/usr/libexec/mysqld: Can’t create/write to file ‘/tmp/’ (Errcode: 13)

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I‘m using Red Hat Enterprise Linux server version 4.0+ and MySQL version 4.20+. Monit has recently notified me following error:
mysqld’ failed to start.


A detailed log from /var/log/mysqld.log file:


/usr/libexec/mysqld: Can’t create/write to file ‘/tmp/ibCfJwf1’ (Errcode: 13)
070420 10:07:58 InnoDB: Error: unable to create temporary file; errno: 13
070420 10:07:58 [ERROR] Can’t init databases

070420 10:07:58 [ERROR] Aborting

070420 10:07:58 [Note] /usr/libexec/mysqld: Shutdown complete

/etc/init.d/mysql start command returned following output:
Initializing MySQL database: [ OK ]
Timeout error occurred trying to start MySQL Daemon.
Starting MySQL: [FAILED]

How do I fix this problem on Linux or Unix-like systems?

This error means, MySQL server is not able to access your /tmp directory, to write and create temporary files. Make sure /tmp directory is owned by root user and sticky bit is set on /tmp directory. Type the following commands to fix this error. You must be login as root user and type:

# chown root:root /tmp
# chmod 1777 /tmp
## test it ##
# /etc/init.d/mysqld start

Now, your mysql server should start without a problem.

A note about SELinux and AppArmor security policies

If you are using SELinux or AppArmor with customized data directory for database, you need to modify polices to allow MySQL to read and write to the data directory.


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

42 comment

  1. Oh, dear. Thank you so much. You have save the day. I had this problem and found your site on Google and it works!!! thank you so much

  2. Thank a lot for posting answer. I had this problem and found your site on Google and its solve my problem!!!

  3. Didn’t fix mine either although my error was slightly different:
    081127 2:38:09 [Warning] Can’t create test file /var/lib/mysql/bobby.lower-test
    081127 2:38:09 [Warning] Can’t create test file /var/lib/mysql/bobby.lower-test
    /usr/libexec/mysqld: Can’t change dir to ‘/var/lib/mysql/’ (Errcode: 13)
    081127 2:38:09 [ERROR] Aborting

    WHo can help me with this?

  4. Where should I type the commands to fix the error?

    I use VertrigoSerwer 2.21
    (Appache 2.0.63; PHP 5.2.6; MySQL 5.0.51b PhpMyAdmin 2.11.7)
    This is WAP for Windows XP.

  5. Thank you!!! A website that someone built 5 years ago just stopped working today, and I couldn’t figure it out until coming across this solution. You’re a lifesaver!

  6. I’m getting an error while starting mysqld in windows xp sp2. The error saying:
    mysqld: Error on delete of ‘C:\Program Files\iBerry Logics\server\MySQL\data\Com 1.lower-test’ (Errcode: 22)

    Can anybody please help me?

  7. Dear ,

    Really It was helpful. Thanks..

    But when i am restarting —– “/etc/init.d/mysqld start” instead of mysqld i put mysql then its started.

    Any way thanks.


  8. Hi,

    The problem was solved and the issue was about the computer name. They named their computer as com1,com2 and com3. MySQL server started to run after i renamed their system.


  9. please solve this error,
    I got this error while run the program,
    PHP Fatal error: Uncaught exception ‘Exception’ with message ‘MySQL error:3-Error writing file ‘/tmp/MYpNMlAM’ (Errcode: 28).
    plz help mi,
    i check size used by temp bt it still used only 2% outoff 471M.
    please guide mi properly

  10. Dude,
    Your blog is the best ever seen, i mean you got solutions for each problem i have ever faced in my servers lol.
    This is crazy, i just run back to your blog each time i face any issues.
    Thanks a LOT for this awesome blog.

  11. Thank you Vivek. It was very helpful. It solved my problem, the tmp directory was have no permissions on it due to a security hardening tool my colleagues ran on the server to enforce security on it.

    Thank you again

  12. BRAVO…. spend lots of time on it….. :( but u made it come true in just few sec..

    thanks a lot.. cheerssssssss :D

  13. Thanks!
    I was editing the tmp file to resize it and is appeard this message.
    I solved it with your help, you are great!
    Sorry for my bad english,

  14. Thanks for this. Tried installing on a fresh install of fedora and kept getting this error. You saved me lots of time.

  15. I have the same problem,
    here is a query I want to execute,

    mysql> select * from remote into outfile ‘/home/nshaikh/mysql_out/outfile.txt’;

    ERROR 1 (HY000): Can’t create/write to file ‘/home/nshaikh/mysql_out/outfile.txt’ (Errcode: 13)

    I have changed the permission of file to ‘777’;
    I tried with ‘root’ and some other user ‘dump’, executing this command in mysql interactive shell,

    reply with your valuable answers.
    Thank you,

  16. Hi,
    I have another user for database say ‘navid’. How can I grant it permission to write to directory as in this case ‘/tmp’ ?

    is ‘/tmp’ is only directory where we can set permissions for db users to write into or other directories can also be made writable?

    thank you.

  17. Thanks man. You saved a hell lot of time for me :)

    Its like any directory you want to access through mysql should be owned by root and permission set as 777.

    Thanks !!

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