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Help remote learners with 2 different OpenSesame save errors?

Apologies if this is a double post - I seem to be seeing two different versions of the forum depending on how I reach it, and my comment appears on one but not the other.

First, thanks very much for OpenSesame. I am conducting a psychology lab class remotely due to the pandemic, and it would not be possible without this program. I was originally hoping to use my university's remote desktops for student programming, so OpenSesame would be running in a controlled environment, but my university's tech support REALLY let me down, and the remote desktop was basically unusable. Thus, I'm now having them install OpenSesame on their own computers when possible, but that means lots of different vintages of computer and operating system. During my initial demo, two students had problems saving their in-progress programs, with two different error messages. I realize it may be impossible for you to provide help without much more detail on their systems, which I don't have, but if there's any hints you might have on these it would be incredibly appreciated!

Error #1: Failed to save file. Error: [Errno 30] Read-only file system: '/EmotionRecogntionandDepression.osexp'

(EmotionRecogntionandDepression.osexp is the name of the experiment file we were working on)

I searched for this one in the forum and it looked like it might be related to the student not being the root user for the computer, although in that other case it was an install issue, and the student installed the program fine...

Error #2: Failed to save file. Error: [Errno 21] Is a directory: '/var/folders/7h/cszt34_n0yg3gdgsb73ykyqwy1l7z8/T/tmpgblhcvqq.opensesame_pool/Stimuli for Programming Lecture'

I couldn't find this anywhere. As you might gather from context "Stimuli for Programming Lecture" was a folder I had them download and unzip that contained the pictures used in the demo.

I think these should both be the most recent edition of OpenSesame, as they just downloaded them last week, but it's super hard to tell what people are doing without being able to look over their shoulders. Again, thanks very much, and I understand if there's not much you can do.


  • Hi @mwardle ,

    I'm happy to hear that OpenSesame has proven useful for your class!

    Error #1: Failed to save file. Error: [Errno 30] Read-only file system: '/EmotionRecogntionandDepression.osexp'

    This is not a permission error, so it does not result from the user not being root or administrator. Instead, the experiment file seems to be located in a location that does not support writing (i.e. it's read only). I'm guessing that this is run on a Mac (?). I'm not sure when and why Mac OS would use a read-only file system (@Daniel ?), which seems odd to me. But the problem should go away if the student puts the experiment file in a regular location, such as the Documents folder.

    Error #2: Failed to save file. Error: [Errno 21] Is a directory: '/var/folders/7h/cszt34_n0yg3gdgsb73ykyqwy1l7z8/T/tmpgblhcvqq.opensesame_pool/Stimuli for Programming Lecture'

    This issue occurs when there is a folder in the file pool, which is not supported. (Although it should also not crash like this, which is why I filed and issue for it.) When the files are placed directly into the file pool, rather than into a subfolder inside the file pool, the problem should go away.

    Good luck!

    -- Sebastiaan

    Buy Me A Coffee

  • Awesome! That all makes sense, thank you so much. I'm guessing the one person's browser was automatically set to save the file into a temp folder or something...I've noticed often my students, who are more natively used to mobile computing on phones and tablets, need some explicit instruction on what a directory structure is, because those aren't as obvious on a phone/tablet.

  • Hi all,

    Things like these usually occur if people open OpenSesame directly from the mounted .dmg file, which is read-only. Please make sure they move the app to a different folder on their system, preferably the /Applications folder. If this is not it, then it appears as if the experiment location of '/EmotionRecogntionandDepression.osexp' is at the file system's root, which is indeed read-only. Let the user save the experiment in one of the folders in his/her home folder (e.g. /Users/<username>/... and this problem should no longer occur.

    Buy Me A Coffee

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