrator account is set on the Macs and is used whenever we do some configurations and installations. We were able to install apps like Office 2008, iWork ’09, Audacity, Sam Animation, VLC, etc. Some apps used their own installation setups but most were just dragged and dropped to the Applications folder. And whoever logs on to a Mac was able to launch any applications installed.
I was then asked to install iMovie HD, the app bundled in iLife ’08. I was able to install it using the local admin account but when I logged on using a domain account, I found out that I had no access to the app which didn’t allow me to launch. I checked it’s info and “everyone” had no access. I logged back in using admin and changed the permission for “everyone” to Read Only.
|Local admin and domain account with restricted permission on iMovie HD.|
I used the same domain account to check the iMovie HD app and now it has a different icon. I tried to launch it but a window popped up and informed that I can’t launch the app because it may be damaged or incomplete. Weird.
Next, I checked the permissions using command line. Here’s what I got.
The iMovie HD app is owned by “admin” and used by the group “staff“. And checking the left side portion of the Terminal, it implies that the owner has read, write, and execute function, while the others/everyone has read and execute permission. However, no permission was given to the group, or in this case, the staff. Using CLI, I gave permission to the staff group to read and execute the app using chmod. And since a “.app” file is also a directory, we have to do it with the recursive switch.
hostname:~ admin$ chmod -R 755 /Applications/iMovie\ HD.app/
After that, I was able to run iMovie HD using different accounts.:) What GUI can’t do, CLI can.
Others may have encountered this and may have a different solution. Please share how you fixed the problem by commenting.