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Apple and Google are fighting inside my iMac.
July 31, 2010 9:24 AM   Subscribe

No browser can do https to Google (and only Google) for one user on a multi-user Mac. What's going on here?

My sons share an older Intel iMac. One of them can't log in to Google, no matter which browser he tries. Other accounts on the box are just fine, including mine. He can get to http://www.google.com, but when he tries to sign in, it attempts to reach https://www.google.com/(a bunch of stuff) and times out, saying it can't establish a connection with google.

Other https sites work for him, just not Google.

I've tried blowing his Safari preferences, cache, etc. away, and we've tried Firefox and Chrome. It'd be a pain to completely remove his user account and make him a new one, but I'm just about to that step unless MeFites can give me something else to try.
posted by eafarris to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
Maybe try flushing the DNS cache, in the terminal:

$ sudo dscacheutil -flushdns
posted by Lanark at 2:00 PM on July 31, 2010


I think DNS cache is system-wide, so one user isn't going to have different behaviors than another.

Are there any proxy settings for this user? (Network->Advanced->Proxies->https)?

(Though I think that most network settings are system wide as well...)
posted by tomierna at 2:32 PM on July 31, 2010


Depends which services he is trying to access. I installed https everywhere and discovered that many Google services, like Images and Maps are not available in HTTPS. I discovered this because half the links in my Google menu disappeared and the nice people at EFF explained that Google don't support secure login to the services that were not displayed.

Could it be possible that secure login is not available to the services he wants to access?
posted by Susurration at 3:51 PM on July 31, 2010


@Lanark -- good idea, but this isn't system-wide. Tried it anyway, but no luck.

@tomierna -- No, no proxy. I believe you're right, too, in that it's a system-wide setting. He doesn't have rights to change that.

@susurration -- We're not getting that far. He doesn't even get the chance to sign in. (the service is Mail, btw, very much available in https). The actual message from Safari is "Safari cannot establish a secure connection to the server www.google.com."

Thanks for the ideas so far!

It's truly bizarre. Only his account, only https to google. Replicable with other browsers. He can use my account, for example, and get in just fine.
posted by eafarris at 5:04 PM on July 31, 2010


I Googled in quote marks the exact message you cite "Safari cannot establish a secure connection" and found this thread where someone eventually figured out it was a problem with the Keychain for the user. At least the Keychain is user specific, but I don't know if this is your problem or not, or if one of the other Google hits might help.
posted by forthright at 9:10 PM on July 31, 2010


I thought the keychain was a great idea. I had been there before, but just looked around and found nothing that looked out of the ordinary. I tried Keychain First Aid; it found no problems. I removed his keychain, but the problem persists.
posted by eafarris at 5:44 AM on August 1, 2010


Do you have Parental controls enabled?
posted by Lanark at 6:50 AM on August 1, 2010


Only time limits are set in Parental Controls.
posted by eafarris at 7:24 AM on August 1, 2010


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