phpList import CSV email list problem - "The temporary directory for uploading () is not writable, so import will fail "

Posted on 2014-08-08
Last Modified: 2014-11-30
I am trying to set up a email newsletter system.  I am using phpList 3.0.6.  I am installing it on a SME 8.0 using a Linux  system.  The software is installed, and I am able to send a mail campaign.  The problem I am having is when I try to import an email list.  I get the fallowing error.

"The temporary directory for uploading () is not writable, so import will fail "

In the config file says:

# tmpdir. A location where phplist can write some temporary files if necessary
# Make sure it is writable by your webserver user, and also check that you have
# open_basedir set to allow access to this directory. Linux users can leave it as it is.
# this directory is used for all kinds of things, mostly uploading of files (like in
# import), creating PDFs and more

# On Linux based systems, it will be good to make sure this directory is on the same
# filesystem as your phpList installation. In some systems, renaming files or directories
# across filesystems fails.

$tmpdir = '/tmp';

I create the tmp directory and set permissions to 777 in my wed site root, and in the /list directory.

Still get the error.  In looking through the online info this is a problem other have had.   I don't find a solution that I understand.
Question by:jws2bay
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    You will probably need to contact your hosting company about this.  It sounds like you have conflicting permissions.  While you can set files and directories in your own user area to '777', that will not necessary enable the Apache web server to write to them.  All the files running the web server run as the Apache user, not as you.

    Author Comment

    I host my own site.   I was thinking php might not have access to the temp file location, so I just ran

    echo ini_get('open_basedir');

    it returned:   /home/e-smith/files/ibays/Primary/

    My tmp file is in the site root, so I should be fine.  

    I'm still stuck ???
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    Using Apache's 'user directory' setup, your web root should normally be "/home/e-smith/public_html/" or maybe "/home/e-smith/htdocs/".  It won't normally have access to "/home/e-smith/files/ibays/Primary/".

    Author Comment

    Hi Dave,

    The e-smith places each web site hosted in an ibay,  Primary is the main site for the server. Under primary there are folders called html, files, and cgi-bin.  The html folder holds the tmp folder I can't access.

    On the weekend I found something in the e-smith documentation which sounds like my issue.  Here is the link:

    I tried the first work-around, but it didn't fix the problem.  I didn't feel comfortable  making the changes in the second work-around.
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    I've never heard of any of that, SME, 'e-smith', or 'ibay'.  Please click on "Request Attention" above to get others to look at your question.

    Accepted Solution

    I have not been able to solve this problem.  I have resorted to a copy and past work-a-round.

    Author Closing Comment

    As far as I can tell this this is a feature which is not working in phplist. Problem is not solved

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