An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#318 - 08/06/09 07:02 AM Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
A. It seems (to me) a commonly held/believed/accepted practice that it is wise to Repair Permissions prior to installing an OS Update. MacFixIt may also endorse this practice, but of that I am uncertain.

B. I have also read (source unknown) that Repairing Permission prior to an OS install is a waste of time because the installer runs as root and thus does not affect permissions.

(Repairing Permissions after the OS install is not at issue.)

So, is “A” a techo-myth or is “B” correct? Or, maybe neither?
_________________________
Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#333 - 08/06/09 09:11 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: Pendragon]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
It's a myth. Not only is there no need to repair permissions prior to system updates, but there hasn't been any reason to regularly repair permissions since at least 10.3. Back in the day, there were a lot of bugs and/or poor code that required way-too-frequent permissions fixes. That was why repairing permissions was always considered a panacea. However, that was a long time ago and Mac OS has come a long way.

If you recently installed a third-party app and have some issues, sometimes repairing permissions can still help, since third-parties installers can be poorly coded to leave system files with the wrong permissions. But that's pretty rare today. Used to be a regular problem with MS Office, Adobe CS, and HP printer drivers, for example, but not really anymore.

Furthermore, usually the few permissions issues that you'll see fixed nowadays are minor and irrelevant. Just because the permissions are different from what the OS thinks they should be, doesn't inherently make them problematic.

Bottom line, IMHO, no reason to repair permissions before a system update. And no reason to do it regularly; it should be used in troubleshooting, not routine maintenance.
_________________________
Keeper of the Magic Nickel

Top
#339 - 08/06/09 09:59 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: donikatz]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Mt thanks for the cogent, easily understood explanation. 'Tis most appreciated!
_________________________
Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#342 - 08/06/09 10:24 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: donikatz]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: donikatz
Not only is there no need to repair permissions prior to system updates, but there hasn't been any reason to regularly repair permissions since at least 10.3. Back in the day, there were a lot of bugs and/or poor code that required way-too-frequent permissions fixes. That was why repairing permissions was always considered a panacea. However, that was a long time ago and Mac OS has come a long way.


Even after all this time, it's nice to read something that tells me I "done good" when I held out. OS 9.2 was very stable. I was quite content to let others experience the early "Cats" while I waited in the shadows. And :fingerscrossed:/:knockonwood: I have yet to experience a kernel panic with Leopard, nor have I ever needed to repair permissions. :clap:

Top
#345 - 08/06/09 10:37 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: Gregg]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
MFIs Main Page is once again perpetuating the myth (if not actually saying so themselves) re the necessity of repairing permissions prior to OS install/update.

Me thinks it's time to consign that page to whence the CNET MFI forums doth reside.
_________________________
Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#347 - 08/06/09 11:14 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: Pendragon]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
I think they mean it as more of a "hey, might as well, you never know" thing than anything else -- and it can't hurt -- but yeah, it gives folks the wrong idea about general Mac OS best-practice maintenance requirements. If someone hadn't updated their OS in a very long time and is the type to install all sorts of junk from all over, I certainly wouldn't advise against repairing permissions. But I also wouldn't have it in my step-by-step list.

I think the most-important step to highlight is quitting all running apps and not toying around with the system during the update, especially not Apple apps (!). And for folks who leave their Macs running for days & weeks at a time, a fresh reboot first wouldn't hurt to flush things out (but not necessary). My own personal paranoia is still using the combo updaters just in case, but in general that isn't usually necessary anymore for most folks. I always like to have a copy of the full combo update installer for corporate rollout anyways, so the extra download time doesn't phase me, as it may some.
_________________________
Keeper of the Magic Nickel

Top
#509 - 08/07/09 10:27 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: donikatz]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I would agree that repairing permissions before the update may be a waste of time, especially under Leopard, notoriously slow in this respect. We had extensive coverage of the database glitches causing tens of permissions repaired every time. However, I would disagree that repair is not recommended after the update. When I went from 10.5.6 to 10.5.7, the usual permissions were "repaired". At the same time, transition to 10.5.8 with a combo updater caused a much more extensive "repair" (hope this is corroborated by others). I suspect it was prudent to run DU after the 10.5.8 update, although the meaning of this repair is kind of obscure yet. Hopefully, Snow Leopard would take care of the database issue. But I agree 100% with the last paragraph in Doni's post above.

Update: MacFixit article highlights real problems with permissions related to a new database glitch in 10.5.8, and provides a Terminal-based cure:
http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20090806095905196


Edited by macnerd10 (08/07/09 10:58 AM)
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

Top
#514 - 08/07/09 10:50 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: macnerd10]
knoodles Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Aptos, CA
I can confirm the very long list of repairs after using the 10.5.8 combo. I could have used the delta but I always use the combo.
_________________________
Think Easy!

Top
#516 - 08/07/09 11:15 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: knoodles]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: knoodles
I can confirm the very long list of repairs after using the 10.5.8 combo. I could have used the delta but I always use the combo.

Likewise, on both counts.
_________________________
alternaut moderator

Top
#526 - 08/07/09 12:13 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: alternaut]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Are you sure it is repairing the permissions and not just listing differences that are not actually repaired? It's pretty normal for Disk Utility to just display some differences that it doesn't repair; this has become more common in more recent OS releases. Please try repairing permissions again and seeing if that long list is still there.

I think much of the reason many folks think regular permissions repairing is still needed is because they are just seeing the same reported items, not that any repair is truly being done. I've never quite understood why, but it's normal.

When I just repaired permissions after 10.5.8 combo update, it only actually repaired a dozen irrelevant items in a list ten times as long. In other words, the repairing of permissions wasn't necessary.
_________________________
Keeper of the Magic Nickel

Top
#532 - 08/07/09 12:48 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: donikatz]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: donikatz
Are you sure it is repairing the permissions and not just listing differences that are not actually repaired?
Please try repairing permissions again and seeing if that long list is still there.

No, I don't know what was actually repaired, and I haven't yet repeated it to get an impression, but I'll do so later today. As it happened, after the OS update & permissions repair I ran into an unrelated snag that sucked quite a bit harder (and more successfully) at my time... I'm aware of your position on the issue you describe, and was surprised that you actually ran the repair yourself anyway. wink
_________________________
alternaut moderator

Top
#533 - 08/07/09 12:57 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: alternaut]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Heh, well I only ran it after the reports here. My assumption going in was Apple probably just didn't QC the 10.5.8 combo updater properly. So I was all ready to concede, until I decided to run it a second time. Sure, enough, the second list was almost as long as the first. Face saved (for now) laugh
_________________________
Keeper of the Magic Nickel

Top
#534 - 08/07/09 01:08 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: donikatz]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
This thread inspired me to run Permission Repair after performing the OS X 10.5.8 update on the computers around here. My observations were:
  • The list of "repaired" permissions on three different Macs was identical with only three or four exceptions.
  • Running Permission Repair a second time on the same Mac produced the same list of "repairs" with the exception that the three or four exceptions disappeared from the list
  • For some reason I cannot explain at this point Permission Repair on machine with by far the fewest installed applications, a MacBook Air, took almost two hours to complete the first attempt. The time for the second run on the same machine was comparable to the other two Macs.
It is doubtful it would have ever occurred to me to run Permission Repair if I hadn't been prompted by this thread.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#570 - 08/07/09 10:16 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> It is doubtful it would have ever occurred to me to run Permission Repair if I hadn't been prompted by this thread.

I'm surprised that nobody has referenced this MacFixIt article and the Apple Discussions thread to which it links.

The issue appears to be more complicated that has been reported here.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#572 - 08/07/09 10:37 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: artie505]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Artie, read my post above for the link...
10.5.8 seems to be "nastier" in this respect than the previous ones.
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

Top
#574 - 08/07/09 10:57 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: macnerd10]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> Artie, read my post above for the link...

Edit: Oops! No oops; I read your post before you updated it and never looked back to see that you had done so.

> 10.5.8 seems to be "nastier" in this respect than the previous ones.

Yep... So it does. (Reading the comments to that article can make your head spin, although the most recent one says that merely re-running the Combo fixed the problem.)


Edited by artie505 (08/07/09 11:04 PM)
Edit Reason: Edit
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#593 - 08/08/09 08:28 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: artie505]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I will try that and post back.
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

Top
#601 - 08/08/09 09:45 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: artie505]
knoodles Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Aptos, CA
After reading the article I went back and checked my permissions to find that I had the ? with _ _ _ _ _ permissions on several system files. Running the combo update twice in a row in safe mode seems to have fixed it for now.
_________________________
Think Easy!

Top
#612 - 08/08/09 11:33 AM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: donikatz]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: donikatz
Sure, enough, the second list was almost as long as the first. Face saved (for now) laugh

OK here are some of the results of a second permissions repairs after having one done immediately after the 10.5.8 update. Clearly, the two runs should have been performed in sequence instead of with an interval of about 2 days, but here it is. I copied the two DU logs into Word docs and compared them:

- Item ID (same vs. different):
Almost half of the items repaired were the same (64 same vs. 69 different), but their permissions were mostly different (53 different, 11 same). The kind of change (added 'x's in 1st, 'l' in 2nd) is consistent across all items involved. For example:

1st: should be -rw-r--r-- , they are lrwxr-xr-x .
2nd: should be -rw-r--r-- , they are lrw-r--r-- .


- Count data 1st vs. 2nd repair:
Words: 2069 - 1762
Characters (w/o spaces): 23,702 - 20,774
Characters (w/ spaces): 25,677 - 22,451
Paragraphs (CRs): 135 - 119
Lines: 384 - 342

So, in addition to a minor quantitative difference of approx. 10-15% between 1st and 2nd repair, there is a much larger qualitative difference (approx. 50%) between the two. Of course, one could argue about how meaningful those differences really are. Perhaps it's enough to cover your face... wink
_________________________
alternaut moderator

Top
#653 - 08/08/09 03:23 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: macnerd10]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Reading the comments to that article can make your head spin, although the most recent one says that merely re-running the Combo fixed the problem

Did not work for me. After the second application of 10.5.8 combo, the same (or nearly, see Alternaut's post above) huge list of permissions was repaired.


Edited by macnerd10 (08/08/09 03:24 PM)
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

Top
#659 - 08/08/09 03:56 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: macnerd10]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
so, I'm getting the same repeated permissions as alternaut. but if the combo updater isn't fixing them (I had updated via SU), what's the next idea? the mac is running fine, so it's just an exercise to repair permissions at this point.

should I just wait for 10.5.9?.... cool
_________________________
MacBook 2.4 Ghz · 4 Gb ram · 10.7.5
stuff I'm interested in
iPhone 4s 7.0.2

Top
#668 - 08/08/09 04:58 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: roger]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
so it's just an exercise to repair permissions at this point.

I would definitely agree with that. Doubt that it would come with 10.5.9; my hope is with 10.6. Boy, I miss the tame Tiger...
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

Top
#669 - 08/08/09 05:00 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: roger]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
...what's the next idea?

Don't repair permissions.

Seriously, if your Mac "is running fine," there's no reason to repair permissions.
_________________________

dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

Top
#672 - 08/08/09 05:17 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: dkmarsh]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Second that! And if the Mac is not running fine, this often would not help.
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

Top
#675 - 08/08/09 05:46 PM Re: Repairing Permission Prior to Updating the OS [Re: roger]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: roger
should I just wait for 10.5.9?....
Considering that the release of 10.6 is just around the corner, it's entirely possible that 10.5.8 is the last update to Leopard.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  dianne, dkmarsh, joemikeb