[tex-live] OT Was: TeXLive2007.02.04 and Windows Vista

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Thu Feb 8 18:48:54 CET 2007

> Norbert Preining wrote:
>> On Don, 08 Feb 2007, Gerben Wierda wrote:
>>>> unable to open key: Access is denied.
>>> Haah, probably the new security features! Maybe typing "allow" at some
>>> point would help? Or turning speech recognition on and shouting
>>> "ALLOW!"
>>> at your computer? ;-)
> i never could figure out the osx installation related security (who/what
> is root and which/what password to use when etc) and some stuff simple
> could not get installed so i guess apple has some rules as well -)

Yes, Apple has rules and it is not perfect.

Basically, Apple has good-old-fashioned unix security (owner-group-world)
with root as the - well - root (of all eveil, I suppose) and group admin
as a group that is allowed some extra stuff by default, e.g. get root
privileges after entering your password.

The default user set up on a Mac system is member of the admin group, and
while this still means it does not run as administrator without actually
typing in its password once more, it does open some security leaks because
e.g. there are some setuid-root programs in admin-writable locations

A Mac should therefore be set up with a separate admin account and normal
user accounts should not have admin privileges. That still makes it
possible to install stuff as a normal user, because you are allowed then
to enter admin user name and admin password when the privileges panel
appears, but is does block stuff happening without entering a password
because you are a member of group admin.

Anyway, what the Mac has is reasonably decent security *without* it
getting much in your way. As John Welch of Information Week wrote:

Mac OS X...[is] the classic English butler. This OS is designed to make
the times you have to interact with it as quick and efficient as possible.
It expects that things will work correctly, and therefore sees no reason
to bother you with correct operation confirmations....

Windows is...well, Windows is very eager to tell you what's going on.
Constantly. Plug something in, and you get a message. Unplug something and
you get a message. If you're on a network that's having problems staying
up, you'll get tons of messages telling you this. It's rather like dealing
with an overexcited Boy Scout...who has a lifetime supply of
chocolate-covered espresso beans. This gets particularly bad when you
factor in things like the user-level implementation of Microsoft's new
security features.


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