"make sure you have permission to write to /tmp/501.." error - Help!

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Dave Smithz, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Dave Smithz

    Dave Smithz Guest

    Hi there,

    PC man on my friends Mac trying to help. But this error seems more serious
    then others I helped fix. On doing the Mac system software update they get
    the following error message:

    "make sure you have permission to write to
    /tmp/501/TemporaryItems/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate, then try again"

    We have checked and they only have one user on the Mac who is the

    Also when they tried to install some Printer software they just receive a
    message half way through that told them the installation has failed and then
    it quits but with no details. I think solving the first problem may solve
    the second.

    Where should we start with correcting this?

    Kind regards,

    Dave Smithz, Jan 24, 2006
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  2. Dave Smithz

    Ilgaz Ocal Guest

    First, run "disk utility" on that machine residing in Utilities
    (Applications folder), select startup drive, click "repair permissions"
    and try again. It should fix the problems if found including fixing
    temp links.

    If it is not actually a permissions problem:

    Is that machine running 10.2.x (check the "Apple menu, About") OS or 10.3.x?

    It happened once to me like this:

    1)Installed developer tools (called XCode)
    2) Figuring I don't need them, I have run "XTools uninstaller" in their

    Guess what? It removes TAR command! As you are using windows, count tar
    as "zip utility".

    I suspect that machine got tar command. It can be easily verified as:

    Run (double click) "Terminal" in Utilities residing in Applications
    folder, type (without quotes) "tar --help" and check if you see "help"
    of it printed or "command not found".

    If tar is missing, you need to restore it using an utility named
    "Pacifist", it is a shareware but will work for that purpose without

    You must read its documentation about how to restore OS stuff using it
    and can use built in search of it to find "tar" and install only that.

    Have a nice day

    Ilgaz Ocal
    Ilgaz Ocal, Jan 24, 2006
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  3. Dave Smithz

    Dave Smithz Guest

    All sounded good, but got stumped at this point. On looking in the Utilities
    folder I found that the only thing in there was iTunes utility tool. Nothing
    Is there such thing as hidden files on a Mac system. Where else could I look
    for these Utilities.
    Dave Smithz, Jan 24, 2006
  4. Dave Smithz

    Ilgaz Ocal Guest

    You mean in Applications of root (like C:) folder, "Utilities"
    directory in it yes?

    If there exists ONLY "iTunes" utility tool, that machine needs a
    complete software restore, aka system (re) install.

    There should be Apple OS X built in Console, Disk Utility, Airport etc there.

    I suspect the stuff got deleted if it is the case.

    Ilgaz Ocal, Jan 25, 2006
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