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iCare Permissions Fixer 3.0 review

Keep those file permissions under control

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Our Verdict

Niche appeal, but Permissions Fixer does its job flawlessly for correcting POSIX permissions.

For

  • Simple to set up and use

    Solves the problem it was designed for

    Easy to add/remove folders or volumes

    Limited to 10.3 and 10.4 Server

Against

  • Only corrects POSIX permissions

    Software needs to run as root

Permissions Fixer 3.0 is a tool for resolving issues arising from strict file permissions in OS X Server. If you manage users and groups where several people have access to a common file storage area, you may experience file permissions as being too restrictive.

Why? Well, when you create a file as an individual user, the file is saved with read and write access for that specific user: typically, the file will have read-only access for other users logged on to the server. While this is desirable in some situations, it can be too restrictive for shared workflow environments, where many people will need to both read and write data to shared files.

Permissions Fixer is a simple yet effective tool that continually checks specific folders and their sub-contents for files that don't have shared access. It changes their permissions to enable shared access, and works transparently, amending files added to the volumes or folders that you have chosen to fix.

Permissions Fixer 3 only works with Mac OS X 10.3 Server and Mac OS X 10.4 Server, although 10.2 Server would suffer the same problem. It's also restricted to working with file systems using standard UNIX POSIX file permissions, supported natively in both versions 10.3 and 10.4.

10.4 Server also introduced ACL (Access Control Lists), a modern and versatile method of allocating permissions to files; ACL is also used by Windows 2003 Server. Permissions Fixer can't run with ACL, so it shows you how to revert to the POSIX system.

Ironically, careful use of the ACL and inherited permissions can negate the need for this tool at all, but if you have encountered the problem with your file server and you can't resolve it, then Permissions Fixer will do the job.