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I think I may have duplicate root users on my system. I changed directories to /Users, then ran

ls -la -e

I get this returned:

total 0
drwxr-xr-x   5 root  admin   170 Aug 31  2012 .
drwxrwxr-t  33 root  admin  1190 Jun 22 15:53 ..
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel     0 Mar 29  2012 .localized
drwxrwxrwt   8 root  wheel   272 Jun 29 02:35 Shared
drwxr-xr-x+ 51 ede   staff  1734 Jul 17 01:52 ede
 0: group:everyone deny delete

Should I have twoo root admins and two root wheels with one of them being shared? Also, what is that last entry?

0: group:everyone deny delete
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Should I have TWO root admins and TWO root wheels with one of them being shared? Also, what is that last entry? 0: group:everyone deny delete

What you see with ls is just a directory listing, not a listing of the actual users you have. So if you see root three times, that just means you have multiple folders belonging to root.

The Shared folder needs to have open permissions because it's shared among users.

The only thing that's a little off is that your / seems to have write permissions for the group. Ideally, / should be drwxr-xr-x.

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Just to clarify your misunderstandings... Your actual users are stored in /etc/passwd in unix-like systems. So you can use:

less /etc/passwd 

to view the list of users present on your system.

What you have listed from "ls" output there is just a directory listing with permissions, sizes, owners, etc.

The third column says who the owner of the object is, fourth - the group which can use the object under group permissions. The last column names the folder or file in your directory not access permissions like "Shared". The actual permissions are listed in the first column, ex:


d - means it's a directory

first rwx - owner (third column) is allowed to write, read, execute

second rwx - group (mentioned in the fourth column) is allowed to write, read, execute

last rwt - any other user is allowed to write, read, execute. t - means sticky bit is set, which means even though the permissions to write are given, only the owner can delete files.

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Actually, OS X doesn't use /etc/password (except during startup); the actual users are stored in .plist files in /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/users/. You can list them with dscl . -list /Users – Gordon Davisson Jul 17 '13 at 15:00
OK, sorry. My bad – Ashtray Jul 18 '13 at 5:03

In addition to the information from Alexander and slkck's answers, OS X doesn't use /etc/password for normal user accounts. It uses a directory service to store them in. One way to list the local user accounts I found in an answer on the apple stackexchage under "how-can-i-list-all-user-accounts-in-the-terminal" was:

dscacheutil -q user | grep -A 3 -B 2 -e uid:\ 5'[0-9][0-9]'
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