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freshclam can’t create temporary directory – How we resolve it?

Are you stuck with the “freshclam can’t create temporary directory”? We can help you resolve it.

Usually, we get this error while trying to update the virus databases in antivirus tools like ClamAV.

At Bobcares, we often receive requests to fix ClamAV errors as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let us see how our Support Engineers easily fix ClamAV errors for our customers.


More about ClamAV

Before discussing the error in detail, let’s first have a look at ClamAV.

As we all know, malware can cause damages from loss of files to a total loss of server security.

So, protection against malware using antivirus software has become a mandatory security measure nowadays. Usually, we check the downloaded files for virus signatures.

And, antivirus software like Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) scans downloaded files, emails, pdf, etc for virus detection.

Moreover, we can install it on all major operating systems like Linux, Windows, BSD and many more.


How we fixed the error “freshclam can’t create temporary directory”?

Usually, the freshclam is a virus database update tool in ClamAV. Let us now see how our Support Engineers resolve the freshclam errors easily.

Recently, one of our customers approached us with a freshclam error. He tried to update the virus databases using the below command,

sudo freshclam

But, on executing the command, he received the below error.

freshclam can't create temporary directory

To resolve the error, he changed the permissions of the ClamAV directory to 777. But, the error still popped up.

Our Support Engineers checked the error in detail. On checking, we found ownership errors.

The ownership of the directory was set to root. To resolve the error, we changed the ownership of the ClamAV directory to clamav.

chown -R clamav:clamav /var/lib/clamav/

This resolved the error and then updating virus databases worked fine.

freshclam can't create temporary directory


[Need more assistance to fix the ClamAV errors?- We’re here to help you.]



In short, the error “freshclam can’t create temporary directory” occurs due to ownership errors of the ClamAV directory. In today’s writeup, we saw how our Support Engineers fix this error for our customers.


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