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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account Apps
Photoshop Elements 3 looks pretty good, but Adobe recommends for the best user experience to run the app as an administrative user. For various reasons [robg adds: see today's Opener malware writeup...], I can't and won't do that.

Here's how I got Photoshop Elements 3 to run as a non-admin user. This assumes your short user name is me, and your admin user's short user name is admin_user. Open Terminal, and type the following (don't enter the $; that's the prompt character):
$ su admin_user
Password: Enter your admin_user password
$ sudo chown -R me.me /Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3
Password: Enter your admin_user password
$ sudo chown -R me.me /Library/Application Support/Adobe/PhotoshopElementsHelp
$ exit
PS Elements 3 will now run quite normally as a non-admin user...
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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: dtrevas on Nov 01, '04 11:14:46AM

I can't wait to get home to try this. I installed PSE3 from my User account and authenticated with the Admin id/password. (I can't remember exactly, but I believe this capability to install something into /Applications from a non-admin user account was introduced in Panther) and I could use PSE3 just fine, but Help is inoperable.

And, by the way, therein lies the hint: Help is no longer generic HTML, it is a customized version of Opera.

So far, my initial satisfaction with PSE3 is decidedly negative. Sure, it does a few more things than Graphic Converter, but it does everything in a more difficult and less intuitive way. Fortunately, if I get my rebates done correctly, it won't have been too costly a mistake.



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: thornrag on Nov 01, '04 02:25:21PM

Why... why on earth, why should an application like PSE3 require administrative access?

And so the erosion of the admin account password security begins. As people become more accustomed to hammering their admin account password into every dialog that pops up, even for doing things that should not require admin passwords, the mac will become less secure as a platform. How long before scripts start targeting PSE for injecting malicious code? If users are accustomed to putting in their password, who'll notice that anything evil is being attempted?

How is this acceptable?



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: ClassicUser on Nov 02, '04 06:14:19PM

I completely agree with the previous response: This is NOT acceptable.

THE answer to this problem is for customers who have purchased Photoshop Elements (and other applications?) to complain back to Adobe that their software is NON-FUNCTIONAL.

Any preference modifications should be stored in the user domain - NOT the machine domain. Forcing users to tweak ownership settings just to get the application to run, is incredibly wrong - and can lead to significant potential security holes in the future. This application is simply broken, when it comes to use in a multi-user operating system - which Mac OS X certainly is.

Please, everyone: Don't just "accept" when things like this creep up - reply back to the developers, and convince them to do things The Right Way™, for all of our benefit...



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Will Adobe ever learn?
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Nov 01, '04 02:54:44PM

I don't think so.



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: Auricchio on Nov 02, '04 11:49:05AM

If I recall correctly, the only thing that must be publicly-accessible to non-admin users is the folder /Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 2/Previews (and all its contents).

Setting this folder and its contents to be all-writable will do the trick.

I completely agree that changing ownership or permissions helps to undermine the security that administrator privileges provides. I'm a 21-year Unix user, and I never run as admin. It concerns me that many of my clients routinely run as admin, because that's the way Apple sets them up.

That said, what we have with Elements is the probability that it will fail miserably in a Fast User Switch situation. The Previews folder appears to be used to contain editing previews, created while you're "inside" an editing operation. These previews are probably temp versions of the image, deleted if you cancel the edit operation. (Or worse, they're the original, to be restored on cancel!)

Why is this a problem? Let's say I'm running Elements and I go into an edit. You come along, use FUS to switch to your account, fire up Elements and do the same thing. You finish your edit and logout, so I can resume. What happens to my preview? Is it your image? Is it still mine? Is it corrupted by some combination of our image data?

I haven't tried this.

Bad...really, really bad. This is the classic "multithread violation" that occurs within a program, when one has a single copy of a global variable and multiple threads that run through the code simultaneously. Only here it's happening on a "meta" level---with global files.

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EMOJO: mojo no longer workin'



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never mind...
Authored by: Auricchio on Nov 02, '04 11:53:56AM

Never mind what I said about it being a problem. I couldn't find any files created in the Preview folder during an edit.

It's still wrong for them to require write access to that folder, but perhaps my conjecture about a failure is unfounded.

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EMOJO: mojo no longer workin'



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: Marty_M on Nov 03, '04 09:51:51PM

I suspect there is a better way to do this that makes the application usable by all of the different non-admin users that may use the machine.

I got the PhotoShop Elements Help to work for all non-admin users by adjusting permissions as follows (you will need to be root to make these changes):

chmod -R o+x "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements Help.app"

chmod o+rw-x "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements Help.app/Contents/MacOS/Opera.app/Contents/Resources/Styles/user.css"

chmod o+rw-x "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements Help.app/Contents/MacOS/Opera.app/Contents/Resources/Styles/browser.css"



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: Marty_M on Nov 03, '04 10:04:13PM

Actually, there's a few more change to make so the PSE application behaves as well (again, you need to do this as root):

chmod -R o+x "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements 3.app"

chmod go+rw-x "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements 3.app/Contents/MacOSClassic/opera.app/Contents/Resources/Styles/browser.css"

chmod go+rw-x "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements 3.app/Contents/MacOSClassic/opera.app/Contents/Resources/Styles/user.css"



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: dreamsend on Dec 01, '04 07:36:03PM
The hints posted here will work to get PSE running, but it's pretty extreme, and potentially unsafe, to modify the ownership and permissions of for the entire application packages. I've posted more precise instructions for making minimal changes to a minimal number files and folders to get PSE3 working properly for non-admin users.

http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=237093

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Problem is more than just with help
Authored by: sjonke on Jan 26, '05 01:22:47PM

And harder to fix too. The problem I see is that whenever a different user uses Photoshop Elements, they start periodically seeing pop up messages that some unspecified file could not be modified and to check in the finder to see if it is locked. These happen even if it is just sitting there doing nothing. You click OK, and then a little while later you get the same message. Repeat. I'm fairly sure the files in question are the cache files. The problem is you can't just change the ownership and/or privileges of the cache files, because the next time a different user uses PE3, they overwrite the cache files, and then they are owned by them and not modifiable by anyone else. So even admin users end up having the problem. I run into this annoyance a lot because I've set up a 2nd account that I'm using for a slide scanning project which I want to have its own iPhoto library. So whenever I switch to one or the other user, I see the damnable pop-up error messages.

It's hard to believe that Adobe doesn't yet get OS X and the concept of multiple users. Those cache files should be in the users own directories, not in the application folder! I still really like Photoshop Elements 3, because it is a powerful tool (and the smart fix feature is just plain amazing IMHO), but they really need to get this right with Photoshop Elements 4 if they expect me to upgrade to it once that is out. PE4 better be a *real* OS X application.

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--- What?



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Run Photshop Elements 3 from a non-admin account
Authored by: hamish on Mar 17, '05 03:27:23PM

I took PSE 3.0 back, rather than fight with it. I left a note at Adobe about my displeasure and I found the link to "Macnn" and saved the directions. Since then, I have been e-mailing to a gentleman who says "they (Adobe) inform me that there is no problem whatsoever with PS elements 3 as indicated by your chat group." I had sent him the Macnn page but also told him of "macosxhints". If referencing either "hints" or "Macnn", "the chat group you are reading just doesn't understand how the Mac works." Now you know where we are placed. I can never say that running a Macintosh is boring. I may be "low on the pole" but is is educational. Enjoy.

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hamish



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