Saturday, September 12, 2009

The ever important /tmp folder...

I was busy trying to see if I could speed up Adobe's flash which crawls on Linux systems, yet on the same computer running Windows XP, the same flash application runs much faster. I Googled the net and tried the recommendations other users had posted. I tried one of those recommendations and noticed that the application started quick enough but over time, slowed down to a crawl. Even if I reload that web page, the application still crawled.

What did I do? I said to myself, maybe if I deleted the /tmp folder, the flash application would reload and work like normal. I then started the command shell and typed:

sudo rm -r /tmp

Thinking that if anything goes wrong, just restart Ubuntu and it should recreate the /tmp folder since I've came to an understanding that Linux will delete all files in the /tmp folder at startup anyway. Once I deleted the folder, I didn't get the results I was expecting and said to myself that I best restart my computer.

Computer restarts and loads up in about 30 seconds (Jaunty does that on my Pentium M 1.73GHz computer). I then give my login credentials but get an error message saying "mkdtemp: private socket dir: Permission denied".

I Googled the error message (from another computer) and it turns out that if you delete the /tmp folder, Ubuntu will recreate the /tmp folder but with the wrong permission settings!

How did I solved this? I restarted Ubuntu in recovery mode, then issued the command:

sudo chmod a+w /tmp

Restarted Ubuntu and problem solved. Now you know how to DoS your own machine and fix it. :)