Group/Permissions oddness in Tiger
June 15, 2005 7:46 AM   Subscribe

I just cannot change the group of my Music folder. I created a new group called "music" as a first step towards allowing my SO to share my iTunes library directly. I try to set the Music folder (and its contents) to being part of "music", but no dice. The "get info" window says that it's changed. But as soon as I click the lock to prevent further changes, it switches back to the group of me. If I close the get info window and don't hit the lock, then call up get info again, I see that the attempted group change hasn't stuck. I also cannot change the group ID to "admin." As root, it doesn't work either, but then I get a mysterious error called "-60002." chgrp doesn't work from the shell, either. Is this a known bug or am I missing something?
posted by yesno to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
What are you trying to do, exactly? Is the idea that your SO could access your music folder while he/she is logged into their account on the same machine?

If I'm reading the question correctly (and I will take no responsibility for any problems these instructions cause), AND you're using OS X, I would guess that you'd need to move the Music folder (or at least the iTunes Music folder inside of it) from inside your home directory to a different location (maybe /Users/Shared/). Then, open iTunes while logged in as either user, and use the "Advanced" tab in iTunes preferences to locate your newly moved iTunes Music folder.

On OSX, I think you'd want to do a recursive chown on the folder to change ownership -- probably something like
"chown -R yourusername:yourgroup /location/to/iTunes/Music/Folder" (with no quotes and filling in the right values, of course). You might need to sudo to do this.

I can see this causing some problems - ownership/permissions might get weird when both of you start adding items. Check out OSX Hints - they probably have a walkthrough for this, or something very similar.
posted by sluggo at 8:37 AM on June 15, 2005

The idea is to have symbolic links in her ~Music to my iTunes library files in my ~Music. For this to work, she needs read/write access to my iTunes library files. The music itself is already accessible to her on a firewire drive. The library files are what I need to share.

The problem is that chown, chgrp, Get Info in the Finder, etc, none of that works, as me, with sudo, or as root. I can't ever get any changes to groups or ownership to stick. This goes for all files, anywhere in my system. So my question isn't, "How do I get this to work?", but, "Why doesn't the very obvious way to get this to work, work?"
posted by yesno at 8:47 AM on June 15, 2005

Might an alias work where the symlink doesn't? I was under the impression they don't work the same way.
posted by kimota at 9:23 AM on June 15, 2005

As long as you don't need her to have write access to the library, just turn on Music Sharing in iTunes' preferences. The shared library will show up for any user on your computer in addition to your local network.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:12 AM on June 15, 2005

Turning on sharing only works if iTunes is running in the account doing the sharing. Even then, it slower than the way I want to do it (which, afaik, has worked in previous versions of OS X). I want her to be able to get to my music library without me even having to be logged in. My computer is old enough that just always staying logged in can be a slight performance drag.

kimota: I don't have trouble with aliases or symlinks. I have trouble with setting groups. Once I can get the group to set properly, the link is no problem.
posted by yesno at 11:29 AM on June 15, 2005

You have to be a member of the group in order to assign ownership to it. Are you? What's the output of the groups command? It should mention the "music" group.

Groups and users on OSX are very, very weird, and extremely unUNIX-like. They're stored in some wacky and mysterious Windows Registry-like hierarchical database descended from NeXTStep and managed with Apple's special tools. /etc/passwd and /etc/groups are ignored completely in almost all circumstances. The whole thing is very poorly documented, to the point where a half page of text appears to comprise the entirety of shipping documentation.

You should make sure you've created the group in the funky Apple database and that you've added users appropriately.
posted by majick at 11:59 AM on June 15, 2005

Note to self: watch this thread :-)

To add my tuppence, however (since I've just experienced exactly the same problem during my migration to a Mac mini...), I had the same errors, and eventually did *something* which worked... but I don't know what - or what the repercussions will be!

I _think_ that I created a new folder (owned by system, and accessible by wheel, by the looks of things) and moved all the music into that... but a more elegant solution would be much better.

FWIW, I tried setting up new groups and all sorts of things - and got totally fed up with the "Mac is great for computer n00bs"... I'm pretty tech-savvy, and got in a hopeless mess :-)

Good luck, though!

@majick - useful/interesting links, although I think that I'd be more comfortable understanding what's going on - i.e. what needs changing in netinfo to work properly, rather than having things (kind of) hidden in a script... suppose that it will just take a bit of inspection and comprehension to try and decipher what it does...
posted by Chunder at 3:12 PM on June 15, 2005

I truly wish I knew what needed changing in netinfo. As best I can tell, there is no extant documentation about the group and user branches of the netinfo database.

Actually, as best I can tell, there is no extant documentation about netinfo, period, end of statement. Visual inspection of the entries with Netinfo Manager suggests groups and users are somewhat simple, but with something as fundamental as a user identity database I'm hesitant to suggest people go prodding around blindly.
posted by majick at 3:40 PM on June 15, 2005

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