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Quick and easy root Finder access System
This hint works great for me, a 'Terminal-fobic':
  1. Place the Pseudo application icon in the Dock
  2. Run TransparentDock and select 'Place "Quit" menu item in Finder Dock Menu'
  3. Quit Finder from its new dock menu
  4. In Pseudo, select Launch from File menu
  5. Go to /System -> Library -> CoreServices -> and doubleclick
Voila! You are now running Finder as Root with full visual GUI. After finishing your system stuff:
  1. Quit Finder again from the dock menu
  2. Click the Finder dock icon to start Finder again (now as your own user) and everything is back to normal.
[Editor's note: Although this will work as described, I haven't found the need to run a root Finder in quite a while. Since you can now change the ownership and permissions on any file through the Get Info dialog (assuming you are logged in as admin), it's possible to do any editing one might wish to do without the need to resort to a root Finder. Do a Get Info on the file to be edited, note the existing ownership and permissions, change the owner to you and make sure the owner has write permissions, edit the file with BBEdit or whatever, then switch the permissions back to their original settings after saving the file. This is a much safer way of doing things ... but since is all about full access to information, I chose to publish the above shortcut to a root Finder.]
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Quick and easy root Finder access | 6 comments | Create New Account
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No need to pseudo
Authored by: englabenny on Nov 20, '02 11:58:27AM
of course there is no need of extra software, starting finder as root can all be done from terminal:

first kill finder. (ps -urxc | grep Finder to get pid, then kill)
cd /System/Library/CoreServices/
sudo ./Finder

type your pass, and finder launches as root. And just hit ctrl-c in terminal to quit root-finder.

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Right, but...
Authored by: robg on Nov 20, '02 12:57:05PM

This hint is specifically a non-terminal hint -- see the first line?


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use Pseudo with Path Finder
Authored by: mr5m on Nov 20, '02 06:07:07PM

If you use Pseudo with Path Finder (formerly SNAX) you can get all the benefits of a root finder without having to mess around.

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You're a what?
Authored by: smallduck on Nov 21, '02 12:47:33AM

Of course you mean "a Terminalphobe", as in one who is "Terminalphobic".

Captain Pedantic

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Authored by: jalex on Nov 21, '02 02:12:26PM
Just another note about how dangerous this is: One of Unix's core securities against viruses is its multi-user nature. As long as you never run untrusted applications as root, then typically the worst you can do is mess up your own files, leaving the system intact.

If, however, you run your Finder as root, then start launching applications, I am fairly certain those applications will be launched as root as well, since they're children of the Finder. I've never tried this, but this will be the case unless Apple has specifically coded the Finder to reset the effective user id back to the original user logged in. Anyway, let's say you have a root finder, then you launch MS Word, and it starts running a word macro "virus". This macro is now running as the super-user on your machine, with full access to do whatever it wants to anything in your system. Obviously, this is also true of any kind of virus, although I haven't heard of any that run on OS X yet.

So to sum up - even if it is a real nuisance, think twice, and then think a third time before you start the Finder as root. And most importantly - know what you're getting yourself into.

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Why why why...
Authored by: lipids on Nov 21, '02 08:52:20PM

Would you want to do this? I don't understand it, but another way would be to just log in a root. Which would be dangerous and foolhardy.

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