[texhax] Umasks, Permissions, and All That

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Fri Jul 12 19:08:45 CEST 2013

On Jul 12, 2013, at 07:15 , Thomas Schneider wrote:

> Dick:
>> I'd like to summarize the current situation regarding umask, Unix
>> Permissions, and MacTeX.  When MacTeX installs, the directories
>> /usr/local and /usr/local/texlive may or may not exist. If they
>> already exist, their permissions are not changed. If they don't
>> exist, they are given reasonable permissions.
> I think the only reasonable permissions are drwxr-xr-x with ownership
> being root.

This is certainly reasonable, but definitely not the only reasonable choice.  The most reasonable one, without information to the contrary, is the one that exists on the user's system.  It should stay that way.

>> Then the 2013 folder and its contents are created. If the
>> installation is done from the DVD, the permissions of this folder
>> and its contents are solely determined by the TeX Live install
>> script, and not by MacTeX. Thus our umask problems this year are
>> problems from that TeX Live script, and MacTeX is only in the
>> picture because we decided it should never "fix" permissions.
> I think that's not a good idea.

Unfortunately, it's probably the best idea.  "Fixing" things behind the user's back is generally a bad idea, because it leads to the kind of problems being discussed in these threads: mysterious behavior and failures, with calls to support groups for help with little to go on.


Justin C. Walker
Network, n., Difference between work
charged for and work done

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