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Permissions

A factory-fresh installation of Mac OS X offers one way for you to submit files to somebody else (that person’s Public folder), one way to accept files from other people (your Drop Box folder), and one community folder that’s available to all account holders on a single Mac (the Shared folder). These limits are the most visible aspects of Mac OS X’s access privileges system, a fairly rigid scheme of permissions that let you control how much freedom your fellow account holders (and network visitors) have to view and edit the files on your Mac.

Most people are perfectly content with Apple’s proposed permissions setup: Account holders have access only to their own stuff, with the exception of the Shared, Public, and Drop Box folders. If you’re in that category, skip ahead a few pages and rejoice; the business of changing the permissions for certain folders can be complex and brain-bending.


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