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Is there any way to set the default umask for GUI applications on a mac without modifying /etc/launchd.conf or similar? I want to change it for my account without affecting others.

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Put your umask in ~/.profile:

echo umask 0022 >> ~/.profile
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Do GUI apps really read ~/.profile? I thought only command-line programs did. – Blacklight Shining Oct 23 '12 at 2:26
I added umask 077 to my ~/.profile, used Activity Monitor to quit Finder, then relaunched it and created a folder. I checked it with ls -l and found it was set to 755, not the expected 700. I'll try logging out and back in at some point, but I suspect this isn't going to work. Did you read the whole question? :P – Blacklight Shining Oct 23 '12 at 2:33
shell reads .profile > shell starts gui apps. If the gui apps don't respect the shell that starts them then they have their own way of configuring whatever, or they don't care about those settings in the shell at all. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 23 '12 at 4:15
Really? I thought they were all started by launchd or something, not a shell. – Blacklight Shining Oct 23 '12 at 5:14
launchd is started from a a shell, the one that runs when you system boots, or the one that loads the graphic interface. Whatever it launches will inherit it's environment, limits, quotas and (default) umask. However, that is the general case, and I'm really no authority on osx launchd. I'm sorry my answer wasn't useful to you. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 23 '12 at 13:10

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