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Apple releases privilege restoration utility System
Apple's Knowledge Base article 106900 covers their new "Repair Privileges" utility. This little application is designed to restore privileges that have been incorrectly set, due to any number of causes (user error, bad installers, etc.). Here's a list of the problems that the utility will fix (shamelessly lifted right from the Knowledge Base article):
  • "An error of type -192" alert message in Disk Copy when disk images fail to become available.
  • An error of type -108" alert message in Print Center when spooling print jobs.
  • "You are running Classic without superuser (root) Privileges" alert message when trying to start up Classic and the System Folder is blessed.
  • An Admin user cannot drag files to a folder to which they should have write access, for example, the Applications folder.
  • Files are unexpectedly locked and cannot be unlocked in the Finder.
The utility can be downloaded from the Knowledge Base page, and it requires 10.1.5.

I have not tried this program myself, but I imagine that it resets all permissions to their default state. This could cause, for example, sendmail to fail again, as its permissions would be changed back to the "unsafe" default settings. But if you're having one of the above issues, this utility looks like a good solution to the problem -- the other alternative is to try to manually identify which files and/or folders have their permissions set incorrectly.

If anyone has used this program, please post your experiences!
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Apple releases privilege restoration utility | 12 comments | Create New Account
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55406 files to go
Authored by: nsarup on Jun 26, '02 09:06:46AM

I hope this will clean up the mess Ive made ;)

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great utility!
Authored by: panix on Jun 26, '02 10:54:12AM

I was having some strange problems in various places on my 10.1.5 system. For instance, I could not modify the NetInfo database, and none of the common permission hints posted on this site would help me. In addition, I was having issues with the Finder crashing randomly and various other oddities.

I downloaded this utility to give my installation one last shot before I did a complete re-install. An viola, this darn utility fixed everything! Apple is fantastic, they always seem to pull the right tricks at the right time.

If you are having random troubles, I would encourage you to give this utility a shot -- especially if you commonly fool around with the UNIX innards of your system like me.

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but it won't fix non-system volumes
Authored by: Anonymous on Jun 26, '02 01:08:05PM

The accompanying file says "The utility only repairs Apple-installed software that is located on a Mac OS X startup volume. " and indeed the non-MacOS X volumes can't be processed.

On the other hand, the release notes say that it will fix problems specific to Classic startup errors.

Like many others, I have my MacOS X system on a different volume from my MacOS 9.2.2 Classic folder and therefore my Classic volume cannot be checked/processed by this utility. I don't think I have permissions problems on the Classic volume now but couldn't prove it/fix it with this utility.

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but it won't fix non-system volumes
Authored by: mithras on Jun 26, '02 04:54:27PM

Classic permission problems are on the OS X disk, with the Classic environment files, not on your Classic disk. Indeed your Classic disk may have no concept of privileges at all (since you can happily 'Ignore privileges' on a Classic volume). So the utility should work fine for those.

...not that I've launched Classic in months, of course.

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Authored by: mithras on Jun 26, '02 04:52:01PM

As someone at MacNN noted: This utility helps fix a problem in which "Error 192" prevents mounting of disk images. The utility is distributed... as a disk image.

I've already read of one person stuck in a catch-22 in this regard. Hopefully they'll think of something more clever...

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Authored by: jessicao on Jun 28, '02 05:08:32PM

Actually, I happened to run into this problem TODAY. It was a little frustrating, but if you just copy the app from a machine that can mount the image, then it will run on the machine that is unable to mount it.

This little utility saved my server today when I unwittingly hit the "Apply" button and made a simple permission change recursive... Ugh.

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Authored by: gnik65 on Sep 03, '03 06:48:19AM

After a few days wrestling with the issue of not being able to mount the Repair Privileges 1.1 disk image, I decided to check the preferences in StuffIt Expander. Version 6.5.1 has an option "Keep mounted images in RAM".

I checked this option, dragged the Repair Privileges 1.1 image onto StuffIt Expander and it mounted. I was then able to run the Repair Privileges utility.

I can now mount disk images!


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Works perfectly!
Authored by: jazzman15 on Jun 26, '02 11:10:24PM

I installed a misbehaved package that made my QuickTime plugins writable by root only. After installing this fix, everything is back to normal.

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Re: Apple releases privilege restoration utility
Authored by: sjk on Jun 27, '02 04:00:33AM

Word of caution -- this utility reverts to insecure sendmail modes+perms (setuid root) on 10.1.5; "sudo chgrp smmsp /usr/sbin/sendmail; sudo chmod 2555 /usr/sbin/sendmail" makes them reasonable for sendmail 8.12.x again.

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Repair Privileges
Authored by: magill on Jun 27, '02 04:31:06AM

The routine will work on any volume containing an OSX system...I have several bootable volumes on my box, and all of them can be "repaired."

One thing to keep in mind if you intend to check multiple volumes -- SAVE the log file in between! Repairing a second volume clears the log.

The program evidently sets ownerships and privileges based on the defined settings found in the bom files in /Library/Receipts directory.

In addition to the two points about sendmail noted earlier, the privileges of / are also reset to group writeable -- just chmod it back after you run Repair Privileges ["ls -alsd /" to see the privs] ("chmod g-w /" to fix it.)

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Won't fix user folders on other volumes
Authored by: gameraboy on Jun 27, '02 06:36:02AM

I have my iBook partitioned 1 gig for classic, 3 gigs for OS X and 12 gigs as a user/data folder. This utility fixed up my X partition, but it won't let me fix my user folder on the data partition, and half of the stuff it'd want to fix is in your user folder.

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Authored by: big_del_boy on Jun 27, '02 10:53:08AM

after running this patch program, my user permissions came back to live and i can now use sudo command again, so a very cool wee little program that has saved me a reinstall!!

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