View Full Version : copy ACLs ??

02-06-2008, 11:24 AM

What are the pros and cons of the choice:

Options / Advanced / Copy ACLs

I would think copying them would invariably be a good idea, since I would think that some software would rely on them (eg, being set the way they were left)? Not true?

Thanks in advance for any time you might have for a reply,


02-06-2008, 12:46 PM
Leave it on. The option to turn it off is in case an advanced user (hence, Advanced tab) has some reason to not copy them, or if copying ACLs causes trouble (as it did in some cases when we were using Apple's API for copying them rather than our own - a 2.5 change).

07-18-2011, 08:26 PM
I've been having issues with ACLs ever since I tried to move from a SuperDuper clone of a 2006 MacBook Pro to a 2011 MacBook Pro. The migration went horrible and I've have many permissions issues after dragging over tons of folders/settings. This all happened in an emergency situation, so I had no choice and didn't know the SuperDuper clone was going to fail on what I thought was similar hardware.


After lots of fudging around with permissions on folders, etc. and other issues, I'm finally able to get rid of most of of my Disk Utility ACL errors with this in Terminal:

sudo chmod -RN /var/db/launchd.db

But there's still some lingering ones here:

ACL found but not expected on "private/var/root/Library".
ACL found but not expected on "private/var/root/Library/Preferences"

All that said, what are the disadvantages of NOT copying over the ACLs with SuperDuper? What issues might arise? Because I'm thinking it might just flush things out for me and help, but I'm just not sure without being able to weigh the pros and cons.

07-18-2011, 08:29 PM
Don't worry about your ACL errors in Repair Permissions unless they're specifically causing actual problems. They're common. Don't muck about!

For your Home folder stuff, as I recall the "password reset" part of your OSX install disc (boot from it) also has a way of resetting ACLs there.

Whatever you do, don't skip copying ACLs. Big mistake.

07-19-2011, 04:03 PM
Whatever you do, don't skip copying ACLs. Big mistake.

Thank you so much for your reply and I will certainly heed your advice and not skip copying ACLs. In the past I've tried to reset the ACLs with the boot disk, terminal, ACLr8 and everything and no joy.

My permissions issues since "migrating" to this new MBP "i7" from an older MBP "Dual 2 Core" SD clone has been awful, but due to circumstances, I simply don't have the time to reinstall the entire OS and all settings/apps. It would take weeks of work and can't be done at this point or in the foreseeable future.

Because of dire time constraints I was forced to drag and drop Library items, the entire Applications folder, etc. from the clone dmg image of the old MBP to the new MBP so all the applications settings, registration, etc. were in place and I could get right to work. Believe it or not, it's worked for the most part, but I've been plagued with massive ACL errors and permissions issues that I've "fixed" along the way. I have all kinds of things going on like folders having an "_unknown" name in the "get info" sharing & permissions pane that I can't delete, etc. Also, issues with read only folders that wouldn't work with Dreamweaver until I changed to read/write and applied to all enclosed in the folder.

Some apps like TextSoap, Meerkat don't work as intended and/or save settings properly because of ACL issues and some settings aren't saved in others like Parallels registration, etc.

BUT! I did notice something pretty cool. I ran Disk Utility after booting to a new clone of this MPB i7 on an external USB hard drive and almost all the hundreds of Application ACL errors were gone except:

ACL found but not expected on "private/var/root/Library".
ACL found but not expected on "private/var/root/Library/Preferences"

At first I thought it was because of the terminal command that I mentioned in my previous post, but I tried the same command on the source (not the clone) and it didn't remove the vast array of Application ACL errors.

So, I'm thinking I should just clone "the clone" back over and then I'll only have those two issues?

It would appear that something that SuperDuper is NOT bringing over in regards to ACLs is helpful. Once again, with my current time constraints I don't even have the time to clone "the clone" back over, but once I do, I'll report back here.

My hopes is that if anyone else is put into this situation they won't have to go through all the grief I have by checking out this thread.

07-19-2011, 06:45 PM
I've migrated hundreds of times without any problems like this, so I can't say your situation is normal at all. Very weird.

07-20-2011, 07:19 PM
Yes, I've migrated many Macs, many times, over many years with SuperDuper before as well with no issues whatsoever except maybe having to re-register a few apps and a small adjustment or two afterwards.

I think the big difference this time was the clone failed because the new MPB i7 uses a much different architecture for its Mac OS than the MBP Dual 2 Core that preceded it.

That's partially why to this day there still isn't a bootable version of Diskwarrior for the 2011 MacBook Pros.

Sucks, but that's the way it goes with IT sometimes. :D

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The other thing is I was in a dire situation where my MBP had to be replaced with severe time constraints (I was right in the middle of a project where all the PCs were down for an entire business and they were going to go out of business if not back up ASAP) and I was literally taking entire folders from my Library on the clone dmg and just throwing it onto the new Mac so all the massive amount of settings, software registrations, etc. were in place. Migration assistant failed and, of course, the SD clone wasn't booting the new Mac at all either because the hardware required different components under the hood as I mentioned earlier.

When I took it into the Apple store later, the head guys there couldn't even believe it was running as well as it was considering what I had to do without a working clone, a Time machine backup, or Migration Assistant. I do think I would have had a better experience if I had also had a Time Machine backup to work with, but I had come to rely on SD working so flawlessly all these years, I didn't use Time Machine (to my own folly & that'll never happen again).

Surprisingly, this machine is doing pretty well overall... considering. When things cool down in the future, I'm going to do a complete, clean, fresh reinstall of everything and get all my settings transferred over. I'm not exaggerating when I say that'll take 1-2 weeks with solid 10 hour days to complete. In the meantime, I try to make this machine run as best I can.

07-20-2011, 09:21 PM
I don't think the architectural difference would force any actual operational change in the way Migration (which, after all, simply copies files) works. Assuming you did it during first boot and not after you'd established accounts, which would be a definite issue...

07-23-2011, 09:33 PM
Migration failed to work and came up with errors when I attempted to migrate from the SuperDuper dmg clone of the old MBP (after the clone failed to boot the new MBP). Tried many methods with the mounted dmg but they all failed. Probably would have worked if I still had the actual machine, I'm sure.

Unfortunately, because of the circumstances the old MBP was gone and my only option was the SuperDuper dmg. After everything else failed, because of the dire time constraints I did not have the time to reinstall hundreds of applications, etc. -- so, I did what I had to do and manual copied over the Applications folder (I hand picked those) and Library folders including items handpicked from Application Support, etc., etc.

I did all this for roughly 48 hours straight without sleep. But, even without a clone (that worked) or migration (that worked) - I was up and running and able to "save the day" for my client. How appreciated that was is another story. :rolleyes:

It's been so many months I don't remember the specific migration errors I got, but I tried every workaround under the sun.

If I had had more time, I probably would have tried to clone it to another MPB that was a Dual Core 2 machine, then used that machine to migrate to my new MBP i7. But, once again.... didn't have that or any other luxuries during that time.

07-23-2011, 11:49 PM
Or restore to some other blank drive, and migrate from that. Weird...