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I'm new to OS X Lion and I want to create non-admin account for my daily or regular tasks. The admin account will be for administration of my system, e.g. disk partitioning, folder or resource sharing.

I was searching for a few hours but didn't find any document regarding that, only a few sites specified that OS X has 5 types of accounts, but what are their limitations? I want to know the standard user limitations: Can it create disk partitions? Or any other crucial tasks like partitioning.

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1 Answer 1

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You don't need a non-admin account for your daily or "regular" tasks. Just work with an admin account. If you're worried about security, you're probably used to Windows security advices (back when it didn't have User Account Control).

Any administrative task will require you to type in an admin password to work anyway, so you can just work as an admin user. There's no benefit whatsoever in having a separate user for system administrative tasks if you are the person administrating the Mac. There's no security gained, and it'll only be a hassle to switch between user accounts.

On the other hand, if you share your machine, just run as a normal user, and you'll be prompted for admin credentials for any administrative task anyway.

Most common scenarios are:

  • Changing system-owned files
  • Installing applications or preference panes for all system users
  • Installing applications that need to change system files
  • Doing stuff with your boot partition

That being said, stuff like partitioning your boot drive can only be done with admin privileges (But why would you even change your system partitions so often?).

Also, most preference panes in System Preferences can be "locked" so that without a password, no regular user can change the settings (and even you need to enter an admin password then).

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but apple also recommend to have a non admin account for regular tasks and admin account for administrative purpose, just to level up security. – Pamy Mar 29 '12 at 14:08
Where do they say so? – slhck Mar 29 '12 at 14:11
and my system will also be used by my family members, they are not advance users so by chance they don't mess-up with any important thing i need to create non-admin accounts. – Pamy Mar 29 '12 at 14:12
@Pamy, then create non-admin users for your family members :) (would still be nice to know what exactly that meant though...) – Svish Mar 29 '12 at 14:17
@Pamy Well, I can't compile a list for you, but then just go ahead and create an admin user and run as a non-admin. You can authorize with admin credentials whenever you're prompted to. – slhck Mar 29 '12 at 14:21

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