/tmp running out of space

Michael A. Peters mpeters at mac.com
Tue Feb 19 12:39:12 UTC 2008

Anne Wilson wrote:
> On Sunday 07 January 2007 11:33, Steve Searle wrote:
>> Around 11:20am on Sunday, January 07, 2007 (UK time), Anne Wilson scrawled:
>>> On Sunday 07 January 2007 11:03, Ed Greshko wrote:
>>>> Anne Wilson wrote:
>>>>> /tmp is filling up rapidly.  I'm guessing that it would be safe
>>>>> enough to delete everything dated previous to the last bootup.  Am I
>>>>> right?
>>>> The most logical question is, what is /tmp filling up with?  I can't
>>>> say that in a normally operating system I've seen /tmp filling up
>>>> "rapidly" without a cause and I'm not the one to go willy-nilly
>>>> deleting things without known why they are being created.
>>> Duh! I mis-read the logfile line.  It's not really filling up, though
>>> there are things that I think should be deleted.
>> Anne,
>> I run the following command in a cron job:
>> 	tmpwatch --mtime --verbose --verbose 168 /tmp
>> You may not want the --verbose, and check the manpage for the --mtime
>> option, but basically this deletes all files in /tmp that have not been
>> modified for 168 hours or more.
> I have a problem, Steve.  Running that command from a root konsole works fine, 
> so I set it to run as a cron job every Wednesday.  Now I find that from both 
> boxes where I set this up I'm getting root emails that say
> /bin/sh: tmpwatch: command not found
> What could be wonrg?
> Anne

I personally prefer to use tmpfs

in /etc/fstab :

tmpfs   /tmp    tmpfs   nosuid,noexec,size=256m,mode=1777 0 0

That way /tmp does not use any physical disk space - and is wiped every 
time I reboot.

size=256m is optional - w/o it though, it can use up to half of your 
physical ram. A 256m /tmp is more than plenty.

The only drawback - if you download files larger than the available 
space in the /tmp filesystem via firefox - the download will fail 
because firefox assembles it in /tmp. You can change that in Firefox 
preferences - but I prefer to grab large files via wget rather than 
firefox download manager.

With a 256 MB /tmp - I rarely use more than 1% of it.
With /tmp in memory - the disk arm doesn't have to move to write/read 
temp files, they are read out of memory.

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