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Understanding Default Permissions in OS X

Understanding Default Permissions in OS X 7

OS X is the latest version of the Unix-based platform developed and owned by Apple. Inc. The home folder of OS X is only accessible by the user itself. Other users can only interfere into your home folder only if you create a directory in the home folder immediately without any subdirectory. Every file and folder present in OS X possesses the lead to decide which user to allow or deny.

While creating a file or folder in OS X, the system holds some default power which gives it certain hierarchical access by the owner himself, the account that created it and lastly, everyone else. This default set oos-xf permission granting power is called ‘umask’. This feature authenticates a special set of permission to the files when they are created.

Understanding umask:
OS X is based on Unix platform which possesses a command-line tool called ‘chmode’ or “Change mode” which administers permission setting to specific files and folders that are targeted. If you need more help, you can check out a chmod recursive guide. This command is used to change existing permission setting. The ‘chmode’ command-line runs in this following pattern:
0 for No access
1 for Execute Only
2 for Write Only
3 for Write and Execute
4 for Read Only
5 for Read and Execute
6 for Read and Write
7 for Read, Write, and Execute
According to the usage of this command, a specific file or folder is the “TARGET” and any approach to set a specific permission is the “MODE”, which works for both owner, group and everyone else. The stated numbers from 0to 7 show how the “chmode” command works.
Example of “MODE”:
The “MODE” command is always represented in a series of three consecutive numbers. If you have a file named “sample.txt”, it is entirely accessible(read, write and execute) by the owner which is number 7, read-only by the group which is number 4 and no access to everyone else which is number 0.
Now let’s study about ‘umask’. When you create a specific file or folder, umask is used as a filter to set desired permission settings. Initially, the system doesn’t know which set of permission to set for which file or folder. Hence, the system grants number 7, i.e., read, write and execute permission which later can be changed using ‘chmode’ command and umask filter.

The umask feature is basically responsible for the folders on the home screen to be initially readable to the other users. If you have any specific folder or file which is accessible to another user account, you can easily make certain changes in umask to make the folder ‘no access’ to others.

Changing a umask setting is not required since in most cases the system depends on the already build-in permission and adding certain changes in umask may lead to severe damage to the control system. But if you have to change the default setting for any specific case, then it is important to make necessary changes to the system launcher too. However, to apply changes to the system launcher called launched, it is necessary to create and edit the user-specific launch configuration file.

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Written by icytales

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