POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.macintosh : UNIX Ignorance : Re: UNIX Ignorance Server Time
25 Oct 2021 04:16:48 EDT (-0400)
  Re: UNIX Ignorance  
From: Christian Walther
Date: 27 Apr 2006 05:08:27
Message: <44508a0b$1@news.povray.org>
Russell Towle wrote:
> And I must say I am more than a little peeved that I was not relieved of my
> ignorance in the Mac-specific install documents which came bundled with the
> UNIX version. They were full of talk about installing POV in the "usr"
> folder but never once mentioned that, on the Mac, this folder is invisible
> to the Finder!

What Mac-specific documents are those? I can't find any Mac-specific 
documentation in the Unix source release.

> Also, the UNIX version, in its install instructions, recommends installing
> as Root. Why? Why in the world invoke this horrific power? One can just as
> easily install as the default Administrator.

Of course you can install into your own home folder without being root, 
but I assume we're talking about /usr/local here.

If you are really able to write in /usr as a non-root user, then 
something's seriously wrong. But I doubt that this is the case. When you 
try to copy something into a folder for which you don't have write 
permission using the Finder, it presents you an authentication panel, 
and providing your administrator password there effectively makes you 
root (for that single operation). That's why it works - you are not 
avoiding the "horrific power" of root.

The same thing happens when you install software using the Installer 
application, or when you say "sudo make install" on the command line 
(which is what you're supposed to do here - you can't use "su" on Mac OS 
X because you can't log in as root): by authenticating as an 
administrator, you give root privileges to the Installer or to the 
"make" utility, enabling it to install files in /usr or wherever it likes.

  -Christian


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