Clearing /var/tmp on boot

Jilles Tjoelker jilles at
Sun Dec 27 23:22:14 UTC 2009

On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 10:56:13PM +0000, Pegasus Mc Cleaft wrote:
> 	While checking over my system (9-CURRENT AMD64) I was a bit
> surprised to find tons of old files that were hanging around in my
> /var/tmp that were never deleted/cleaned out. Most of the offenders
> were dbus, KDE and PCSCD files. To be honest, I never really checked
> the /var/tmp directory as I normally use the /tmp for generic stuff
> (unpacking archives, etc). I was wondering if there should be a
> startup rc script that cleans this directory as well. I copied and
> modified the existing /etc/rc.d/cleartmp (now
> /usr/local/etc/rc.d/clearvartmp) to do this job and would be
> interested in knowing if this is a good idea or if there are any ill
> effects that I didn't anticipate by doing this. 

> 	Should the /var/tmp directory be cleaned on bootup? To me, it
> looked like it should as many of the files in the KDE directory were
> partial download files many months old. 

Like all temporary directories, it is a good idea to clean stale files
from /var/tmp, but hier(7) explicitly says that /var/tmp is not cleared
on reboot. In particular, nvi's recovery system puts files in
/var/tmp/vi.recover/ and assumes they will not be deleted by a reboot
(see /etc/rc.d/virecover).

What could be done is deleting, on reboot, all files older than some
threshold, e.g. one week.

Another alternative is to enable /etc/periodic/daily/110.clean-tmps.
That one is a bit overzealous though, also deleting sockets that are
still in use.

> 	I have included the script I used in this email, but would like
> to point out that I am not the author of the original script, I mearly
> modified the existing one to do as I wanted. 

The attachment seems missing.

Jilles Tjoelker

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