Atom helper wants to make changes


#1

Starting today, my coworker and I are getting a window popup stating that “Atom Helper wants to make changes” and asking for my password. It does this seemingly at random. Has something gone wrong with our permissions?

Thanks in advance!


#2

Have you followed the suggestions in the Debugging document? Also, could you give the following information?

  • Which version of Atom are you using?
  • What OS and version are you running?
  • Can you reproduce the issue after completely exiting Atom and restarting using atom --safe?

#3

Which version of Atom are you using?

0.204.0

What OS and version are you running?

OS X 10.10.2

Can you reproduce the issue after completely exiting Atom and restarting using atom --safe?

Yes. Immediately on save. See below if I click cancel on the window above:


#4

Where are you trying to save the file? Do you have permissions to write that file or in that directory?


#5

I’ve been using that directory for years without issue but you are correct. The files were set to read only. Don’t know why this did not dawn on me. I believe this to be a non-issue in regards to atom. Thanks.


#6

I’m having the exact same problem! Has anyone found a solution for this?

When I try to save a file I get the following:


#7

Do you have permissions to that directory? As you can see in the post above:


#8

I tried setting all the permission to Read and Write for all the folders but it didn’t work. Changing the permissions to read and write to a single file fixed the issue.

I have over 700 files in the project I’m working on, does this mean I have to change the permissions to each file?


#9

Has any one found a solution to this yet? It’s driving me crazy!

My OS user account says I’m an Administrator, so I don’t see why it would ask me for the password.

I’m using Atom 1.5.3 on OS X El Capitan 10.11.3.

I would appreciate any help!


#10

Even Administrator accounts need a password to authorize some actions. Changing the permissions on that one file fixed it for that, but not the others in the project?


#11

Correct, I’ve can manage to fix it for single files but I have to do each manually. I have over 700+ files on the project and the rest of my team adds new files every day.


#12

How are they adding files? Is it through version control, or via something like FTP?


#13

Version control, but it should not be the problem since I have the same set up on my Macbook Pro as well and I can save without being prompt for a password. The issue is only with my iMac


#14

You could automate the permission setting using a small script, but that wouldn’t be solving the problem.


#15

Thanks Mark, but I rather find the issue and fix it the correct way. It’s probably something silly I’m missing out.


#16

Atom can’t do anything about how permissions are set on your files. The correct fix is to figure out why your version control system is setting the permissions that way (or why the permissions are coming through incorrectly) and fix it there.


#17

I am getting a similar error running Mac OS X 10.11.4 on a brand new iMac. The atom info is:
➜ ~ atom --version
Atom : 1.7.2
Electron: 0.36.8
Chrome : 47.0.2526.110
Node : 5.1.1

Even if I just open Atom without opening any files, this popup appears every time. There is clearly a permissions issue somewhere, and I would like to find it. I went through the Atom debugging steps and other than a couple deprecation errors, nothing in there about permissions.

Can anyone provide me with some troubleshooting tips to find out exactly what file(s) or folder(s) might be triggering this. I even took a process sample of the running Atom Helper process in Activity Monitor, and my untrained eyes didn’t see anything there about permissions.

I really would like to dig deeper into this, but don’t know where to look.


#18

As a follow up, I went into iTerm and drilled down into the Atom Help app to check for permissions trouble and everything looks good there:

➜  /Applications ls -al | grep Atom
drwxr-xr-x   3 lairadmin       staff    102 Apr 18 18:15 Atom.app
➜  /Applications cd Atom.app;ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x   3 lairadmin  staff   102 Apr 18 18:15 .
drwxrwxr-x+ 72 root       admin  2448 Apr 28 18:19 ..
drwxr-xr-x   8 lairadmin  staff   272 Apr 18 18:28 Contents
➜  Atom.app cd Contents;ls -al
total 88
drwxr-xr-x   8 lairadmin  staff    272 Apr 18 18:28 .
drwxr-xr-x   3 lairadmin  staff    102 Apr 18 18:15 ..
drwxr-xr-x   9 lairadmin  staff    306 Apr 18 18:15 Frameworks
-rw-r--r--   1 lairadmin  staff  39580 Apr 18 18:16 Info.plist
drwxr-xr-x   3 lairadmin  staff    102 Apr 18 18:28 MacOS
-rw-r--r--   1 lairadmin  staff      8 Apr 18 18:15 PkgInfo
drwxr-xr-x  10 lairadmin  staff    340 Apr 18 18:17 Resources
drwxr-xr-x   3 lairadmin  staff    102 Apr 18 18:28 _CodeSignature
➜  Contents cd Frameworks;ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  9 lairadmin  staff  306 Apr 18 18:15 .
drwxr-xr-x  8 lairadmin  staff  272 Apr 18 18:28 ..
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:15 Atom Helper.app
drwxr-xr-x  6 lairadmin  staff  204 Apr 19 16:43 Electron Framework.framework
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:15 Electron Helper EH.app
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:15 Electron Helper NP.app
drwxr-xr-x  7 lairadmin  staff  238 Apr 19 16:43 Mantle.framework
drwxr-xr-x  7 lairadmin  staff  238 Apr 19 16:43 ReactiveCocoa.framework
drwxr-xr-x  7 lairadmin  staff  238 Apr 19 16:43 Squirrel.framework
➜  Frameworks cd Atom\ Helper.app;ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:15 .
drwxr-xr-x  9 lairadmin  staff  306 Apr 18 18:15 ..
drwxr-xr-x  7 lairadmin  staff  238 Apr 18 18:28 Contents
➜  Atom Helper.app cd Contents;ls -al
total 16
drwxr-xr-x  7 lairadmin  staff  238 Apr 18 18:28 .
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:15 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 lairadmin  staff  946 Apr 18 18:16 Info.plist
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:28 MacOS
-rw-r--r--  1 lairadmin  staff    8 Apr 18 18:15 PkgInfo
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff  102 Apr 18 18:28 _CodeSignature
drwxr-xr-x  6 lairadmin  staff  204 Apr 18 18:20 bin
➜  Contents cd MacOS;ls -al
total 40
drwxr-xr-x  3 lairadmin  staff    102 Apr 18 18:28 .
drwxr-xr-x  7 lairadmin  staff    238 Apr 18 18:28 ..
-rwxr-xr-x  1 lairadmin  staff  18128 Apr 18 18:28 Atom Helper
➜  MacOS file Atom\ Helper
Atom Helper: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
➜  MacOS

#19

Does your normal login account have admin permissions or do you have a separate admin account for that?


#20

As the error message indicates, Atom wants to install an update. You need administrative permissions to write to Applications.