Because we are still anxiously awaiting the documentation on the workings of the whitelist in System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Full Disk Access (previously Application Data in earlier betas), I report the following experimental results with macOS 10.14 Beta 7 (18A365a): [Edit 2018-08-22: Beta 8 seems to be the same.]
- If I click the + button under the whitelist and enter my .app, it gets access as expected, but only if it is located in /Applications, and not attached to by lldb (not running in Xcode).
- Even if the full path to a command-line Helper tool which my app contains (/Applications/MyApp.app/Contents/Helpers/MyHelper) is explicitly entered into the Full Disk Access list (*), and it appears in the whitelist separately from my .app, this command-line tool will be denied access when it runs. (Access worked in macOS 10.14 Beta 3. Beta 4 broke it.)
- After I similarly enter /Applications/Arq.app/Contents/Library/Arq Agent.app into the whitelist, overnight backups in the background by the backup app which I use, Arq, start working again.
- If I have one copy of a .app already entered into the whitelist, and + add another copy, the whitelist silently remains the same, showing only one entry for the duplicated app. (Unfortunately, the whitelist does not show an item's path in any way – no tooltip.)
Therefore, I conclude that, in order for a executable to be granted Full Disk Access, it must be…
- the main executable of a whitelisted .app, although it is OK for this whitelisted app to be a helper/child of another app, located in the parent app's Contents/Library.
- not attached to by a debugger.
- located within /Applications.
Although whitelisting a certain .app will enable its main executable and any child processes, it will not enable a helper/child app when the helper/child is launched by others in the background. The helper/child must itself be explicitly present in the whitelist.
* * *
If anyone can confirm, deny, or elaborate on these conclusions, I would really appreciate it. There is maybe only four weeks to go, and it appears that I have a lot of work to do. Was the breaking of command line tools in Beta 4 intentional?
(*) To enter a helper component such as this into the whitelist, because the navigation sheet presented by the + button will not navigate into .app packages, the user must hit the + button, then ⌘⇧G, then enter the absolute path to the helper.
P.S. to other developers: The new restrictions are apparently implemented with System Integrity Protection (SIP). You can still debug your app if you disable SIP