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Take Control of Permissions in Snow Leopard
Solve quirky problems, increase privacy, and share files better!
Permissions problems got you down? Turn to Unix expert Brian Tanaka's unique guide to the permissions in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that control access to your files, folders, and disks. You'll learn how to keep files private, when to set Ignore Permissions, what happens when you repair permissions, how to delete stuck files, and the best ways to solve permissions-related problems. Advanced concepts include the sticky bit, Snow Leopard's increasingly important access control lists (ACLs), bit masks, and symbolic versus absolute ways to set permissions. The book covers how to take control of permissions via the Finder, with the Mac utility FileXaminer, and using the Unix command line.
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About the Author
Brian Tanaka has worked for a variety of companies including the Well, SGI, Intuit, Nintendo, and RealNetworks. Today, his own company, Martingale-Oak LLC, provides Unix and open source technologies consulting. His articles have appeared in Linux Journal and Sysadmin Magazine.
Reviews of Previous Editions
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book helps you control the often-perplexing world of permissions in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. It explains how permissions work, how to resolve common problems, and how to best control access to your files in a variety of situations. This book was written by Brian Tanaka, edited by Geoff Duncan, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Even if you don’t know a thing about permissions, if you’re using Mac OS X, you’re using them right now. Every file and folder on your computer carries permissions from the moment it’s created until the moment it’s deleted. Because permissions are literally everywhere on your computer and because they control who can access what, it’s tremendously advantageous to understand them. You’ll have better control over your Mac, and you’ll be able to share items and access shared items with greater ease.
Problems arising from improperly set permissions are common and can be frustrating: sharing files among users on one computer can be problematic if you don’t understand permissions, and sharing items on a network raises yet another set of potential problems.
In this book I teach you how to prevent and fix permissions problems with ease—and much more. You’ll learn how to interpret and manipulate permissions with the Info window in the Finder, Disk Utility, third-party tools, and Unix commands. You’ll learn how accounts and groups work (and how permissions control them), how default permissions work, how to repair permissions, and how to ignore permissions on an attached volume.
Equipped with this expertise, you’ll be able to handle permissions problems when sharing files locally or across networks, booting from multiple volumes, exchanging files with other users, running FTP and Web servers, and much more.
The first sections of this book teach the basics of permissions and how to set them. The remaining sections explore more advanced techniques and concepts that help you solve problems.
I discuss a variety of common problems in Appendix A: Fixes For Common Problems, but you will find help with solving other problems throughout the book. The sections listed below contain info that will help you with specific problems:
This book is a complete, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard-specific update to Take Control of Permissions in Leopard. Whereas that book covered all versions of Mac OS X up to and including 10.5 Leopard, this book focuses tightly on Snow Leopard.
Changes in this edition include:
A: Yes, we do. See Take Control of Permissions in Mac OS X, which covers permissions in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and earlier, and Take Control of Permissions in Leopard, which adds Leopard-specific details.
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Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
January 2012 -- Although we might reconsider at some later date, at this time, we have no plans to update this ebook.
April 30, 2010 --
If you like to go under the hood of Mac OS X, or if you've been forced to by quirky problems, check out our latest ebook, freshly revised for Snow Leopard: Take Control of Permissions in Snow Leopard. Written by Unix guru and Mac aficionado Brian Tanaka (and edited by Geoff Duncan), the 91-page ebook mixes practical how-to details and troubleshooting tips with just the right amount of theory as it explains permissions in relation to how you keep your files private, copy files to and from servers effectively, set the Ignore Permissions option for external disks, repair default permissions, and delete those files that just won't die.
For those who want to learn advanced concepts, the $10 ebook delves into topics like the sticky bit, symbolic versus absolute ways to set permissions, and how to work with bit masks. Of course, Brian looks at what's new with permissions in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, including the increased use of access control lists, changes to the way umask works, and which permissions a copied file ends up with.
Don't worry if you're not accustomed to using the Unix command line in Terminal, since Brian provides clear instructions for that, along with how to manage permissions from the Finder's Get Info and Inspector windows, and with a third-party utility, FileXaminer. (And of course, if you do want to become more familiar with the command line, we strongly recommend Joe Kissell's Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, which provides a friendly and thorough introduction.)
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