The iMac I’m using now is a new one, but was set up using a Time Machine backup from my old iMac.

That computer I bought from a friend and instead of wiping it (had a lot of good programs on it) I used the standard tutorial to simply rename the user account.

I’ve never had any issues related to this up until now.

I just attempted to install RVM (Ruby Version Manager) and when I did, it attempted to install it into the old account name /Users/tai and was a serious pain to undo.

Obviously somewhere, something is lingering in a file that references this old user account name.

Does anyone know where and how I would go about looking for this so I can resolve this to avoid any future problems?

  • You mention RVM is a pain to deal with on this setup. How did you attempt to install it? Via the standard RVM setup instructions which are ultimately per-user? Doing this gpg --keyserver hkp://keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 409B6B1796C275462A1703113804BB82D39DC0E3 followed by this \curl -sSL https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable, correct? Nov 26, 2015 at 3:14
  • No it was a pain to undo the mess, not to install or use.
    – secondman
    Nov 26, 2015 at 3:17

2 Answers 2


Assuming the old tai is an administrator/root account the best way to handle a case like this is to just create a new user with your username, grant that user administrator rights and then completely delete the old tai account.

A tool like RVM (Ruby Version Manager) is based on local user preferences and setup so creating a new user should suffice to clean up a mess like this.

  • The old user account doesn't exist. It was renamed using the Apple tutorial.
    – secondman
    Nov 26, 2015 at 3:13
  • Then whatever your new account is, it’s obviously not working. This semi-nuclear approach is a recommended method of setting up a new user on a machine in a way that the core system is left as-is, but a new user can start out “tabula rasa” as far as settings and such that would step on RVM and such. Nov 26, 2015 at 3:16
  • This rename was done, maybe 4 years ago. This installation of RVM is the first thing that's ever created a problem. Where would I find files related to local user preferences as you mentioned?
    – secondman
    Nov 26, 2015 at 3:20
  • @VinceKronlein Honestly, I have no idea why this would be happening. The only thing I can think of is perhaps RVM was installed as a multi-user install? Have you looked over the RVM troubleshooting tips here? And you mention “Apple tutorial” but which one? I know it might be 4 years ago, I recommend providing that detail to your answer. Because while there are many Apple tutorials out there and knowing the details on the specific procedure you followed would be helpful. Nov 26, 2015 at 3:37
  • I installed RVM like so: \curl -sSL https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable using my admin account. The tutorial was from the Apple website, it was 4 years ago, I have no idea how I would find that. I mentioned it because it was the Apple recommended way to change a user account, and not some random blog post on how to do it. I couldn't care less about RVM, it isn't even something I need, but it exposed this problem and that's the only reason I included it in the question. Thanks @JakeGould
    – secondman
    Nov 26, 2015 at 5:40

Renaming a user is not recommended by most real mac users.

It causes issues.

IF you change it, you need to: chgrp -R for the user chown -r for the user pray that you don't get permissions voodoo later in life (oops you just did, too late).

your best move is to:

1 enable root, then login as root.(stay in root for all the following 6 steps). 2. go to >sys prefs > Users - 3. create a new admin account (your new name, not a duplicate of your current name) 4. open that new account folder, delete all existing folders & files. 5. open the old admin account folder, move all existing files INTO the NEW account. 6. open terminal and do the aforementioned chgrp and chown actions on that entire account folder.
for example:

root$> chown -r newbob /Users/newbob

root$> chgrp -R staff /Users/newbob

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