I have Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and I tried to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.10. When I clicked in the Update Manager Upgrade a message box apeared:

Cannot run the upgrade. This usually is caused by a system where /tmp is mounted noexec. Please remount without noexec and run the upgrade again.

I tried to make /tmp executable in Terminal with the following command:

mount -o remount,exec /tmp /var/tmp

I pressed Enter and I got the following message from Terminal:

mount: only root can do that

What should I do now to make /tmp executable and upgrade the OS?

  • 2
    Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Could you include the output of cat /proc/mounts in your question? To be sure about the configuration on your system.
    – gertvdijk
    Jun 22, 2013 at 14:28

5 Answers 5


You need to have root privileges. For this, put sudo in front of the command:

sudo mount -o remount,exec /tmp

When you are asked for a password, just enter your usual user password.

  • 5
    This command doesn't work for me. Instead I get a : "mount: /tmp not mounted or bad option" error
    – Dark Star1
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:21
  • 1
    It does not work for me either. Aug 3, 2016 at 17:23

It shows that your /tmp is mounted as noexec, so try to mount it with exec option in order to make your upgrade work.

exec / noexec - Permit/Prevent the execution of binaries from the filesystem.

Open the /etc/fstab file as root, for example run

sudoedit /etc/fstab

Change the below line (/tmp entry on fstab for mine looks like this) from

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777,nosuid,size=512M,noexec 0 0


tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777,nosuid,size=512M,exec 0 0

Or, if your line looks different, just remove and replace noexec in the fourth column with exec.

Save that file and then restart your system. Now try to upgrade again.


Would you try this command? In my case, this worked.

sudo mount -t tmpfs -o exec tmpfs /tmp

and then, check if it worked.

  • This worked for me thanks a lot!
    – n1nsa1d00
    Aug 24, 2022 at 9:39

Privileges and permissions in linux can be confusing. I recommend reading this before you start using sudo. Once you understand the difference between root, sudo, and normal user, you'll have a much better grasp of why this error happened (and *nix in general). See also the man pages for chown and chmod.


Other answers tell you how to make /tmp executable temporarily. To persist this setting:

  1. Edit /etc/systemd/system/tmp.mount (sudo systemctl edit tmp.mount --full).
  2. Find the line with mount options (like Options=mode=1777,relatime,nodev,nosuid,noexec).
  3. Delete the noexec option.

From now on, your /tmp will be executable even after restarts!

  • To the downvoters: I know about potential security implications. /tmp was made noexec for some reasons, probably. I have no intentions to argue with that. I'm just answering the question. If one already decided to make it executable, who we are to judge. And here is a link to the answer is where I found the mention of tmp.mount systemd unit.
    – madhead
    Feb 21, 2022 at 1:10
  • I would be interested to know the context of this - my (Lubuntu 20.04) system has no file /etc/systemd/system/tmp.mount (and certainly the person asking this question before the adoption of systemd by Ubuntu wouldn't either, but there's nothing this site needs more than up-to-date answers, so that isn't a criticism), /tmp isn't mentioned in mount and so does not appear to have its own mount options. What are you running?
    – Zanna
    Feb 21, 2022 at 8:05
  • @Zanna, Ubuntu 20.04
    – madhead
    Feb 21, 2022 at 10:04
  • I just realized I put two identical answers for this question. I'm sorry for that.
    – madhead
    Feb 21, 2022 at 10:06
  • 1
    thanks... interesting... that wasn't a mistake by you - when you post the exact same answer to two different questions, we get a flag (the other question did not have any answers that gave a temporary solution - it's good read the stuff on the page and adjust if re-posting!) - I merged the two questions (which moves answers from one to the other) as they were duplicates, the other one had less detail, and Avinash's answer seemed worth moving over.
    – Zanna
    Feb 21, 2022 at 14:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .