I ran the following command by mistake:

sudo chmod 744 ~/..

and I can't boot my macbook anymore, it freezes with the brown screen and ajax-style spin. What should I do to make it work normally again?

I tried:

a) Disk utility (repair permissions) - didn't help b) resetpassword -> reset ACL and permissions for home directory - didn't help.

I booted in the recovery mode, opened the terminal and went to "/Volumes/Macintosh HD". Yes, this was the disk (or should I say "path") I changed the permissions for.

How do I restore them now? And what are they were?


I was able to restore it by going to the terminal in recovery mode and performing:

chmod 777 "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/"

But I believe that 777 is too much. What's the default umask for ~/.. ?


I don't know why it worked since ~/.. means /Users, not /.

  • It's on my machine: drwxr-xr-x 8 root admin 272 27 lut 14:53 .. – Mateusz Szlosek Jun 12 '14 at 15:47
  • @MateuszSzlosek, and what's the umask for that? – アレックス Jun 12 '14 at 15:48
  • @MateuszSzlosek Really? No ACLs? – grg Jun 12 '14 at 15:48
  • that's my output from ls -la inside $HOME how to check umask ? – Mateusz Szlosek Jun 12 '14 at 15:53
  • @MateuszSzlosek, it can be calculated from "drwxr-xr-x", let me check. – アレックス Jun 12 '14 at 16:00

I would do two things to restore a Mac in this situation.

  1. boot to recovery mode and run Disk Utility - repair the drive, the volume and then repair permissions.
  2. Boot to recovery mode and run the installer. That should fix or log the exact directory that has improper ACL/permissions and re-create all basic mount points.

The installer log can be read in recovery mode boot if step 2 doesn't fix things and we can perhaps refine exactly what directory or directories are now messed up. There is a chance that you had a separate failure and your chmod was coincidental to the issue as opposed to causative.

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