auto-login multiple accounts

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Barry Margolin, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. The Accounts system preference allows you to configure one account to
    login automatically. What I'd like to do is auto-login both my personal
    account and the admin account, with the admin account running in the
    background as if I'd fast-switched away from it.

    One thought I have is to enable the admin account as the auto-login
    account, and give it as a login item a script that will fast-switch to
    my personal account. However, this will require me to enter my password
    in the fast-switch login screen, so it isn't really an auto-login.
    Barry Margolin, Nov 29, 2008
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  2. AFAIK, that's not possible.

    Anyway when you switch to the other account, you'll have to login
    anyway. All you're saving is running the login startup items and MacOS
    X needs to window server to be pointing to the user being logged in.
    Michael Vilain, Nov 29, 2008
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  3. Barry Margolin

    ZnU Guest

    I don't see why not. That's the default configuration of the system. It
    wouldn't be if Apple thought it was a bad idea.
    ZnU, Nov 29, 2008
  4. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    the fact that one must go out of their way to find that means it's not
    a serious risk.
    i too am curious why he needs both logged in at the same time. for the
    occasional admin task, just log in as the admin user or use sudo in
    Guest, Nov 29, 2008
  5. Because non-admin accounts don't automatically download software
    updates. I'd like to leave the admin account idling so it can do this.
    Barry Margolin, Nov 30, 2008
  6. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    You're saying because something isn't thrown in your face, it must not
    be important or relevant?? Are you really comfortable making that

    if it was a huge risk to end users, apple would make it far more
    obvious that it's important to use a non-admin account. the fact that
    they don't means that apple doesn't think it's a big deal. why don't
    you ask apple why they hide it.

    in the 7 years i've been using os x, i've suffered no ill effects from
    using an admin account daily, and i find the convenience of being able
    to do admin type tasks such as install and delete software to be worth
    the tiny (and mostly theoretical) additional risk.

    if i ran random crap downloaded off the 'net, then maybe i'd be more
    worried about rogue software doing stuff it shouldn't.
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
  7. Barry Margolin

    Wes Groleau Guest

    If they recommend we do something, does not putting that recommendation
    in sky-writing mean they don't really mean it? Did they _hide_ it, or
    did they just fail to put it in a good spot?
    Wes Groleau, Nov 30, 2008
  8. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    Your statement assumes the only reason Apple doesn't ask all users to do
    it is because it's not very important. I think there are other reasons
    involved that have nothing to do with whether using an administrative
    account for day-to-day tasks is risky or not.[/QUOTE]

    what other reasons are those?
    so why did they develop time machine? just for the pretty graphics?
    and what about time capsule? it sure looks like they *are* making a
    big deal about backing up.
    that sounds more like a strawman. time machine is about the easiest
    backup system going. the fact that apple doesn't include an extra hard
    drive is not proof that they think backups are not needed.
    so why did mike say one had to go out of their way to find it? and if
    it is 'right on their web site for all to see' why have so few people
    seen it and taken the advice?
    ad hominem attacks don't help.
    good thing i have backups then. and in the 25 years i've been using
    macs (and classic mac os was essentially *always* root), i've never had
    an issue. the risk, at least with me, is negligible. ymmv.
    some software requires being logged in as an admin to install, not just
    authenticating, so yes you *do* sometimes need to log into an admin

    and as mentioned elsewhere, software update won't run. your command
    line solution installs all updates, something that is not always
    desirable, particularly if one of the updates requires a reboot.
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
  9. Good idea!
    Barry Margolin, Nov 30, 2008
  10. Apple's default configuration is a compromise they chose to make between
    high security and ease of use.

    Admin accounts aren't like Unix superuser accounts, they don't have full
    access to the system. The only system directory they can write to
    directly is /Applications, but they can't modify the rest of the OS
    without requiring authentication.

    While it's better to run in a non-admin account, it's also inconvenient
    because you have to switch users to perform any administrative tasks.
    Some of us know how to modify /etc/sudoers so that we can run
    maintenance tasks from a non-admin account, but this is beyond the
    expected abilities of most Mac users.

    As mentioned in this thread, one of the standard tasks that users should
    do is automatically checking for software updates. If you run a
    non-admin account, this doesn't happen. I keep abreast of Apple
    updates, and can run Software Update manually when necessary. It's not
    something I expect my 70-something mother to do. I have her Mac set up
    the traditional way, with her using an admin account set to download
    updates automatically. She has enough trouble clicking on the "Install"
    button (I'm not joking), I don't want her to have to do anything more
    Barry Margolin, Nov 30, 2008
  11. Barry Margolin

    Wes Groleau Guest

    The Software Update in the Admin account
    that the OP wants also installs all updates.
    Wes Groleau, Nov 30, 2008
  12. If they recommend we do something, does not putting that
    recommendation in sky-writing mean they don't really mean it? Did
    they _hide_ it, or did they just fail to put it in a good spot?[/QUOTE]

    They recommended it for enterprise system administrators. The average
    user will never see it. And the average user will never suffer for not
    having seen it.
    Michelle Steiner, Nov 30, 2008
  13. Barry Margolin

    Wes Groleau Guest

    And when did Apple release Time Machine?
    When Macintosh was over twenty years old
    and OS X was eight years old?

    Wes Groleau
    "If it wasn't for that blasted back-hoe,
    a hundred of us could be working with shovels"
    "Yeah, and if it weren't for our shovels,
    a thousand of us could be working with spoons."
    Wes Groleau, Nov 30, 2008
  14. Barry Margolin

    Wes Groleau Guest

    I used to run Software Update manually, but a year or more ago,
    I just put it in a nightly cron job. If Apple drops a bad update,
    I can undo it from backup. So far, that has never happened to me.

    Wes Groleau

    If you put garbage in a computer nothing comes out but garbage.
    But this garbage, having passed through a very expensive machine,
    is somehow ennobled and none dare criticize it.
    Wes Groleau, Nov 30, 2008
  15. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    last year.
    for roughly 20 years, making a backup was no more complicated than
    plugging in a hard drive and dragging the main disk icon (or a specific
    folder or group of folders) to the backup disk icon. in other words,
    it was built-in then, and made more complicated when os x came out. it
    just wasn't automatic or incremental snapshots.
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
  16. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    You've got to be kidding me. Backing up was *never* that simple.[/QUOTE]

    sure it was. before os x, all you needed to do was drag. in os x, you
    need superduper or carbon copy cloner to correctly copy files and
    maintain permissions.
    retrospect offers a lot more features than simply dragging a folder did
    back then and now it offers a lot more than what time machine does.
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
  17. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    The average user won't *ever* accidentally delete files in their system
    that they might not otherwise have deleted so easily if they had been
    logged into a non-administrative account? Really? You must not have a
    very good memory, because users post in these news groups from time to
    time suffering from exactly this kind of mistake.[/QUOTE]

    *occasionally* there's a post that someone deleted something.

    and what is going to stop them from authenticating and deleting it?
    they're already poking around in areas that require many many clicks,
    so it's a stretch to think that it's even an accident.
    if they're stupid enough to run software from non-trusted sources then
    there's not much anyone can do. they'll screw themselves at some

    there was a pirated 'network install' version of microsoft office a few
    years ago that deleted the user's home folder. running as non-admin
    would not have helped that situation at all. a backup, however, would.
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
  18. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    What are the other reasons I think Apple doesn't ask all users to create
    two accounts, one admin, and another non-admin, and refrain from using
    the admin account for day-to-day tasks? Well, for one, I think the
    average user doesn't know enough about security basis to be able to
    understand the reasons not running with escalated privileges makes good
    sense. Two, it would complicate the admittedly simple process of setting
    up your Mac, and Apple wants the setup process to be ultra simple. I can
    think of other reasons, but those will do for now.[/QUOTE]

    in other words, using two accounts is a pain and more hassle than the
    average person cares to deal with. that's basically what i'm saying.
    the principle is valid, however, i'm saying the benefit is minor and
    the added inconvenience is major.
    sure, i've deleted a bunch of things by mistake. that's what backups
    are for. in fact, what i've accidentally deleted were *personal files*
    that could still be accidentally deleted in a non-admin account, so
    your plan would not have helped any.

    however, having backups *did* help, and they'll help no matter how much
    someone screws up the system, although it's possible to lose a few
    things that miss the backup window.
    yes, that's what i'm saying, and adding to that, a non-admin account
    would not have helped me at all. i would still have ended up deleting
    my own files by mistake.
    i want to say adobe, but it's been a couple of years since i installed
    cs3 (don't have cs4 yet) so i honestly don't remember if it did or not.
    i vaguely recall that photoshop didn't like to run in non-admin
    accounts long ago, but i think they've addressed that issue. i do
    remember having to log in as an admin (yes i do use non-admin accounts
    at times).
    you said softwareupdate -ia. according to the man page, -ia means
    download, unarchive and install all appropriate updates.
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
  19. I think JR's opinion is his own on this. There may be others who share
    it, but I'm not one of them. I can point to a bunch of reasons not to
    bother and he can counter with a bunch that says it's good practice. He
    can have his opinions as I can have mine.

    Don't bother trying to teaching a pig to sing. It frustrates you and
    annoys the pig--Lazarus Long
    Michael Vilain, Nov 30, 2008
  20. Barry Margolin

    Guest Guest

    instead, they spent a couple of years developing time machine so that
    it's ridiculously easy to back up. you don't even *need* a manual to
    use it (not that anyone even reads them).
    Guest, Nov 30, 2008
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