Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have Adobe Reader 9 installed onto the local hard drives of my workstations. The application launches from local user accounts and functions as expected.

When users are logged in with a network user account Adobe Reader unexpectedly quits at launch. I have laptops that are enabled with Mobile Sync that launch Adobe Reader without any problems. The Mobile Sync accounts have their home folders copied to their hard drives, which sync with their network accounts at scheduled intervals throughout the day.

Prior to using Adobe Reader 9 the default PDF viewer was Apple's Preview app, which launched without incident. We are beginning to use features in Adobe Reader that are complimentary to the PDF's that are received from Acrobat Pro users so I'm not looking to move back to The Acrobat Pro users are not on this network so I haven't tested with the Pro version, I'm downloading the trial version of Pro now.

The ownership of Adobe Reader is set to the user and the correct group - the same as all other applications.

Any ideas of where to go from here?

share|improve this question

These people had an interesting solution:

Log in as a Network User Go to /Users/Shared/

If you are on an Intel based Mac create a folder in /Users/Shared/ named 9.0_x86 if you are on a Mac that is a G5/G4 create a folder named 9.0_ppc

At this point you should have created either


Go to ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat/ and trash the 9.0_x86 or 9.0_ppc folder contained within

Go to Applications/Utilities/ and open Terminal

Enter one of the following into the Terminal

If you are on an Intel based Mac enter

ln -s /Users/Shared/9.0_x86 ~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Acrobat

If you are on a G5/G4 Mac enter

ln -s /Users/Shared/9.0_ppc ~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Acrobat

Open up Acrobat 9 and it should work!

What this does is create a symbolic link on the network location to the folder we created in the Shared which resides on the hard disk so the Organizer90 file doesn't stall during creation.

share|improve this answer
This works! Thank you for finding the thread on Adobe's site. Wonderful! – Matt Yeley Jul 8 '09 at 19:29

Acrobat stores files/database/?? in the folder ~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Acrobat. It doesn't like this folder to be on a network share. You need to redirect this folder to a local folder.

If you are running OD/MCX and Leopard clients you can use MCXRedirector to easily redirect the ~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Acrobat folder.

See the article on AFP548 title :"Leopard's Built-in Network Home Folder Redirector"

I configure in Workgroup Manager as follows:

LoginRedirection - Array
   Redirect Action Info - dictionary
      Action - string : deleteAndCreateSymLink
      Destination Folder Path - string : /tmp/%@/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat
      Folder Path - string: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat

The contents of the folder will be deleted on reboot. I have not found this to be an issue though. There are instructions in AFP548 article for making this permanent if required.

share|improve this answer

Wow. For such a big company, Adobe really struggles to design for reality, like network accounts of non-admin users.

I expect it's easier to downgrade the app to one which malfunctions less spectacularly.

share|improve this answer

There is exactly the same problem with Acrobat 9 on Windows, my company's had to stay with Acrobat 8 due to this. KB404597 is the relevant knowledgebase entry.

From the 9.1 release notes:

Roaming Profiles on Windows and Networked Home Directory on Macintosh are not supported configurations for 9.0 or 9.1, however we have made several fixes in 9.1. We are looking at the possibility of supporting this for the next major release.

So it looks like they're not planning to fix this before v10.

share|improve this answer

I'm not sure what sort of PDF features you are using that Preview doesn't support, but I have found Skim to be a really good PDF reader for the Mac.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.