When permissions won't be repaired

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Reader Jason Brunk is concerned about permissions that just don’t seem repairable. He writes:

I have a Mac Pro running Snow Leopard 10.6.5. When I repair permissions, there are about a dozen items that are listed as repaired. But if I repeat the process, either immediately or a day later, the same list is repaired all over again. What gives?

I can say with some confidence that the messages you see repeated time and again contain the word Java. You might also see Warning: SUID file “System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/ Contents/MacOS/ARDAgent” has been modified and will not be repaired.

Apple tells us “don’t sweat it” in its KnowledgeBase article, Mac OS X: Disk Utility’s Repair Disk Permissions messages that you can safely ignore. After listing scads of these messages, the document ends with:

You can safely ignore these messages. You can also usually ignore any “ACL found but not expected…” message. These messages can occur if you change permissions on a file or directory. These messages are accurate but are generally not a cause for concern.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Generally faster than Leopard
    • Most applications run in 64-bit mode
    • Rudimentary malware checking
    • Supports Exchange
    • Improvements to Exposé and Dock


    • Many features won’t truly be exploited until Mac hardware evolves
    • Lackluster QuickTime Player update
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