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I am logged on as main user and try to rename a file in Finder Get info tells me I have read/write access

I finally did a chmod 644 in terminal - that did not help

-rw-rw-rw-+ 1 myuserid  staff   49293 18 May  2008 somefile.pdf

 0: group:everyone deny delete
 1: user:myuserid allow read,write,append,readattr,writeattr,readextattr,writeextattr,readsecurity

I then did a sudo mv which worked, but I STILL cannot rename it in the Finder.

Found a bunch of old stuff on the net that did not apply. The file is simply downloaded to the computer from the browser. It does live in another user's dir, but I have read/write access to it and sudo as I mentioned does work too.

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With "SN", do you mean Snow Leopard? (And most of us would write Mac, not MAC. Well, actually, the tag mac would refer to the hardware then, and osx to the thing that's giving you trouble.) – Arjan Sep 5 '10 at 16:33
Thanks for the clarification... I hope I did not offend some un*x gods somewhere – mplungjan Sep 7 '10 at 5:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's because of the access control entry:

0: group:everyone deny delete

...because as far as the filesystem is concerned, moving or renaming the file is equivalent to making a new directory entry ("link") for it, and then deleting the old one. Thus, being forbidden from deleting the file also means you can't move or rename it. You can wipe the file's access control list with chmod -N somefile.pdf if you want, or just remove that specific access control entry with chmod -a# 0 somefile.pdf (note: you can't do this from the Finder's Get Info window, as it doesn't show deny rules). That may not be enough, however, as you mention the file is in another user's folder. Moving, renaming, and deleting a file all involve modifying the directory it's in, and thus require write access to that dir (completely independent of permissions to the file itself).

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Right. Just thinking that when I had admin rights and read/write access, that I could rename at will. In my opinion this is where the unix system clashes with the pretty gui. Thanks – mplungjan Sep 7 '10 at 5:10

I would try two things. First, I'd see if having execute permission helps. The file listing you quote shows mode 666 (owner, group and everyone having read (4) and write (2) bits set, shown as rw-rw-rw-) so try 777 (rwxrwxrwx) and see if that helps. (If you're a member of the "staff" group, which you can check with the groups command in the Terminal, 776 or 775 should do just fine.)

If that doesn't work, you may need read-write access to the directory containing the file in question in order to rename. I would try that next.

But fundamentally, if you're operating in another user's directories, you shouldn't be able to operate as a different regular user anyway - you should need sudo, or move the file to your own user space, do what you need to, and move it back. That's why user-based permissions exist.

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Thanks for the additional info – mplungjan Sep 7 '10 at 5:10

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