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17. Fun with Terminal > Changing Permissions with Terminal

Changing Permissions with Terminal

Permissions is a largely invisible, but hugely important, Mac OS X and Unix feature. The behind-the-scenes permissions setting for a file or folder determines whether or not you’re allowed to open it, change it, or delete it. Permissions are the cornerstone of several important Mac OS X features, including the separation of user accounts and the relative invulnerability of the operating system itself.

You can get a good glimpse at the permissions settings of a file or folder in the Get Info box; see Three Common Scenarios for a discussion. But even there, you’re not seeing all of the permission settings Unix provides, and every now and then, you might want to. Suppose, for example, that you’re a teacher in charge of a computer lab containing 25 Macs. On each computer, you’ve created Standard accounts (see Chapter 12) for five students, for a total of 125 student accounts.


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