I am trying to install an application used by mathematics teachers, Math Assessment Assistant for Grade 4, it used to run on mac 10.5 but after upgrading to snow leopard it would not install. It is asking for administrator privileges while i am the administrator.

Any way i can solve this?


Applications - and installers in particular - will often ask you to enter an administrator username and password if they perform actions that are 'privileged' - writing to the /Applications folder is a common one for installers.

They will do this even if you are logged in as an administrator to provide an extra layer of protection against someone installing software if you are called away from your computer.

What may be happening (although I'm not sure) is that the check is skipped if you don't have any non-administrator users on the computer or the settings in the users section of System Preferences have been set to something more restrictive. Perhaps installing 10.6 added the guest account (I can't remember if that was a 10.5 or a 10.6 feature) or some new settings were set to stricter defaults.

In short, though, if you trust the place you received the installer from (for instance, it's on a CD bought from a reputable retailer) there should be no issue with you entering your administrator username and password to allow the installation to complete.


I saw this recently on another application. The solution was to first drag the old version of the application to the trash, then run the installer for the new one. (All while running as administrator, of course.)

Apparently what it lacks privilege for is to write over the existing app.


On OS X, "Administrator" is not the same thing as "root." Administrators are on the list of sudoers, meaning they have permission to act as root if they so choose.

On the command line, one can run commands as root by using the sudo (Substitute User DO) command first, and then authenticating with their password, but regular users are not allowed to do this. When OS X asks for administrator privileges, it is likely because it needs to do something as root, so you need to enter your password even if you are logged in as an administrator.

It is possible to enable the root account for regular login, which would circumvent the need to reauthenticate; however this is not recommended as it makes it far too easy for you "or someone else with physical access" to mess with/up your system.

And in case this is not clear: root is user id 0, and operates above filesystem permissions and the like—it's basically god mode for *NIX systems.

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