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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Authentication drives me crazy.

Authentication drives me crazy.
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Feb 15, 2007, 02:26 AM
 
Is there a way to disable the Authentication thing? It's driving me nuts! I am the only one using the Mac, everytime I try to install something or edit some hidden files, it ask for my password, Doesn't the Mac recognise it's me?

MacPC.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 03:16 AM
 
Don't try Vista then.

OS X's privileges system is there for your protection. If your user is an administrator and you're still bothered by the messages, you could go the stupid route and run as root. Just don't blame us for the consequences.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 04:25 AM
 
More to the point, the reason for the authentication dialogs is so that a malicious piece of software (say, a virus) can't go screw with the system files without your permission. So it's not really that the Mac doesn't recognize it's you so much as it's that the Mac wants to make sure it has your permission to alter the system files.

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Feb 15, 2007, 04:28 AM
 
MacOS X would literally become like Windows if all these safety guards were to be done away with. With earlier versions of MacOS and Windows, this wasn't necessary as most computers weren't connected to the internet permanently.
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Feb 15, 2007, 10:29 AM
 
The password prompting is so much better and so much less intrusive then the lame cancel/allow prompting.
I get prompted for nearly everything in vista, like going into the control panel. Its a royal pain in the neck and I can see one of two things happening with vista.
1. People will turn it off or
2. People will be be so accustom to hitting allow that they'll be doing that blindly
end results vista will be has vunerable as prior versions.

OSX has a much better design and I'm looking forward to Leopard which I'm sure will leap frog Vista in features and abilities.
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Feb 15, 2007, 10:37 AM
 
If you are an administrator (which you must be when you are the only user) then you are rarely asked to authenticate.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
If you are an administrator (which you must be when you are the only user) then you are rarely asked to authenticate.
Um, actually when you're logged in as Admin you are still asked to authenticate every time you install anything, change certain preferences, etc.... the only way you do not get asked to authenticate is when you are logged in as Root user. Admin simply means you have the right to make changes after authenticating.
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Feb 15, 2007, 02:49 PM
 
everytime I try to [...] edit some hidden files
I cringed reading that part. I'm sure your Mac did too, hence, the prompts each and every time you do it.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 03:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacPC View Post
Doesn't the Mac recognise it's me?
Not just by you sitting there, no. How would it? It doesn't have eyes or ears. It recognizes you by asking for your password.
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Feb 15, 2007, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacDog View Post
Um, actually when you're logged in as Admin you are still asked to authenticate every time you install anything, change certain preferences, etc....
No, not for installing anything. Installing some things you will still be asked for a password like when you install a system update. But most things you can simply drop into the Applications folder which is admin writable. Preferences an admin can change without entering a password as well, unless he explicitly locks them by clicking the lock icon.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 05:13 PM
 
And remember to untick the ‘Require password to unlock each secure system preference’ item in the Security preference pane.

Personally, I use a standard user account for my day-to-day work, and keep the box I just mentioned ticked. Might just be me, but I like to know when there's anything happening that needs admin permission.

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Feb 15, 2007, 06:58 PM
 
I got used to locking and having to unlock my car as well.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 07:27 PM
 
Just make a nice short password that's easy to type.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 08:47 PM
 
To be very insecure, you can remove the password from your user account. I'm not sure what will happen thereafter. Try at your own risk.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 08:51 PM
 
I have just tried with a second admin accoutn - it'll come up with the password box which you can dismiss with the enter key. Again - not recommended.
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 09:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by teszeract View Post
To be very insecure, you can remove the password from your user account. I'm not sure what will happen thereafter. Try at your own risk.
Could be the best, most secure password ever. Hiding in plain view. Hard for a random number generator to generate nothing!
And no, I don't recommend it either!
     
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Feb 15, 2007, 10:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by teszeract View Post
To be very insecure, you can remove the password from your user account. I'm not sure what will happen thereafter. Try at your own risk.
This used to work fine with old versions of Mac OS X, but since about 10.3 (or maybe 10.2) it causes havoc with the KeyChain. My recommendation would be DO NOT have an empty password, even if you're not concerned about the security implications.

(I'm trying to remember exactly what the problems were now... I think it was something to do with Safari and the KeyChain... and I don't even use Safari!)
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 09:36 AM
 
I'm having a similar problem.

Is there a way to disable the Door Lock thing? It's driving me nuts! I am the only one living in the house, everytime I try to open the front door or access some stuff hidden in the garage, i have to use a key, Doesn't the house recognise it's me?

glypht
     
Clinically Insane
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Feb 16, 2007, 09:50 AM
 
I'm well behind the curve with OS X nowadays, but in the past you could tell Keychain to show itself in the menubar, and keep it unlocked via that menu item. When it was like that, you were never prompted for authentication.

Note: the last version of OS X I used was 10.3 and it was a long time ago, so I can't guarantee any of the above.
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 10:19 AM
 
@Cipher
Are you using Windows now or what?
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Feb 16, 2007, 12:16 PM
 
Admins are part of the wheel group, which means they can sudo. The nice thing about sudo is that a session will be opened allowing root access to things during that session. This means there are times where this mechanism saves you from re-authenticating. I've been told that Vista doesn't have this, and asks you to authenticate each time, where necessary.
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 12:39 PM
 
I will admit that I've only used Vista a little yet, so my understanding comes from descriptions I've gotten from people, but I think it actually works like this:

• Admins are basically root
• Non-admin users are forced to get admin authorization for an ungodly range of stuff
• There's a "security" "feature" that is enabled by default that will ask admin users if they want to allow an ungodly range of stuff.
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Feb 16, 2007, 12:43 PM
 
The fact that you have to constantly deal with the cancel/allow buttons will make most people blindly hit "allow" every time it appears. Thereby defeating the security function. They will "allow" everything without reading what it is.
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 12:59 PM
 
Dang, how often are you installing stuff?
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
@Cipher
Are you using Windows now or what?
Not by choice, but yeah. My most recent Mac is my iBook 900 and I can't justify buying a more recent one, so I end up using that (with 10.3) or my Windows PC (with XP - I absolutely refuse to use Vista).

It's not a matter of distaste for OS X at all, it's a matter of affording another Mac when it isn't something I really need. I need to look into getting the x86 version to run on this machine, but I don't know how possible that is (been out of the loop a long time now).
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
I need to look into getting the x86 version to run on this machine, but I don't know how possible that is (been out of the loop a long time now).
If it's not built specially for running OS X, you'll probably have some trouble. And a lot of stuff won't work quite right either way.
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:08 AM
 
MacPC, yes it can be an annoyance, but it's a rather necessary one. You'll find this type of behavior on most UNIX and Linux flavors, too. And many of those are even more insistent.

As others have said already, it's a consequence of how the system is built from the ground up and how permissions are used. But if it weren't set up that way, you'd wind up with a mess like Windows, where security is tacked on rather than a fundamental part of the system.

This is part of what protects our platform.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 04:06 AM
 
You are using a superior OS, Cancel or Allow

To add to what someone said, if you have an admin account you can basically do anything to OS X, however if you need true root access you will need to enable the root user account as it is not enabled by default.

Here is an article on how to enable and use the root user account, unless you are *nix savy i would watch your P's and Q's while using terminal or logged in to the GUI as root

Enabling and using the "root" user in Mac OS X
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 04:17 AM
 
Being logged in as root user WILL mess with your system. You have been warned.

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Feb 17, 2007, 06:08 AM
 
You could always edit /etc/authorization
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 09:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Being logged in as root user WILL mess with your system. You have been warned.
Well no, being logged in as root is will NOT mess with your system It gives people the ability and permissions to mess with the system.

Sudo is a much safer alternative however and if I need root access I use that.
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
Well no, being logged in as root is will NOT mess with your system It gives people the ability and permissions to mess with the system.

Sudo is a much safer alternative however and if I need root access I use that.
Actually, if you even open a single finder window, it removes all other users' ability to set view preferences for that window, for example. The more you touch with root, the more it interferes with other users.
What the nerd community most often fail to realize is that all features aren't equal. A well implemented and well integrated feature in a convenient interface is worth way more than the same feature implemented crappy, or accessed through a annoying interface.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 02:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by glypht View Post
I'm having a similar problem.

Is there a way to disable the Door Lock thing? It's driving me nuts! I am the only one living in the house, everytime I try to open the front door or access some stuff hidden in the garage, i have to use a key, Doesn't the house recognise it's me?

glypht
You're not supposed to go in through the door, you're suppose to use Windows!
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 03:54 PM
 
What hidden files are you editing on a regular basis? And how often are you installing invasive software that requires a password for installation? I'd say 90% of applications do NOT require installation with a password (i.e. drag this app to the Applications folder, and you're done.)

I hope you know what you're doing. Not to knock you or anything, but given your misunderstanding of the purpose of the password prompt in the first place, I'm led to believe that you do not (although I'm perfectly content being wrong on this point). Be careful playing with hidden, locked files and installing software that promises cool new features that requires a password for installation. And please, for the love of god, do not login as root. Sudo, sudo, sudo.

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Feb 17, 2007, 09:52 PM
 
Man, I remember you, Cipher13 from the old days when Mac OSX was raw and wild. Things have changed a lot and by the time 10.5 comes out, OS X will be even better.

Still I get your point that if you need to run windows and can only justify one machine, you were pretty much stuck. However with the Intel Macs you can now have your cake and eat it. If you're looking to upgrade your PC, then consider a mac and use parallels with your existing windows XP discs to run XP right alongside OS X.

Back to the topic - MacPC: you shouldn't need to authenticate for everything. Try unchecking the checkbox mentioned above in the security preference. If that is not the problem - you may need to repair your permissions (use the disk utility). Sometimes you need to run that several times and reboot to fix it.
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Feb 18, 2007, 01:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
Well no, being logged in as root is will NOT mess with your system It gives people the ability and permissions to mess with the system.
Indeed. And no matter what your level of experience is, human error sooner or later will crop up. It's a given.

Inexperienced users will just f*ck up sooner.

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Feb 18, 2007, 10:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Indeed. And no matter what your level of experience is, human error sooner or later will crop up. It's a given.

Inexperienced users will just f*ck up sooner.
No argument there, its generally a bad idea to log in as root (in OSX) in unix to administer the system you have to have root access but the way apple has built OSX there's not good reason. My point is that the idea of root isn't evil or bad, its people using it that will wreck their computers.
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Feb 18, 2007, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
You're not supposed to go in through the door, you're suppose to use Windows!
ROTFLMAO
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 03:15 AM
 
Can I disable the disccopy verifications? I skip it every time it tries to check an opened .dmg
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Feb 20, 2007, 03:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
Can I disable the disccopy verifications? I skip it every time it tries to check an opened .dmg
Yes, in Disk Utility.

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Feb 20, 2007, 09:34 AM
 
Man, I'm having flashbacks to the Thalo crew over at the old MacFixIt Forums...
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:32 AM
 
The thalo people have a forum of their own. Last time I checked, the traffic was pretty much zero

Anywho, I strongly advise against tinkering in the hope those dialogs might go away. Authentication dialogs are as necessary as locking and unlocking your car these days (nice analogy, by the way).
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:45 AM
 
Yeah, I know about thalo.net

I just remember the whole authentication thing being a nuisance to those guys. Speaking of the Thaloites, I haven't seen mAxximo around here for quite a while.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 03:48 PM
 
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Feb 20, 2007, 04:14 PM
 
notice the original poster hasn't replied to any of things discussed in the thread. I just love it when people create a thread to vent their frustrations and then just leave it alone.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:24 AM
 
Well, with the condescending nature of most of the "helpful" respondents, I'm not surprised that he hasn't replied.

Sheesh. Just because we all were born with Apple II's attached to our skulls doesn't mean everyone was. He identified up front that he was a noob, and asked a noob question.

Mac snobbery is still snobbery.

- JPD

P.S. Don't forget that Installer.app mishandles some authentication issues... It doesn't always ask for permission when it should... Or did they fix that?
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 03:45 AM
 
Maybe he was being a troll... just posting a gripe about OS X that is a popular gripe about Windows... then just sat back and laughed whilst all you lot try to defend it.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 04:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by adrian_milliner View Post
Maybe he was being a troll... just posting a gripe about OS X that is a popular gripe about Windows... then just sat back and laughed whilst all you lot try to defend it.
Asking for authentication almost exclusively in appropriate situations isn't a common gripe about Windows. The problem with Windows is that it either harasses the user or provides no security at all.
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Feb 21, 2007, 05:21 AM
 
try the space bar as a password.
the biggest key, difficult to miss, difficult to guess.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 05:43 AM
 
Why should you edit hidden files? In 3 years of having Mac I think I've done this maybe twice... And when you install something it's OK that system is asking your password. Otherwise any app can start installing anything - even trojans. So password is for good security reasons. And how often do you install applications? Once you've installed (actually only 10-20% of apps have real "setup") your apps, you just run them. I have 310 apps and I've never felt that my Mac would asked me too much passwords. And it took 2 days to install them all. Try the same on Windows and let's see how Windows will perform with 310 apps...
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