I have a few that after install will refuse to open - no error. The first time they may appear in the Dock for a second or two; then disappear.

It may or may not be a coincidence - but both have 'storage management' in common: SeafileClient and PydioSync. Perhaps more likely to be relevant - both are also using Qt. (It is a coincidence).

If I run in terminal from /Applications/[name].app/Contents/MacOS/[script name] then in some cases I see the process exit with an uncaught exception: NSException.

I can find no similar complaint for either, and have tried a couple of versions. In other words, I'm fairly sure it's something weird with my system.

I've recently reinstalled OS X, and am on 10.11.3. The issue persists after reboot.

After a bit more digging, I've found - bizarrely - that if I launch with sudo, they work fine. Completely fine. But after closing either via the app or the attached terminal, they still won't open normally.

I didn't do anything odd to install these - two were downloaded .dmgs, and one was an Homebrew Cask. Other apps function fine.

Any idea what may have caused this, or how to fix it?

Permissions set to 755 (anyone can execute) in all cases.

  • 1
    NSException usually means that the app wasn't coded properly. I'd contact the the developer and tell him and maybe he can help. Jan 27, 2016 at 21:10
  • @RedEagle2000 That's why I mentioned that I've tried multiple versions, and that nobody else seems to be reporting this issue. It's also two different applications. It seems it must be a very localised issue.
    – OJFord
    Jan 27, 2016 at 21:14
  • It is still the developers responsibility to write code that catches exceptions - in cases like yours that code would help in identifying the problem
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:22
  • 1
    In your title you mention sudo but not in the text - note sudo ... will have a different effect than just running the app
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:25
  • @Mark I agree generally, but to actually solve my problem contacting the developer is unlikely to help. It's affecting several applications; is clearly an issue on my end.
    – OJFord
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


Did you perchance move your user directory? If so, I suspect what's happened is that the owner/group of those applications is not the same as "you", and that's why they work under sudo and not normally.

I had this happen to me when I got my new computer. For some reason the machine refused to use the user/group ID from the old machine, and thus I wasn't part of the user/group who had access to things. I was able to fix most of this by selecting my user folder, Get(ting) Info, and then using the gizmo at the bottom to take ownership of everything inside the folder.

I also recall that there were lingering effects elsewhere, but I don't specifically recall apps being a problem. Nevertheless, I think you want to check to see if you have write access to the various /library folders, both in your own user folder and the system folders. Just try saving a text file into the one in your user folder and see what happens.

  • Ah - no, not quite, but I do have user apps directory symlinked to system, so you might be on to it there. Needless to say, this hasn't been a problem before now so I assumed it was 'safe enough'.. That said, one of them is owned by me:admin.. So surely that should work even if the root:admin ones didn't?
    – OJFord
    Jan 29, 2016 at 20:07

App bundles have very specific permissions requirements in order to function correctly, it's not just a matter of setting execute bits. (in fact, I believe certain files must not have the execute bit set).

If they are in /Applications, I believe using Disk Utility's permission Verify/Repair will fix this for you.

  • Disk Utility's Repair Permissions only works on Apple apps in /Applications and the feature was removed in El Capitan.
    – grg
    Jan 29, 2016 at 22:06
  • Wow…must hve forgotten the first part and the second part is surprising news to me. Thanks for the clarification.
    – ghostly_s
    Jan 29, 2016 at 22:17

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