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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Is it a good/bad to install Applications as a non-admin?

Is it a good/bad to install Applications as a non-admin?
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tightsocks
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Sep 9, 2012, 07:09 PM
 
I am going to be doing a clean install of Mountain Lion soon (no Migration Assistant at all).
I will be installing all Applications fresh.

I want this system to be as 'by the book' as possible.
So, I'm wondering if the OS actually 'cares' if an app has been installed by an Admin account or by a non-admin (by entering an admin u/p).

Thoughts?
     
Curiosity
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Sep 9, 2012, 09:04 PM
 
I think it is a good idea. Applications installed inside a standard account have no admin privilege, so cannot change the operating system without asking for an admin login, which should make you sit up and wonder what is going on.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 9, 2012, 10:27 PM
 
An application installed by entering an admin password is identical to an application installed while logged into an admin account (because that's exactly what you're doing by handing the OS your admin password).
     
tightsocks  (op)
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Sep 9, 2012, 10:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
An application installed by entering an admin password is identical to an application installed while logged into an admin account (because that's exactly what you're doing by handing the OS your admin password).
But (on 10.6 and prior, I don't know for sure about 10.7/10.8) it would be owned by the non-admin user.
     
P
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Sep 10, 2012, 12:10 AM
 
Who owns the application isn't really relevant, it's who RUNS the application that counts for access. The only exception is if the setuid bit is set - if so, the application runs with access of the owner, no matter who runs it. That is in practice only useful for applications owned by root. A number of applications used by the OS fall into this category, but even so, it doesn't matter who installs them - Apple has a mechanism for setting their permissions when run, and requires an admin password to do so.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
eyadams
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Sep 10, 2012, 08:18 AM
 
This used to be a bigger issue. Everything in my Applications folder is owned by an administrator, and an administrator password is required to install there. But most of my users have their own Applications folder under their home folder, and Applications there are owned by the user.

This used to be a bigger problem than it is now. Application were often written with the assumption that they would be installed and run as the same user, and it was sometimes necessary to go into the command line and fiddle around with directory and file permissions to get everything to work correct - an early version of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Zoo Tycoon, and one of the Myst games were all like this. It's gotten better now.
     
tightsocks  (op)
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Sep 10, 2012, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by eyadams View Post
This used to be a bigger issue. Everything in my Applications folder is owned by an administrator, and an administrator password is required to install there. But most of my users have their own Applications folder under their home folder, and Applications there are owned by the user..
Good point.
In this case, I'm the only user of the machine and my day to day user account is a non-admin acct. Everything gets installed in the top level /Applications folder.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2012, 09:17 PM
 
Only very few apps insist on being installed in /Applications, and most of these come with an installer, because they also populate the /Library folder with their own files. In most cases, it'll just work.
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jmiddel
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Sep 12, 2012, 09:43 PM
 
Do you want all users to access all apps, if yes, install as admin. If not, install each app in the selected user's account only.
     
   
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