Feb 19, 2011

Mac Permission Errors

Well, this is different. Usually if I get a product for the Mac and PC the PC usually gives me troubles and the Mac is always pain-free. Just experienced the exception that proves the rule. I recently purchased a Brother QL-570 label printer (very nice by the way) and installed all the drivers and the P-Touch 5.0 Editor on Windows 7 with no problem. Started the editor and hit print. Wondered for about a minute why it didn't print when I noticed a cut label sitting on the desk. It printed so fast I didn't even notice it. I decided the label printer was so nice I wanted it on my Mac as well. There are two installers to run on the Mac one for the driver and one for the P-Touch Editor. Both worked flawlessly and the printer automatically showed up in my list of printers under Snow Leopard.

The Problem

Only one teensy weensy problem, I couldn't get to the P-Touch editor. In my applications folder I could see the P-touch Editor 5.0 but it had a little red minus symbol on it and when I went to open it I got a Finder dialog informing me I didn't have permission to open this folder. This struck me as presumptuous on the part of the Finder as I just installed it under the same account and the account has admin privileges. I don't use the Mac as much as I used to but I still remember a few things so I opened up Get-Info on the folder, unchecked the lock symbol and made sure the permissions said Read-Write for Everyone (sometimes I'm overly generous). Back to the finder, same problem. OK I'll run the disk permission repair utility. It found several problems and reported that it had fixed them all. Still no go. Time to dig out the big guns.

The Fast Way to get a path into the Terminal Window

I launched the Terminal window and looked up the permission settings. One site suggested changing several settings.

I typed

> sudo chflags 0

(that's a zero followed by a space character) and then (because it's a Mac) I dragged in the problematic folder. This automatically filled in the name of the file with the proper path and with all spaces properly escaped.  Once the file path was there I hit return. I got prompted for my password. Which I carefully entered (you get no visible feedback while doing this) and hit return. Then I repeated the process with

>sudo chown 0:80

and

>sudo chmod 775

That unlocked the P-Touch Editor folder. Inside that folder were two more folders and this time I  tried just the chmod command and it worked for those two folders.

About Me

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.