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I would like be able to copy files from one user profile to another. For example download photos to : /Users/user1/Desktop and then move than into /Users/user2/Pictures. Default Mac OS X setting do not allows that, unless you are logged in as root. I do not want use root account, just be able to write into another user folder.

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Why not accept answer? Jonnie's solution worked ? – tgkprog Nov 14 '14 at 18:43

Actually the easiest way to handle what you want is to give yourself sudo privileges. I believe on Mac OS X your user (i.e., user1) would just need to be part of the admin group.

Once user1 is part of the admin group, then you can run any command from the terminal in the following way and it will use root privileges:

sudo mv /home/user1/files /home/user2/pictures

the very first time you ever do this, the system will give you a warning about 'with great power comes great responsibility...' and it will prompt you for a password. If you are running this command as user1, the password it wants is user1's password - not root's password nor user2's password.

Note that, by configuration, the system may cache the password for a set amount of time or until you end the terminal session. when it expires and you run sudo as user1 it will prompt you again for user1's password.

sudo only works for the specific command you give it.

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Booth approaches are tight with specific folder. I want to have access to all of them. BTW: can you be more specific how to create manage user groups under Mac OS X 10.8? Thanks! – Pavel Binar Dec 2 '12 at 6:43
What about symlink? Would work? – Pavel Binar Apr 27 '13 at 21:15

If your two users are going to be sharing files a lot, the setups @John suggested are good; but if this is not something you'll be doing a lot, there are several ways to do it using OS X's standard folder & permission setup:

  • User1 could place the photos in /Users/user1/Public, and User2 (or anyone else on the computer) can copy them from there.
  • User1 could place the photos in /Users/Shared, with similar results.
  • User1 could place the photos into /Users/user2/Public/Drop Box, and then only User2 can get at them.
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Yes, I am looking for more frequent usage therefore this approach is too complicated. It seems, that @John's approach is available just for specific folders - I would like to have access to entire user folder structure. – Pavel Binar Dec 2 '12 at 6:46
Can break the privacy by makoing a new group, giving that group user rights, adding all users to that group. chmod and chown look up these commands with -R recursive – tgkprog Nov 14 '14 at 18:47

I managed to figure out a way to do this on a directory by directory basis, permanently. I was trying to access a PowerPoint Presentation my son was writing for school without having to login as him so I could review it.

Follow these steps to access the Library folder through Finder's Go menu. In the Finder, choose Go > Go To Folder. In the Go To Folder dialog, type /Users/[Username]. Click Go. Right Click on the Documents (or Pictures, etc.) directory Choose "Get Info" Click the Triangle Next to Sharing & Permissions Click the lock Click the + sign Add admin Change the permissions from read to "read/write"

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This works but is more disruptive and breaks the whole point of profile privacy. Fine for a parent. Not the best in other shared scenarios. And caveat is you need to be admin – tgkprog Nov 14 '14 at 18:45

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