[texhax] Umasks, Permissions, and All That

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Jul 13 00:11:53 CEST 2013

On 2013-07-12 at 10:15:59 -0400, 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.

You cannot change ownership unless you are root already.  And I don't
recommend to install everything as root.  I'm the owner of /usr/local
because I maintain the stuff therein.  It would be a pain if I had to
use sudo when installing to a directory owned by me.  And I would be
pissed off if an installer disregards my personal umask.
 > > 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.

In respect of file permissions, I'm conviced that the current behavior
of both, TeX Live and MacTeX, is correct.  IMO it doesn't matter at all
whether it's a good or bad idea.  The only question is whether it's
correct or not.  It's *not* a matter of taste or convenience.

Thomas, you said that you're using tcsh.  I don't have OS/X but
doesn't it come with Bash as well?  Could you check whether it works
with Bash?

umask is a shell function and different shells have different startup
scripts.  It's quite likely that tcsh has other defaults than other
shells.  In order to find out which initialization files are involved,
consult the manual page.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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