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AIR runtime installer, error 2038

The Adobe AIR beta 1 runtime installer leaves a lot to be desired. Adobe continues the blantant disregard for standard folders and proceedures on the Mac that Macromedia had, and this leads to problems. I had to do quite a lot of tinkering to be able to install it at all.

For me, the installer just failed with “Installation Error: 2038?. No more information. I was stumped.


As this is the beta, I’m ok with not getting better error messages, and I quickly found out that 2038 means I/O error. Unfortunately that doesn’t tell me much. Probably there is a file that can’t be written, but to which directory? and is it because the directory doesn’t exist or is the permissions “wrong”? (I say “wrong” in quotes because I did run fix permissions).

Had the installer been a standard .pkg installer file I could have looked at the list of files that it would install and see which directories were affected, but as they just need to do it their way I can’t do anything.

Having almost given up I realised that I could try installing it as root, then I could rule out permission problems. I launched the installer using the terminal and sudo and it installed fine. Unfortunately it didn’t look as if anything got installed, nothing new in /Applications, /Library/Frameworks, etc. and .air-files didn’t launch. Hmm.

I decided to search for “Adobe AIR”, but spotlight found nothing. So I tried find instead, and found the installed files in /private/var/root (root’s home folder), and finally I had the solution.

It turns out that the AIR runtime installer installs a framework in ~/Library/Frameworks. In a vanilla installation this folder doesn’t exist, but I had one, and the permissions we’re not what the installer expected. I changed the permissions and ran the installer again, it worked fine.

Why can’t I get the option of installing this for all users (which would be the sensible default)? Why does it have to install an uninstaller in ~/Applications (a non-standard folder)? Why does the installer have to be an Apollo application and not a standard installer package? (the Apollo alpha was a installer package).