Error messages can appear in pop-up windows, shell tool command lines, user console window, or various log files. You can raise or lower the severity threshold level for reporting error conditions in your /etc/syslog.conf file.
In the most cases, the error messages that you see are generated by the commands you issued or the container object (file, map, table or directory) your command is addressing. However, in some cases an error message might be generated by a server invoked in response to your command (these messages usually show in syslog). For example, a "permission denied" message most likely refers to you, or the machine you are using, but it could also be caused by software on a server not having the correct permissions to carry out some function passed on to it by your command or your machine.
Similarly, some commands cause a number of different objects to be searched or queried. Some of these objects might not be obvious. Any one of these objects could return an error message regarding permissions, read-only state, unavailability, and so forth. In such cases the message may or may not be able to inform you of which object the problem occurred in.
In normal operation, the naming software and servers make routine function calls. Sometimes those calls fail and in doing so generate an error message. It occasionally happens that before a client or server processes your most recent command, then some other call fails and you see the resulting error message. Such a message might appear as if it were in response to your command, when in fact it is in response to some other operation.
When working with a namespace you might encounter error messages generated by remote procedure calls. These RPC error messages are not documented here. Check your system documentation.