Previous 1 2 3 Next 37 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2012 4:13 PM by madboi69
PeteyWM05 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all -


Around two weeks ago I decided to upgrade to Lion. I had been running the most updated version of Snow Leopard. I decided, because my old install was very crufty, to do a clean install.


I backed up my machine using Time Machine, separately backed up my critical files (Document directory, Music folder, etc) to a separate external hard drive, wiped the disk, and performed a clean install of Lion. I then pulled my folders back out of the TM backup individually so I only restored what I needed. I did not pull back my ~/Library folder - just the content.


Since then, I have been suffering from permissions issues. At first, they were mild - if I wanted to move stuff around in my home folder, for some reason it was asking me to enter in my admin password, for example. But now they are unbearable.


Every time I quit Safari it reopens with extensions gone, old sessions (from last week!) restoring. Mail reverts all of my preferences every time I close it, and now I can't change them back: if I try to turn off Junk Mail filtering, it says it can't write to the Preferences folder as such: I can't open some applications.


The first thing I tried was [Directory]->Get Info-> set myself as the owner to everything and active it for all enclosed folders. That didn't do anything. Neither did "Repair Permissions" in Disk Utility.


Finally, I decrypted my entire disk, booted from the recovery partition, and ran the "Reset Password" app, which is supposed to reset all permissions and ACLs. It threw the following messages/errors:


-bash-3.2# /Applications/Utilities/Reset\\ Password

2011-08-05 14:45:04.983 Reset Password[355:9503] Could not check in to check for terminal pokes.
2011-08-05 14:45:24.142 Reset Password[355:9503] Repair Home Directory permissions started
2011-08-05 14:49:08.441 Reset Password[355:9503] Some user permissions have been reset
2011-08-05 14:49:08.441 Reset Password[355:9503] Repair Home Directory permissions complete
2011-08-05 14:49:08.443 Reset Password[355:9503] Repair Home Directory permissions error: Permissions reset on user home directory failed.


Restart and all of the same permissions problems are still plaguing me.


Anyone have any idea what is going on? Googling around it seems like permissions issues in Lion are well-documented. I've tried all of the fixes I can find. Luckily, I still have my old SL TM backup lying around in a folder, so at the very worst I can wipe my machine and clean install SL and pull that stuff back to there, and I'll only lose a few documents. I had thought of clean installing Lion again and using the Migration Assistant to pull stuff over, but a) I don't know why that would make a difference and b) if Reset Password can't fix the ACLs and permissions I doubt Migration Assistant can.


Help, anyone?

Black Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 2.2 Ghz, 4 GB RAM.
  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)



    No problem with the cross=posting.


    I can help you out with Terminal commands to fix your issue.


    Could you give me the shortname of your user?



  • PeteyWM05 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi -


    Yes, it's chris.


    thank you!

  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)

    1. You will want to boot directly into the effected user.

    2. Open Terminal.

    3. These commands can be copied and pasted into Terminal one at a time, and wait for the next line that ends in chris$ to indicate the process has finished and the shell is ready for the next line:


    sudo chflags -R nouchg /Users/chris/

    sudo chmod -R 775 /Users/chris/

    sudo chmod -RN /Users/chris/

    sudo chown -R chris:staff /Users/chris/


    The first removed locks from all files in your home folder.

    The second command will correct the permissions of all files in your home folder.

    The third removes any ACLs (access Control Lists) from the files in your home folder.

    The last command corrects the ownership of the files in your home folder.


    4. Reboot the computer as soon as all commands are completed.

    One thing about these commands: your ~/Library/ folder will not be hidden as Lion intends after running them.


    If you really want it hidden you can run this command:


    sudo chflags nohidden ~/Library/


    Lemme know how it goes.



  • PeteyWM05 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi ebinellis -


    Just got the chance to run this after returning from travel.


    Some of the permissions issues - like not being able to edit stuff in my home folder - are gone. Hooray!


    A few things still remain - I can't open iWork applications anymore, and iTunes won't see/sync my AddressBook contacts/groups to my iPhone - so maybe those are different issues?


    A few followup questions, if I may:


    1) Are there any other normal disk maintenance things I shouldn't run now? For example, can I still safely run Repair Disk Permissions, or will that try to undo certain things done above?


    2) If I'm using Dropbox to sync a folder with another machine, and I run this on both machines (with a different username on both machines), will they interact negatively in any way?


    3) Because of the other issues in iWork and iTunes, I am considering backing up my (newly permissions corrected) volume, clean-installing, again, and using Setup Assistant to migrate over from the new backup. Do you think that would help fix anything yet hidden, or just be futile?



  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)

    Running a repair of Disk Permissions using Disk Utility targets the following folders on your HDD:





    It will not touch any of the files in your /Users/ folder, so you are fine to continue using this tool.


    I don't know enough about DropBox to give you a conclusive answer on #2, but I believe it ignores permissions, in which case you will be fine.


    I would test your remaining application issues in a newly created Admin user on the system to isolate the issue.


    If iWork was migrated, it may have permissions issues as well, have you applied the permissions associated with your Applications folder to enclosed items yet?


    1. Right Click on your /Applications/ folder in Finder.

    2. Choose "Get Info"

    3. Unlock the padlock in the "Sharing & Permissions" section.

    4. Leave the permissions as they sit.

    5. Click the gear button and choose "Apply to enclosed items"

    6. Reboot and retest your issues.


    Please let me know if:

    A. Applying permissions to Applications resolves the issue.

    B. If the issue persists in a new Admin user.



  • PeteyWM05 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks EE. Before I got this I AppZapped iWork and figured I'd retry installing. If I have any more issues I'll try these steps. I can't thank you enough for your help!

  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)

    It was my pleasure. Lemme know if you run into any other problems.



  • enderFP Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you so much for posting this. This cleared up issues for me as well.

  • Daniel Sonnenfeld Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Thanks ebinellis for the terminal commands and explanations for each. They cleared up an issue with Sonos update for Lion.

  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)

    Its awesome to see this is helping multiple people!


    If I was a little less busy these days I would get around to my original plan of writing some walkthroughs of common issues related to OS X.



  • Paul Klenk Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

    Read your profile and you are a well equipped to answer these questions.  Now, I have one that has been perplexing me and has caused issues.  I know how to reset the USER permissions and deal with the ACL files by booting Lion in the Recovery Mode, entering the terminal, and using the command, "resetpassword."  That worked wonders.  Also, v5.0 of Cocktail, brand new, is equipped to do the same thing.  However, I would greatly appreciate a definitive answer, because I have not seen one to date.


    1.  What are the correct permissions for the internal HD?  Mine are as follows:

    system-read and write

    wheel-read only

    everyone-read only


    2.  What are the correct permissions for the user?  Mine are as follows:


    user (Me)-read and write

    staff-read only

    everyone-read only



  • Bergrace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you ever so much!


    I was having the same "Denied Permission" and "Need To Authenticate" problems relating to my Downloads folder ++ I ran your commands in Terminal and now everything seems to be back to normal.

    Well, exept for my CPU fan spinning up 2100rpm(iStat Pro) as I type this??

    It has never done that before..




    P.J. Berg



    The fan calmed down again after a few minutes.


    Message was edited by: Bergrace

  • Scottydon't Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you! You were also able ot cure my permission ills! I thought that I was going to have proceed with a clean install!


    Thanks again. Cheers!

  • auralwiz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Help! I tried these commands (substituded my name instead of chris) and now my mac will not respond to keyboard inputs or mouse clicks. it boots up and the mouse moves and thats it. I tried booting with the shift key and had the same results.

    I just spent 60 hours upgrading and installing all my software.

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