I'm trying to download Drupal 7 using Drush 8.1.2, without success. It was working perfectly for months; now, I am getting the following error message on all modules and core downloads when I'm running:

drush dl drupal-7

copy(/tmp/drush_tmp_1468772300_578bafccc15f2/tar: Failed to set default locale): failed to open stream: No such file or directory filesystem.inc:267
Project drupal (7.50) could not be downloaded to /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/drupal-7.50

I haven't changed any tmp permissions. What can I do?

I am using PHP 5.6.10 and Drush temporary directory is /tmp.


2 Answers 2


The error:

Failed to set default locale

sounds like tar command invoked by Drush has some problem detecting your system locale.

Try setting it to UTF-8 by the following command:

defaults write org.R-project.R force.LANG en_US.UTF-8

Source: How to fix 'tar: Failed to set default locale' error?

  • 1
    Kenorb, Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction! Indeed I have changed my system language a couple of days ago. Instead of using the command above I have found a easy solution. Open System Preferences > Language & Region > Advanced > General > Change the Format language back to the previous language.
    – howdytom
    Jul 17, 2016 at 20:28

On MacOS I found a solution!

I has this problem only in the PHPStorm terminal, not in my default MacOS terminal.

Solution: use gnu-tar instead of the default one. https://medium.com/@fullsour/installing-gnu-tar-on-mac-827a494b1c1

First how to debug:

  1. Not working yet:

    $ drush dl devel-7.x --destination=modules/ -vvv

    Outputs a line with "Failed to set default locale"

  2. Install gnu-tar and add the path to ~/.bash_profile or ~/.profile like this:

    export PATH="/usr/local/opt/gnu-tar/libexec/gnubin:$PATH"

  3. Re-open the terminal in PHPStorm and it should work:

    $ drush dl devel-7.x --destination=modules/ -vvv

    Outputs a line with "[success]"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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