partition device

OS X El Capitan: Disk Utility and System Permission Repairs

With OS X El Capitan, comes a complete redesign of Disk Utility, which will most likely bring with it, the usual level of moans, and groans when anything we often use changes.

The new layout is in essence no different to the previous version. We still have the sidebar to show us the Disk Layout for connected drives alongside the main window. However, the information for S.M.A.R.T (Status and Partition/Volume Formats, etc.) now shows in the main window when selected, rather than the footer, offering a more focused view.

focused over all view

The new default toolbar consists of what used to be the main window tabs that we’re used to seeing, like First Aid, Partition and Erase alongside the old toolbar options for Info and Mount.

new default tool bar

For those that used Disk Utility to create and restore Disk Images, that functionality is still available – by either editing the toolbar or selecting the options from the File and Edit menus.

Now for some changes that you may need to get used to!

Firstly, the Partition tab has become a pie chart. This may not be anything major but from my limited use I did find it slightly more difficult to drag the slider to a specified partition size. This became trickier at around the 15% mark of my drives capacity due to the figure disappearing. You have to either guess or keep moving it. Also, if you want to change the size of the new drive, then it can decide to add another partition rather than just making the original larger. (As displayed below)

partition device

Apple has simplified the First Aid option by removing the “Verify” and “Repair” buttons from “First Aid” and have left it with a single option. This may be confusing for some as it seems that your booted partition could be repaired, but you will still need to boot to the recovery partition or another partition to achieve this.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 15.52.59

System Permission repair has been removed. However, while some may complain about its removal, this feature has been made redundant. Due to the introduction of System Integrity Protection in El Capitan, the system permissions are now maintained by software updates and the system installer. Consequently, System Permission repairs are not required, and the feature doesn’t even have a command line option anymore as it’s also been removed.

Other than the repair permissions functionality, the rest of the command line diskutil functionality is still the same, including the option to create RAID sets even though it’s been removed from the Disk Utility application.

Overall, all of the changes made have been a positive step and are in keeping with Apple’s ethos of creating intuitive, simple to use and maintain Operating Systems.

3 Replies to "OS X El Capitan: Disk Utility and System Permission Repairs"

  • cashxx

    I argued that we should still have it in the CLI. I have had issues in the past with putting files in the user template and not working and manually running repair permissions would fix the issue. Now you have no option to repair those problems.

  • Magnum

    If you turn SIP off (and many will because it ruins certain programs like Xtrafinder and others), you may very well need to repair permissions at some point but you will not be able to because they removed it without even thinking that some will turn SIP off, especially early on.

    This is just one more example of Apple of taking perfectly functional software and destroying it for no other reason than change for change’s sake. It started with the GUI and things like Final Cut Pro and now even Disk Utility isn’t safe. The GUI RAID options are GONE. This is unforgivable. Since when do Mac users have to use a flipping CLI for ANYTHING? Are we turning into MS-Dos now??? They made the program worse, not better and that is a cardinal sin of software updates.

    • Zoe Short

      Apple have made this change with SIP not to remove functionality and annoy (which it has done for many) but to protect us from malicious coding which unfortunately due to growing market share is becoming increasingly more common. I agree with the fact that many will turn SIP off due to issues with 3rd party software but lets be thankful that they gave us that option and not 100% force us into SIP.

      As for the repair permissions option this may have been able to be left as a command line option like RAID but as a GUI option for so many users (especially home users which is why alot of the software has become simplified) would have caused more issues as with SIP it wouldn’t be able to work.

      This isn’t an Apple only thing, many companies make changes which can’t please everybody but without these companies software in the first place we’d have nothing.

      Hope that helps!

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