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Solving an 'Unexpected error' during printing System
Today I encountered (for the second time in a couple of months) a printing problem. When printing started the system (10.1.5) showed a popup with the text 'An unexpected error has occurred' (without an error number).

The first time this happened, it took me hours to discover what causes this. I tried the Print Center repair utility I found at VersionTracker, but it didn't help. In the Apple discussions area, someone mentioned that after changing the rights for /tmp (to writable for everyone), printing worked again. That did the trick for me, too.

Today I checked a second (correctly printing) system and it appears that /tmp on that system is a symbolic link to /private/tmp. So I restored that symbolic link on the malfunctioning system and printing now works again. Apparently I had used an installer or something that had overwritten the original symbolic link.

I hope this saves other people some time when solving printing problems.
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Authored by: eisforian on Jul 22, '02 09:51:29AM
What permissions did you set for /private/tmp?

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Authored by: lsochrin on Jul 22, '02 10:29:39AM

Where do I find /tmp or /private/tmp?

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Make sure it's Sticky
Authored by: bakaDeshi on Jul 22, '02 04:04:32PM
drwxrwxrwt    3 root     wheel          58 Jul 22 14:54 /tmp//
drwxrwxrwt    3 root     wheel          58 Jul 22 14:54 /private/tmp//
sudo chmod 1777 /tmp /private/tmp The sticky bit('t' at the end of perm) does not allow other users(programs) that use tmp to change other users files that are also in tmp.

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Clarification: Perms after
Authored by: bakaDeshi on Aug 02, '02 05:56:22AM
% ls -ld /tmp /tmp/ /private/tmp/
drwxrwxrwt    5 root     wheel         126 Aug  2 04:47 /private/tmp//
lrwxrwxr-t    1 root     admin          11 Aug  2 02:29 /tmp -> private/tmp/
drwxrwxrwt    5 root     wheel         126 Aug  2 04:47 /tmp//

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Great tip! Solved digital camera problem, too.
Authored by: wkunz on Jul 22, '02 05:31:17PM

One of the most useful tips I've come across lately. Not only did it reenable printing on my system, but it also fixed the problem where my digital camera would trigger iPhoto or Image Capture only when logged on as the main user. Both applications would report "No camera connected" even though the camera's volume icon was visible on the desktop.

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Thanx very much!
Authored by: AugustinusX on Jul 22, '02 06:25:36PM

This Hint really made me happy! I have had the same printing problem since several weeks and couldnĀ“t find any reason for it. In order to print i had to create a pdf which i had to print from classic. This nearly drove me mad!
Thanx again!

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More Info on Print Error
Authored by: Daniel Ross on Jul 22, '02 08:54:46PM

I've had this Print Error twice and had a terrible time trying to solve it. Can you please tell me what and where /tmp is?

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iphoto 1.1.1 to Toast Plugin causes this!
Authored by: Beandip on Aug 17, '02 03:35:22PM

I've accidently nuked two of my OS X (10.1.5) systems in the past two days and I finally realized (after reading a few reviews on that this wonderful utility (iPhoto 1.1.1 to Toast plugin by El Gato software) is responsible. All you have to do is export one picture from iPhoto to Toast using this plugin and bam! the symbolic link to /private/tmp is destroyed.

It's amazing how many pieces of software go flakey after that happens too! (i.e Classic environment, Timbuktu, printing, the ability to run Apple's "restore permissions" utility! etc)

I've reported the situation to El Gato software. After all it is a wonderful utility and I would hate to see it go away.

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Solving an 'Unexpected error' during printing
Authored by: lopezzi on Sep 21, '05 12:26:50PM

This also works in Tiger. I have been having trouble printing so I checked the permissions on my /tmp file and they were not what was listed here. So i changed them using the method posted and my printing has been restored. Im not sure what it was that broke it though. I am running OS 10.4.2.

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Solving an 'Unexpected error' during printing
Authored by: kainewynd2 on Oct 12, '05 01:28:47PM

I recently came across this problem on a 10.3.9 machine. It turns out that cupsd was not even attempting to start despite being listed in hostconfig and set to either AUTOMATIC or YES. The way I got around this was to set up a new StartupItem that starts cupsd on startup... that solved the problem.

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