/tmp running out of space

Joachim Backes joachim.backes at rhrk.uni-kl.de
Tue Feb 19 12:46:30 UTC 2008

Michael A. Peters wrote:
> 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?

tmpwatch is /usr/sbin/tmpwatch. Is /usr/sbin in your path in the cronjob?

>> 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.

Joachim Backes <joachim.backes at rhrk.uni-kl.de>
University of Kaiserslautern,Computer Center [RHRK],
Systems and Operations, High Performance Computing,
D-67653 Kaiserslautern, PO Box 3049, Germany
Phone: +49-631-205-2438, FAX: +49-631-205-3056
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