Files in /tmp directory - Is there any timelimit ?

Frank Leonhardt frank2 at
Wed Sep 25 09:24:00 UTC 2013

On 25/09/2013 10:05, Sreeram BS wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM, Volodymyr Kostyrko <c.kworr at>wrote:
>> 25.09.2013 11:34, Sreeram BS wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>      I am using FreeBSD 9. I would like to know as to what is the lifetime
>>> of
>>> the files in /tmp directory. The general description says that these files
>>> *may* not be preserved across a reboot. By this I interpret that if the
>>> system is not rebooted, then these files will be there forever. But, just
>>> wanted a confirmation to see if there is any lifespan (expiry-time)
>>> attached with these files (ie the system would flush these files after
>>> some
>>> days/months etc automatically).
>> Not by default. There's a clean-tmps periodic task which can be enabled
>> @/etc/periodic.conf. It defaults to three days.
>> --
>> Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
> Does this auto-cleanup apply to files in /var/tmp directory also.
> The generic description says that the files in this directory can stay
> across reboots. So, does this survive auto-cleanup too?
> regards,
> Sreeram
The default is to clean up /tmp only, but this can be changed in 

If you're struggling with this, note that a default periodic.conf is in 
/etc/defaults and it's individual values can be over-ridden by 
/etc/periodic.conf IF IT EXISTS.

Regards, Frank.

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