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Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:53 am

Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:23 pm
Posts: 2

I just began working at a large-ish Windows shop, where most of my experience lies. But I have interited an issue with a small group of MacMini workstations that are used by the graphic/web/advertising folks.

They are all members of Active Directory (I believe 2003-Level, but perhaps 2008. As I said, I just started). One of the workstations, running Mac OS X 10.6.8, is running many Adobe CS3 apps, Quark, and other apps. About a year ago it began authoring the creation of /private/tmp directory tree on a mapped, shared drive. No files are placed in the directories, but if someone deletes the directories, a week or two goes by and they are re-created. The directories are not hidden, as most Mac-created maintenance directories and files are, but readily visible to both Mac and Windows viewers.

I believe I know which workstation is authoring the directories due to the Windows permissions and owner of the folders.

I enter the picture, and thought I would be able to locate the offending process and make it stop. At first, I thought the user's system might be creating it because there was little local drive space left (less than 1 GB Free) and using that area for temporary drive caching during a big Photoshop operation of something. I had the user empty the trash (about 20 GB); I deleted the /private/tmp directories, hoping I had fixed it. Three weeks go by and suddenly it reappears. I rush to the workstation, open Console, and examine all entries for the period when the creation occured. There was nothing going on at all. So my thought to chase the rogue process was fruitless.

As an additional note: I have checked the logs (events) on the server where the directories are being created. There is also nothing logged there for the time when the creation occurred.

Can anyone throw any light on this? I have searched and searched all sorts of sites looking for a solution or hints, and nothing has paid out for me. This doesn't appear to be a 'bad' thing, but now I am curious to learn what is going on.

Thanks for any info
Sheboygan, WI, USA

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Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:30 pm

Site Admin
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 7:45 pm
Posts: 179

I will make a guess as to what might be happening, but I don't have a suggestion to fix it.

Some Mac applications write temporary files to /private/tmp . It's possible there's an errant application that thinks the shared directory is the root directory. If it thinks that is the location, and the /private/tmp directory was missing, it would create it.

Adobe installers use this directory, including Adobe Flash. I don't know if Adobe apps use it during the normal course of use.

This is just a guess. I don't know why an error like this would occur. But it seems possible.

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Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:29 am

Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:23 pm
Posts: 2

Thank you for the hints: I had checked Photoshop and Illustrator; these two apps the user accesses frequently, and I had checked the Preferences for scratch disks. These apps did not appear to be 'network share aware'.

But I had not considered the other Adobe apps, like Flash. A little more digging might be in order. And the other apps the user has on the system, as well, I guess. Nothing can be clear cut... As I said, this is nothing that keeps work from occuring, but has become a quest for me to understand.

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