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Sharing files with multiple users on single iMac

4076 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2009 10:41 PM by Király RSS
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gogirl143 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 2, 2009 10:27 PM
THIS IS a REPOST from another location - more appropriate "thread"
After switching to Mac from a PC about a month ago (& not being technologically over-adept), I have finally succeeded in creating separate "User" accounts on my iMac (1 admin, 1 standard, 1 managed) to allow the 3 users in my household to create their own workspace. However, now I would like to allow them to access all files from some applications - iTunes, iPhoto, Address Book, etc. - and some of the files within Numbers, Pages, & Keynote (that were theirs to start with...but they were working on in "my" admin space before establishing separate Users.) As an additional challenge, I'd still like to have access to their files...for monitoring purposes...as we go forward. I've "searched" the Apple support files and found reference to some of this but (1) I can't seem to figure out how to move the files into the Public Folder (I did one, then logged in as another User & it wasn't there...) and (2) If they access files from the Public Folder, will they need to specifically save them back there when done? -- my other users will NEVER remember to put something back where they got it...
imac, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,475 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 3, 2009 9:35 AM (in response to gogirl143)
    gogirl143 wrote:
    THIS IS a REPOST from another location - more appropriate "thread"
    After switching to Mac from a PC about a month ago (& not being technologically over-adept), I have finally succeeded in creating separate "User" accounts on my iMac (1 admin, 1 standard, 1 managed) to allow the 3 users in my household to create their own workspace. However, now I would like to allow them to access all files from some applications - iTunes, iPhoto, Address Book, etc. - and some of the files within Numbers, Pages, & Keynote (that were theirs to start with...but they were working on in "my" admin space before establishing separate Users.) As an additional challenge, I'd still like to have access to their files...for monitoring purposes...as we go forward. I've "searched" the Apple support files and found reference to some of this but (1) I can't seem to figure out how to move the files into the Public Folder (I did one, then logged in as another User & it wasn't there...) and (2) If they access files from the Public Folder, will they need to specifically save them back there when done? -- my other users will NEVER remember to put something back where they got it...


    You should be able to put those files in /Users/Shared . However, depending on the application, there may be issues doing that regarding permissions. You can research iPhoto and iTunes for specific issues.
    MacBook 2.0 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Király Level 6 Level 6 (9,460 points)
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    Aug 3, 2009 10:47 AM (in response to gogirl143)
    For sharing iPhoto and iTunes libraries between multiple users on my Mac, I do this. It has worked flawlessly for me for many years now.

    Address Book contacts cannot be shared between users in the same way. You will need to subscribe to a MobileMe account to do it, I'm sorry to say.

    To give other users read-only access to a file, move the file to /Users/Shared or to /Users/You/Public. The other users can navigate to those places with Finder to access the files.
    eMac (PowerPC G4, 1.25GHz, 1.5GB RAM, USB 2.0), Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)
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    Aug 3, 2009 10:56 AM (in response to gogirl143)
    To share an iPhoto 09 Library between accounts on the same Mac:

    For iPhoto 09 (version 8.0.2) and later:

    What you mean by 'share'.

    If you want the other user to be able to see the pics, but not add to, change or alter your library, then enable Sharing in your iPhoto (Preferences -> Sharing), leave iPhoto running and use Fast User Switching to open the other account. In that account, enable 'Look For Shared Libraries'. Your Library will appear in the other source pane.

    Any user can drag a pic from the Shared Library to their own in the iPhoto Window.

    Remember iPhoto must be running in both accounts for this to work.

    If you want the other user to have the same access to the library as you: to be able to add, edit, organise, keyword etc.

    Quit iPhoto in both accounts. Move the Library to the Users / Shared Folder

    (You can also use an external HD set to ignore permissions, a Disk Image or even partition your Hard Disk.)

    In each account in turn: Double click on the Library to open it. (You may be asked to repair the Library Permissions.) From that point on, this will be the default library location. Both accounts will have full access to the library, in fact, both accounts will 'own' it.

    However, there is a catch with this system and it is a significant one. iPhoto is not a multi-user app., it does not have the code to negotiate two users simultaneously writing to the database, and trying will cause db corruption. So only one user at a time, and back up, back up back up.

    With iPhoto 09 there is no need whatever to get involved with ACLs or to use the Terminal to achieve this.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.5), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,475 points)
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    Aug 5, 2009 3:05 PM (in response to gogirl143)
    gogirl143 wrote:
    Don't know if these replies go directly to "poster" who you reply to, but I took "Boyd" advice - created a folder of documents to be shared with all Users on computer - took to (admin.) HD, Users, Shared (after giving read/write priv's to other users on just that folder) and dropped folder in there...now how do other Users access (do they have to go into their own HD's to access?) - the files don't show up as "options" to open within applications (Pages, Numbers, Keynote).


    First, let's be clear about your situation: Are these people all using the same computer or are they each using a separate computer on a local network?

    If they are all on the same computer, they should be able to navigate to those shared folders. Open a Finder window, navigate to where you can see the shared folder, then drag that folder into the "sidebar" under "Places". Now the shared folder should be visible in any "open" dialog. Clicking on it in the sidebar should reveal its contents.
    MacBook 2.0 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Carlo TD Level 3 Level 3 (550 points)
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    Aug 5, 2009 3:46 PM (in response to gogirl143)
    Easy, do one of the following: 1. (and this is the easiest method) get your self a family pack mobible me account. 2. get your self an airport extreme and connect an external hard drive and keep your itunes and iphoto folders on the external hd. 3. get your self an extra external hard drive for each user and have them put their iphoto and itunes folder on each external hd and just email each other back and fort what ever you want. cheers!
    Macbook Pro 15" 2.33 ghz Dec 2006, Imac G5 Jan 2005, Imac flat panel G4 Jan 2002, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Király Level 6 Level 6 (9,460 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2009 9:32 PM (in response to gogirl143)
    You can give each user read and write permissions to just that folder, or to everything in it. But that will not stick to any new files that are added to the folder hierarchy after that point. When new files are created they are read and write for the creator, and read only for all others. If you want to change that it must be done manually for each new file that you add.

    There is a way to get around this, and make every file/folder added to a folder hierarchy automatically get full read and write permission for the users you specify. It requires setting up ACLs. Do it this way:

    1. Make a new subfolder in /Users/Shared. Call it something like /Users/Shared/sharefolder. Move all the files you want to share into this folder.

    2. Go to System Preferences and unlock the Accounts pref pane. Click the + button. Make a new group (select "group" from the drop down menu). Call it something like "sharegroup". Add the users you want to that group.

    3. Log in to an admin account. Launch Terminal. Paste in all three of these lines at the same time and then press Return:

    sudo chmod -R +a "sharegroup allow delete,chown,list,search,add_file,\
    addsubdirectory,delete_child,file_inherit,directoryinherit" \
    /Users/Shared/sharefolder


    Enter your admin password when prompted and press return again. You are done. The users in the sharegroup can all now read and write everything in the sharefolder. They will also be able to read and write any file that is newly created or copied into the sharefolder from that point on.

    NOTE: After setting this up, and you want to add more files to the sharefolder, be aware that files that already exist outside the sharefolder WON'T inherit the new permissions if they are simply moved in (i.e. drag with Finder). They must be copied in. Hold down the option key when dragging files into the sharefolder. That will ensure that a new copy will be made, and the permissions will inherit properly. You can then delete the old copy of the file from its previous location.

    I hope this helps.
    eMac (PowerPC G4, 1.25GHz, 1.5GB RAM, USB 2.0), Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,475 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2009 9:41 PM (in response to gogirl143)
    gogirl143 wrote:
    do I need to change Read/Write privileges on each document/file in that folder if I want other 2 users to be able to make changes? Tried to establish the folder as "everyone = read/write" and that didn't work - how about if I add each User = read/write to the folder -- will that work?


    On my computer the "Shared" folder started out with "everyone" given "Read & Write" privileges". As an experiment, I copied a file into that folder and the result was owned by me with "everyone" set to "Read only". So yes, it looks like each person who writes files to that folder will have to set privileges to allow others to write to those files. You should be able to do that by (1) opening the "Info" window on the folder or file, (2) clicking on the lock at the bottom of the window, then (3) using the drop-down list to change the privileges of "everyone". If you're working on a folder, you can also at this point pull down the list under the "gear" and select "Apply to enclosed items". This last operation would allow privileges to be set for a group of files.
    MacBook 2.0 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Király Level 6 Level 6 (9,460 points)
    William Boyd, Jr. wrote:
    On my computer the "Shared" folder started out with "everyone" given "Read & Write" privileges". As an experiment, I copied a file into that folder and the result was owned by me with "everyone" set to "Read only".


    Yes, that's normal.

    So yes, it looks like each person who writes files to that folder will have to set privileges to allow others to write to those files.


    With normal permissions, yes. But the granting of read and write permission for new files can be automated using the ACL procedure I detailed in my previous post.

    Terminal commands can look kind of scary for new users, but as long as the instructions are carefully followed, they can do a lot of cool things!
    eMac (PowerPC G4, 1.25GHz, 1.5GB RAM, USB 2.0), Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,475 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2009 11:00 AM (in response to gogirl143)
    gogirl143 wrote:
    Tried using the "gear" to apply read/write privileges for "everyone" - to all files in the folder in HD/Users/Shared/File and each file shows that "everyone" has read/write (not read only) privileges, but if I login as another one of my users & make a change in a document and try to save (back to same folder), if says that that User doesn't have privileges? Anything ELSE I'm missing?


    What do those other users see as the privileges of the file they're trying to update and the enclosing folder?

    in step #3 - log in to admin account (means me?)


    Yes.

    "Launch Terminal"? ...haven't used this yet, where is it exactly that I'm pasting in those 3 lines of code AND are the backslashes Return/Enter(s) or actual backslashes?


    Those lines should be pasted into a Terminal window. Those are actual backslashes. They act as continuation characters for the multi-line command. Just paste the whole thing into the window.
    MacBook 2.0 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
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