6 Disk Utility changes in OS X El Capitan

Jonny Evans reports for Computerworld, “Disk Utility has stayed more or less the same for years, but Apple has given the Mac power user’s much-loved maintenance tool a big overhaul in El Capitan, making it look different and removing familiar tools, including the popular ‘Repair Permissions’ command.”

“Gone is the box-like Disk Utility of yesterday to be replaced by a more colorful edition providing at-a-glance information of how you use your disk,” Evan reports. “This means you can see just how much of your Mac is consumed by Apps (blue), Photos (red), Audio (orange), Movies (green), and everything else, aka ‘Other’ (yellow). You can also see how much (or, in my case, how little) space is free (white). This is pretty much the same view as you’ll find in About this Mac under the Storage pane.”

“Disk Utility launches with this view and offers five choices to reach its remaining tools in its top bar: First Aid, Partition, Erase, Unmount and Info,” Evan reports. “The lack of Repair Permissions shouldn’t matter too much, according to Apple. The company claims that in El Capitan, ‘System file permissions are automatically protected, and updated, during Software Updates. The Repair Permissions function is no longer necessary.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Having permissions repaired automatically is a welcome improvement for the vast majority of OS X users (most of whom have never clicked “Repair Permissions” in their lives.


  1. I can no longer burn images to disk, set up RAID drives, I can’t even resize the fecking window so I can see all my drives at once.

    DU has been dumbed down to the point of being almost useless—way to go, Apple 🙁


      1. Macs used to be simple. Then something awful changed and the Mac GUI went to shit. Stupid Windows file extensions appeared. Custom icons became hard to create. Toolbar buttons disappeared. Arcane multi-keystroke commands multiplied. Commonly used commands that were on every toolbar suddenly disappeared, moved to right-click contextual menus or, worse, onto semi-translucent dumbed-down popup menus with only a small faction of the commands that a user wants.

        If Apple wants to be just like Microsoft, then Apple, just keep going down this road you’re traveling.

        1. Well, OK…I didn’t make the rules.
          But I do know what you mean.

          I haven’t bought a new Apple product in a couple of years.
          Plan on getting an Apple TV. Hope they haven’t screwed that idea up…..

        2. Very well said. Moving menu bar commands to inconsistent and context based right click commands has brought Mac OS to the confusing MS world that we used to sell against. It used to be if you knew one Mac program you knew 70% of all Mac programs. Things aren’t dumbed down they are being made stupid, sloppy, and inscrutable.

          I do not believe I will not need repair permissions because it is done automatically. Everything breaks and if there aren’t several ways to fix your OS then you are screwed. Nothing has ever “just worked,” it just used to work better.

          1. In other words, the Mac started off for simpletons and anal retentives and nothing has changed since 1984 (or whatever year you anally retentive smart a55ess want to correct me to).

            I have 79 Apple products in house and the only one I don’t use is the Mac OS x – what a piece of 5h!t.

        3. You are right Mike.
          Yet here is my spin on this matter.
          Mac use to be simple, easy to learn and understand but then came iOS.

          iOS truly made using a computer (a computing device) beyond simple. Once iPhone and IPad came to the larger masses, Apple started to try to further pull in Windows users. The Mac started to do things in Windows fashion. Scroll wheel to roll in opposite way (roll towards you is UP not Down), Window expansion (any side or corner can change the window size – not the bottom right anymore) etc. new nice tricks that the Mac never had before. All to ween PC Win users over. And then after starting that fad… Apple started to Kill its own Apps. Dumbing down iMove and Final Cut Pro.. they didn’t stop their. And there really was no need for Apple to dumb things down and actually make things difficult to work with. For the most part, it seemed as if Apple’s plan was to converge iOS simplicity to OSX. Yet Apple constantly tells us all its not the case. What is it then?
          I so agree with you Mike.

    1. Im afraid that 10.11 will be remembered as El CRAPitan.

      DU was simple and effective tool. Of course for some of us it was too techy, but RAID was and still is an absolute must. What about MiniMac, iMac, Mac Pro users having RAID volumes attached on TB? What about my 2x4TB RAID in my MacPro 2010?

      And dont tell me that hardware RAID is better than software RAID. There is no such thing like hardware RAID. Even hardware RAID card has software inside to control your RAID volumes. And not everyone is willing spend 150USD to buy used Apple RAID Card.

      And please MDN stop telling tell me balooneys that this is correct decision. Is somebody pushing you gently to cover up this rainbow coloured DU mess?

  2. I never understood why OS X couldn’t keep permissions under control – since it only ever required a click of a button.

    This probably would have been fixed long ago if the iPhone had not bled the OS X development team of resources.

    1. Now there is a fresh and possibly awesome answer to all this.

      Apple could have just kept things as is with OSX and just let it be… since iOS has become the computing OS for the rest of the world due to its insanely easy to use and understand methodology.

  3. Having experienced the complete failure of a popular brand hardware RAID enclosure some years back, I moved to SoftRAID. My RAID consists of multiple single-disk enclosures vice one multi-disk enclosure. This provides the best protection from an enclosure failure, power supply failure, cable failure, etc.. Since becoming a customer, SoftRAID has performed flawlessly. I’ll never go back to a hardware RAID.

    1. $179 it says. Non-beta V5.1 due out on 26 Oct. I guess pro-users will buy it or figure how to create RAIDs some other way.

      Apart from that (which doesn’t affect me)… El Cap seems a really solid update that has fixed problems (like viewing big pdfs and Mail slowness), and DiskUtility is fast and easy to use.

      1. I love El Cap. It’s faster and more stable than Yosemite and it finally seems to have simplified and tamed Sharing across different Macs and PCs.

        It does break some hardware compatibility though. My X-Rite DTP94B colorimeter, used to calibrate my LCD displays for professional photo editing, no longer works with two calibration software products under El Cap. I hate it when perfectly good devices get orphaned like this.

  4. Um…. Raid support ? I know command line is still there, but hey apple… why *REMOVE* functionality like this from your software…. It reeks of ‘microsoftian’ practices….

    1. This from the SoftRAID website:

      “Did you know that it’s been more than 5 years since Apple engineers worked on the AppleRAID driver, the one built into the Disk Utility program on your Mac? They last time they fixed bugs in it was 2009. That was the year that the iPhone 3G first shipped, the year when Apple first released Snow Leopard and a year before the first iPad shipped.”

      It would appear the writing has been on the wall for some time now.

  5. ‘System file permissions are automatically protected, and updated, during Software Updates. The Repair Permissions function is no longer necessary.’”

    If Apple, and all the various developers (especially annoying Adobe) can actually set permissions correctly during Software Updates, then fine! But I remember, not so long ago, having to run ‘Repair Permissions’ after EVERY Apple and Adobe update because what was written to disk was WRONG and often lead to havoc.

    [Of interest: There is a BS meme making the rounds that ‘Repair Permissions’ only ever repaired Apple installed software permissions. WRONG! Sorry TidBITS. It accompanies the also BS meme that ‘Repair Permissions’ was to be avoided when repairing an errant OS X installation.]

    There ARE, in fact, problems with permissions persisting when running OS X 10.11 El Capitan, for certain software. One of them turns out to be the geekware Homebrew:

    How to fix permission issues on Homebrew in OS X El Capitan?

    There are some workarounds for accessing ‘Repair Permissions’ on the net. One of them is ‘FireWolf OS X PE’. But user beware! This is geek level stuff and may result in geek level messes.

    In any case, we’ll be watching this ‘feature’ of El Capitan to see if it lives up to Apple’s promise.

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