Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The answers in the previous question did not help - Can't edit /etc/profile on my mac

I want to edit /etc/profile but I can't, even when I open it with sudo. I manually changed the permissions on the file with

sudo chmod u+w /etc/profile

And now I get a different error when I try to save the file. Instead of it telling me I don't have permission, the dialog simply says "The document 'profile' could not be saved." How can I change the file?

share|improve this question
    
What program are you using to edit the file via sudo? – Kent Jun 13 '13 at 23:36
    
I am using TextEdit – Eric Baldwin Jun 13 '13 at 23:42
    
You should use an editor inside the Terminal, such as emacs, vi, or pico. Running a window app such as TextEdit as sudo does not work. (Specifically, you should run "sudo emacs /etc/profile" or "sudo vi /etc/profile") – Kent Jun 13 '13 at 23:48
    
that worked, thanks – Eric Baldwin Jun 13 '13 at 23:53
    
u+w isn't what you want... you aren't the user... you want to give group/other write if you are going that route. sudo chmod go+w /etc/profile. – demure Jun 14 '13 at 1:21

It should work if you run the executable as root:

sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit

If you run sudo chmod u+w /etc/profile and open /etc/profile normally with TextEdit, TextEdit shows an error because it doesn't have write permission to /private/etc/. TextEdit has also required write permission to the containing directory since 10.7, which might have something to do with auto-save or sandboxing.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .