503 cannot write temporary file

This is a bug in your operating system or in your installation of your operating system. You may be able to correct it with the following commands.

   mkdir /var/tmp
   chmod 1777 /var/tmp

If that fails, grep P_tmpdir /usr/include/stdio.h to find the right directory instead of /var/tmp. Thank Bill Gerrard for this fix:

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1996 23:46:03 -0700
Subject: Re: cgiemail problem solved

> Date:          26 Sep 1996 10:15:10 -0400

> Others have reported that error, but if anyone's found a solution, they
> haven't shared it with me.
> It comes from a call to tmpfile() failing.  This function should just
> open a file in /tmp and the unlink() it so that it goes away when
> closed.  Does your server run chroot'ed to a directory with no writable
> tmp directory?  I'm very interested in finding out what's going wrong.


I did a little bit of research and detective work on this and 
eventually solved the error 503 cannot write temporary file -- bad 
address (or something like that) error.

(This is on BSDI BSD 2.0 Unix)

I read the "man tmpfile" page and discovered that tmpfile() writes the
temporary file to the directory defined by P_tmpdir as defined in

I reviewed /usr/include/stdio.h

P_tmpdir is defined as:
#define P_tmpdir        "/var/tmp/"

Therefore, I created a "var" directory and then a "tmp" directory
within it and cgiemail now WORKS!!!!

Problem solved!

Bill Gerrard
Digital Daze - Huntington Beach, CA USA

Last modified: Thu Feb 5 13:09:15 EST 1998