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I work for a college in the UK. We have around 60 Macs on site for which I am responsible for managing. Ever since we upgraded them to Mavericks, we've been experiencing a very strange problem with disk permissions on them.

Every so often, when a standard (i.e. non-admin) user logs onto them, the user is unable to open any installed application. They see a series of question marks in their dock and they can't open the /Applications folder to open applications. Logging on as an administrative user and repairing the disk permissions either by the command line or using Disk Utility fixes the problem and users can open apps again.

This would be fine if it was a one-time thing but it keeps on recurring. Today it happened on all of our Macs at once when they wanted to use them for lessons. I'm sure you can imagine what I've been spending my morning doing. This doesn't seem to happen on any particular schedule or pattern that I can see and this is the first time it's happened to all of them at once.

Our Macs are all running Mavericks, versions between 10.9.1 and 10.9.3. We are running three different kind of Macs: Mid 2010 iMacs, Mid 2010 MacBook Pros and 2013 Mac Minis. They are running OS installations from two different images. They are all joined to our Active Directory domain but not to an Open Directory. The Macs are being managed by the Parallels plugin for SCCM. They are also all running Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP). The only Mac that I've come across this morning which didn't have b0rked permissions this morning was a MacBook Pro which isn't joined to the domain at present and that doesn't have SCEP installed.

I've checked the diagnostic console on a Mac on which this did happen to this morning but I've found nothing obvious in its logs to indicate why this (or even that it has) happened.

I'm wondering if anyone has ever experienced this before and if they have found a fix.

Thanks,

Ian

/edit In response to a question on a comment that seems to have disappeared, running "ls -l /Applications" returns the following:

OSX6648-Perm:~ itsupport$ ls -l /Applications/
total 0
drwxrwxr-x   4 root       admin  136 27 Jun 12:49 Adobe
drwxrwxr-x@  7 root       admin  238 23 Jun 14:11 Adobe Acrobat XI Pro
drwxrwxr-x@ 11 root       admin  374 23 Jun 14:20 Adobe After Effects CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@  6 root       admin  204 23 Jun 14:02 Adobe Audition CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@  9 root       admin  306 23 Jun 13:52 Adobe Bridge CC
drwxrwxr-x@ 11 root       admin  374 23 Jun 14:14 Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@  6 root       admin  204 23 Jun 14:13 Adobe Edge Animate CC 2014
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 14:01 Adobe Edge Code CC.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 14:09 Adobe Edge Reflow CC.app
drwxrwxr-x@  8 root       admin  272 23 Jun 14:01 Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit CC
drwxrwxr-x@  7 root       admin  238 23 Jun 14:13 Adobe Extension Manager CC
drwxrwxr-x@  6 root       admin  204 23 Jun 14:07 Adobe Extension Manager CS6
drwxrwxr-x@  9 root       admin  306 23 Jun 14:09 Adobe Fireworks CS6
drwxrwxr-x@ 18 root       admin  612 23 Jun 14:26 Adobe Flash Builder 4.7
drwxrwxr-x@ 12 root       admin  408 23 Jun 14:29 Adobe Flash CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@ 11 root       admin  374 23 Jun 14:12 Adobe Illustrator CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@ 13 root       admin  442 23 Jun 14:16 Adobe InCopy CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@ 14 root       admin  476 23 Jun 14:36 Adobe InDesign CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@  5 root       admin  170 23 Jun 14:31 Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014
drwxr-xr-x@  6 root       wheel  204 23 Jun 14:03 Adobe Muse CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@ 11 root       admin  374 23 Jun 14:06 Adobe Photoshop CC 2014
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 13:54 Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.app
drwxrwxr-x@  6 root       admin  204 23 Jun 13:55 Adobe Prelude CC 2014
drwxrwxr-x@  7 root       admin  238 23 Jun 13:58 Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014
drwxrwxrwx   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 14:20 Adobe Scout CC.app
drwxrwxr-x@  5 root       admin  170 23 Jun 13:59 Adobe SpeedGrade CC 2014
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 13 May  2013 App Store.app
drwxr-xr-x@  9 itsupport  admin  306 19 Oct  2013 Audacity
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 19 Apr  2013 Automator.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Calculator.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 18 Mar 06:58 Calendar.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Chess.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102  8 Jul  2013 Contacts.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102  9 Dec  2013 DVD Player.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Dashboard.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Dictionary.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 24 Mar 02:18 FaceTime.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:45 Final Cut Pro.app
drwxr-xr-x@  4 itsupport  admin  136  6 Jun 03:29 Firefox.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 16 Apr  2013 Font Book.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 20 Dec  2013 Game Center.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:37 GarageBand.app
drwxr-xr-x@  3 itsupport  admin  102  5 Jun 00:19 Google Chrome.app
drwxr-xr-x@  3 itsupport  admin  102 18 May  2013 HandBrake.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Image Capture.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Launchpad.app
drwxr-xr-x@  3 itsupport  admin  102 20 Aug  2012 MPEG Streamclip.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 25 Apr 04:50 Mail.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 28 Jun  2013 Maps.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102  7 May  2012 Messages.app
drwxrwxr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 15:01 Microsoft Lync.app
drwxrwxr-x@ 12 root       admin  408 23 Jun 14:59 Microsoft Office 2011
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:37 Microsoft Remote Desktop.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Mission Control.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 17 Jan 03:31 Notes.app
drwx------   3 itsupport  staff  102  3 Feb  2012 PCClient.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102  6 Dec  2013 Photo Booth.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 15 Jan 06:02 Preview.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 24 Apr 05:28 QuickTime Player.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 14:09 Reflow
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102  6 May  2013 Reminders.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:43 Safari.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:37 Skitch.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:37 SmartConverter.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Stickies.app
drwxr-xr-x   4 root       wheel  136 30 Jun 12:26 System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection.app
drwxrwxr-x+  3 root       wheel  102  4 Nov  2013 System Preferences.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102  1 Sep  2013 TextEdit.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:37 The Unarchiver.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 25 Aug  2013 Time Machine.app
drwxr-xr-x+ 27 root       admin  918 30 Jun 12:23 Utilities
drwxr-xr-x   3 itsupport  admin  102 21 Feb 16:34 VLC.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:43 iBooks.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:47 iMovie.app
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:48 iPhoto.app
drwxr-xr-x+  3 root       wheel  102 23 Jun 11:43 iTunes.app
OSX6648-Perm:~ itsupport$ 

Thanks!

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Did you check the console on one of the infected Macs? –  Buscar웃 Jun 30 at 23:53

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