File Permissions and iTunes

I have my iTunes library on the Drobo 5N; however, I have noticed something appears to have changed and iTunes cannot write to the library. For example, when purchasing music, you see iTunes constantly trying to download the media – but you get a -54 error.

I know it is the MacBook/Drobo configuration. When I transfer my iTunes library back to the MacBook HD, the issue goes away and purchases are able to be downloaded.

If I look at the folder permissions of the iTunes library on the Drobo with Finder, they are unlocked and have user “unknown” with “read & write” and “everyone” with “no access”. If I look at the permissions through Terminal they are set to me:me and 700. Of course, I cannot alter these permissions via Finder or Terminal as it gives an error saying it can’t be done because you don’t have the necessary permissions.

The Drobo mounts via Drobo Dashboard with afp:// and mounts the Public share to


My iTunes library is at


I have tried mounting the Public share as admin, guest, and a user account. Per Dashboard, all users have read & write to the share.

The Drobo has been restarted a number of times as well as the MavBook. I am running Drobo f/w 3.0.0, Dashboard 2.4.2, Mac 10.8.3, and iTunes 11.0.2.

I have run Disk Utility on the MacBook HD with no issues reported.

Does anyone else have a similar configuration? Have your experienced this issue? How are you user/perms reading?

I have submitted a ticket (130316-000029).

Quick Google search leads me to believe it’s a permission issue, potentially not all necessary permissions can be stored on the network share?

Thank you for the link; unfortunately, I had seen it (and probably 20 others) before submitting my ticket. Without a doubt it’s a permission issue, but an issue that is recent. I have had my iTunes collection on the Drobo v1/DroboShare, Drobo v2/DroboShare, Drobo FS, and now Drobo 5N.

Just curious, did you migrate your disk pack from the FS to the 5N?

Must have, or there’d be no way to set permissions. You certainly can’t do that over AFP.

I had the 5N with brand new 5N formatted disks, then I went to Terminal and did a “cp -pr” from the FS to the 5N.[hr]
I have found a strange workaround: if I allow Drobo Dashboard to do its thing and mount the 5N as /Volumes/Drobo5N/drbXXXXXXXXXX/0/Public/ (Public is my share), then I go to Finder and tell it to connect to smb://drobo5n – I can use iTunes without problems.

Pretty sure that “p” on cp is your problem - it’s going to try and set the permissions on the remote volume, which will either a) fail, or b) set them to the same user/group id - which is NOT the same user on the Drobo 5N as on your Mac. In short, don’t try to mess with permissions like that on a network drive. It’s not going to work the way you expect. When you connect with Samba you’re likely not getting any permissions at all.

The Drobo 5N is about 45 days old. This issue is recent and didn’t exist since the original migration with cp -pr.

I have another ticket in where during some reboots Drobo Dashboard doesn’t mount the share (Public). My issues started occurring when this was noticed. It was my belief that something in iTunes got set to /Volumes/Public/ vs. /Volumes/Drobo5N/… I have reviewed the path locations throughout iTunes (e.g., Preferences|Advanced, iPhone apps, iTunes Library.xml, etc.) – but I can find nothing set to /Volumes/Public/.

Connecting with Samba definitely doesn’t give any permissions, but it does mount it as /Volumes/Public/. Therefore, I unmounted everything, unselected the mount in Drobo Dashboard, and restarted the Drobo 5N. Under /Volumes/ nothing is mounted. Going to Finder and clicking on the Drobo5N in the sidebar, then going to Public/iTunes mounts it and shows it in Finder as afp://Drobo5N._afpovertcp._tcp.local/Public/iTunes. It still shows permissions as “unknown” with “read & write”, but iTunes is able to update iPhone apps, download purchased content, etc.

I can add a login item and run with this solution for now.

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