Read-only vs Read&write
May 7, 2012 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Recently, all files I create on my Mac are read-only docs to others, how do I create them so they are read & write? Please note I'm not asking how to modify them after they've been created...

I understand how to change permissions in the Get Info box. But say I'm creating a Pshop image or a ID layout or a Word doc (all my apps are creating read-only files), can I create them by default to be read&write for everyone? Seems like it was that way up until recently.

I'm using Snow Leopard and don't recall changing/updating anything lately.
posted by artdrectr to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Setting a custom umask (wiki: umask)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:31 PM on May 7, 2012

When was the last time you repaired permissions via Disk Utility?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:59 PM on May 7, 2012

I vaguely recall (perhaps incorrectly) having permissions issues with my files on Windows machines a couple of years ago while I was running Clusters. Thought it was worth mentioning just in case.
posted by Magnakai at 3:38 PM on May 7, 2012

Blaze: to me this seems like a sledgehammer solution (no offense intended). Not saying that there is any other better way. Just not comfortable w this approach and may resign to leave it as is.

Thorzdad: yeah that was my first thought and ran it 2x. No significant changes.

posted by artdrectr at 4:31 PM on May 7, 2012

Does this help?
posted by backwards guitar at 5:13 PM on May 7, 2012

Blazecock's solution (modifying the default umask for your user account) is not a sledgehammer; it's exactly what needs to be done to make a Unix-based system behave the way you've said you'd like it to. Controlling default file permissions is what umask is for.

If you set the umask for your own user account to 000 then the default permissions for documents you create will be read+write for all users. It's probably set to 022 at present, meaning you get default permissions of read+write for you, read for everybody else. You can check the current setting by opening a Terminal window and typing umask and pressing Enter.

If read+write for everybody used to be what your user account created documents with by default, then at some point your user account was set up with a umask of 000 (perhaps by a helpful and now-forgotten technician). If that's not what it does now, then at some point the default umask for your user account was changed back to the more usual 022, perhaps as part of resetting all permissions to defaults.
posted by flabdablet at 5:42 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the explanation, flabdablet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:03 PM on May 7, 2012

backwards guitar: oh man I had high hopes...that link suggests an 'unlock' might be in Time Machine prefs. But there is no unlock pref in my version. (hey no backwards guitars here but slap a 70's strat, '59 Danelectro and a cutaway Martin).

OK, I will try try the umask approach if it can be limited (to certain apps or folders). I don't think it would be wise to set everything to read&write, I'm certain some apps won't like that.
Will get back.
posted by artdrectr at 11:14 PM on May 7, 2012

If you don't in fact want all your apps to create fully read-write files by default, then I can see how setting a permissive default umask would strike you as overkill.

There's no easy way to do per-folder permission inheritance in Unix, so if that's what you're actually trying to accomplish (perhaps you want to set up one specific folder where files always get read-write access for everybody) then your path of least resistance probably does involve creating the files with the default, restrictive permissions and then changing the permissions afterward. I know you specifically said you weren't interested in doing that, but what if it didn't need to be done by hand? You might want to look at setting up a Folder Action to do it for you automatically.
posted by flabdablet at 3:54 AM on May 8, 2012

flabdablet: All considered, a folder action is a great idea. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it seems the best way to go for my situation. Thanks for giving it thought!
posted by artdrectr at 1:15 PM on May 8, 2012

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