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I am using Ubutu 10.04. I have some apps that create a few temporary files in /tmp/<file> as part of their shutdown process. I want to inspect those files when the apps are closed in the event of a system shutdown. However, when the system comes up again I find that all temporary files have been deleted. How can I ask the system not to clear the files in /tmp/ on shutdown?

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You can define when files from /tmp can be deleted. You should change the value of TMPTIME variable form /etc/default/rcS file.

The default value of these variable is 0 - these means that files will be deleted every time computer starts. Set up TMPTIME to 3 means that will delete files older than 3 days.

But you can set TMPTIME=infinite - these means that the files will be never deleted.

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Since my requirement is to inspect the files for debugging purposes, this solution works best for me. –  341008 Oct 23 at 16:29

/tmp is often an in memory file system so once you reboot, it's gone.

Instead of trying to preserve /tmp, I would try to get my processes to write to a different directory. If they are written well, the apps should honor the TMPDIR environment variable to decide where to write temp files; you can then have it point to another directory such as /var/tmp which should survive a reboot.

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you could change the times that files in /tmp have to be modified in order to delete them. but if you configure your linux distro to keep the files /tmp for ever and/or a long time then you hard disk will be filled with useless (or not) files in /tmp directory .. take a look here

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Taking into account the comment about /tmp being mounted as a "ramdisk" (aka tmpfs), use the mount command to make sure your system wasn't configured that way. –  pcapademic Jun 2 '10 at 18:40

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