Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Remove 'ACL found but not expected' errors in Disk Utility Apps
If you use Disk Utility's Repair Permissions feature, you've probably seen lots of occurrences of the "ACL found but not expected" error. Errors of this type are very common, and rather hard to fix. They'll sometimes affect hundreds of folders, usually Applications or one of the Library folders.

When I ran a permissions repair in Disk Utility, I had almost every file on my entire hard drive report an error, and the repair would take about three hours. When I tried to find a solution on the net, most of them either involved doing something to one item at a time, or removing permissions from your entire hard drive, neither of which I wanted to do.

So, I wrote ACLr8, a command-line utility in Python, that scans the hard drive for these errors and then removes ACLs from only the files which are not supposed to have it. I'm posting it here hoping it will help anyone that has had this problem.

[robg adds: I tested this on my 10.5 drive, and it worked as described - it found 10 files with unexpected ACLs, which matched the number found in Disk Utility. After running the utility, Disk Utility showed no unexpected ACLs. As noted by the author, however, use at your own risk.]
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (18 votes cast)

Remove 'ACL found but not expected' errors in Disk Utility | 2 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Remove 'ACL found but not expected' errors in Disk Utility' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Remove 'ACL found but not expected' errors in Disk Utility
Authored by: V.K. on Oct 05, '09 08:00:33AM
I would strongly discourage the use of this tool. As the author notes the vast majority of those ACL disk utility messages are harmless. Moreover, many of them are just plain wrong and the ACLs reported should actually be there and should NOT be removed. I would often get such messages about /Library and /Applications on my Leopard systems. Upon examination, the only ACLs present on those folders were "everyone deny delete" which should definitely be there.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove 'ACL found but not expected' errors in Disk Utility
Authored by: nomulous on Oct 05, '09 04:08:47PM

Yes, as I pointed out they are relatively harmless in the normal sense of the word; they will not hurt your computer. But where it gets annoying is when a permissions repair takes 3 hours, with hundreds of errors, when it should only take 10 minutes. Also, "everyone deny delete" is not necessary if you know your way around a computer (which I'm sure most people here do), and just gets annoying when you really want to delete something and you end up having to Cmd-I, authenticate, and change all the permissions manually.

"ACL found but not expected" errors usually pop up when you changed the permissions on a file yourself in order edit them or take a look. I felt really stupid a while ago when I realized that while fooling around with Mac OS X password cracking I had left all my password files (e.g. 'master.passwd') openly readable by mistake. Removing ACL from files that shouldn't have them can sometimes be really important!

[ Reply to This | # ]