Photoshop in OSX workgroups

Getting a “this file is locked” error in Photoshop, when no such lock exists?

As you may know, Apple tried to retire user Umasks in Leopard. As you may know, Mac workgroups are hell without uMasks – user A creates a folder full of documents for everyone to modify, but the group can’t write into the folder or modify any documents. It’s a hoot!

The solution was ACLs – basically NTFS-type permissions that Apple ported over for Tiger. They’re super, but the implementation was a little lacking – they were basically broken in Finder Get info for the whole of Tiger and therefore pretty much useless. In Leopard, you *still* can’t do any proper ACL admin in Finder, but they’re pretty working in Server Admin (and Xsan Admin), and as a result it all got manageable.

Except for Photoshop (and FCP, too, apparently, but as you’re meant to always work with a local copy of a project in FCP workgroups, not an issue I’ve personally run into). Photoshop just plain doesn’t notice ACL permissions: if a file’s POSIX permissions say you can’t write to it, photoshop gives you the following:

Photoshop error dialog

IOW, it thinks you’ve locked the file, OS 9-style. This is true of at least CS3 and CS4 (11.0). The only solutions were either some funky watch scripts that chmodded stuff, or get everyone to log into the server as the same person – fine for three employees or less, but stark raving mad for anything bigger.


In 10.5.3, Apple relented and allowed a new method of defining per-user Umasks, this allows you to spec that new files created by User A are writeable by anyone in A’s primary group. At last, you can rest.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: