Micro Center - How to create a New User Account in Mac OS X El Capitan
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To allow this user to make changes to the system settings, add programs, and perform other system functions beyond basic use, select Administrator.
For lower access accounts, choose Standard or Managed with Parental Controls as appropriate. Sharing Only and Group are special options for specific needs. For more, refer to your operating system's documentation. Selecting Administrator will give the user the ability to make changes to your system without your approval. This is necessary in order to access some services on the IU network. In day-to-day use Administrator accounts and Standard accounts behave the same. However, there are many situations and workflows on macOS which require authenticating as an Administrator account.
The first user created on an unmanaged Mac out of the box will always be an Adminstrator user. Most Mac users use an Administrator account. Many of the workflows built-in to macOS assume an adminstrator account. One example is setting up a new printer. With an Administrator account you can install third party software. You can also install malicious software.
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Often malicious software will trick users into installing by masquerading as or hiding in an installer for something useful. However, since you get prompted to authenticate even with an administrative account, the better advice is to take these prompts very seriously and consider what confirming this prompt will really do or install.
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The only difference you get when using a standard account is that you need to enter a different username and password in an authentication box instead of just the password. If this helps you pause and consider what you are actually doing, then great! Then this is the proper workflow for you.
However, I suspect that most users would be just as non-considerate of this dialog with a separate username and password as they would otherwise. The only difference between Adminstrator accounts and Standard accounts is the membership of the admins group.
You can check whether a given user is a member of the admin group with the dseditgroup tool:. The authorization database controls access privileges everywhere else.
Mainly the root account can read, update, delete all local user accounts. It can control file and folder privileges and ownership. It can start system services running in the background and assign system network ports with a port number lower than Most of this is managed by a process called launchd which is the first process to run on macOS.
How to create a New User Account in Mac OS X El Capitan
Many commands require to be run as root or with elevated root privileges. On macOS, however, there are limits to what the root account can do. System Integrity Protection is a mechanism which protects important parts of the OS from mnodification, even with root permissions. Only certain processes signed by Apple are allowed to modify these protected files and directories.
Usually this means Apple signed installer pkgs for software and security updates. Apple lists a set of top-level directories that are protected.
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