systemd-tmpfiles(8) — Linux manual page


SYSTEMD-TMPFILES(8)         systemd-tmpfiles         SYSTEMD-TMPFILES(8)

NAME         top

       systemd-tmpfiles, systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service, systemd-
       tmpfiles-setup-dev.service, systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service,
       systemd-tmpfiles-clean.timer - Creates, deletes and cleans up
       volatile and temporary files and directories

SYNOPSIS         top

       systemd-tmpfiles [OPTIONS...] [CONFIGFILE...]

       System units:


       User units:


DESCRIPTION         top

       systemd-tmpfiles creates, deletes, and cleans up volatile and
       temporary files and directories, based on the configuration file
       format and location specified in tmpfiles.d(5).

       If invoked with no arguments, it applies all directives from all
       configuration files. When invoked with --replace=PATH, arguments
       specified on the command line are used instead of the
       configuration file PATH. Otherwise, if one or more absolute
       filenames are passed on the command line, only the directives in
       these files are applied. If "-" is specified instead of a
       filename, directives are read from standard input. If only the
       basename of a configuration file is specified, all configuration
       directories as specified in tmpfiles.d(5) are searched for a
       matching file and the file found that has the highest priority is

       System services (systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service,
       systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service) invoke systemd-tmpfiles to create
       system files and to perform system wide cleanup. Those services
       read administrator-controlled configuration files in tmpfiles.d/
       directories. User services (systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service,
       systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service) also invoke systemd-tmpfiles, but
       it reads a separate set of files, which includes user-controlled
       files under ~/.config/user-tmpfiles.d/ and
       ~/.local/share/user-tmpfiles.d/, and administrator-controlled
       files under /usr/share/user-tmpfiles.d/. Users may use this to
       create and clean up files under their control, but the system
       instance performs global cleanup and is not influenced by user
       configuration. Note that this means a time-based cleanup
       configured in the system instance, such as the one typically
       configured for /tmp/, will thus also affect files created by the
       user instance if they are placed in /tmp/, even if the user
       instance's time-based cleanup is turned off.

OPTIONS         top

       The following options are understood:

           If this option is passed, all files and directories marked
           with f, F, w, d, D, v, p, L, c, b, m in the configuration
           files are created or written to. Files and directories marked
           with z, Z, t, T, a, and A have their ownership, access mode
           and security labels set.

           If this option is passed, all files and directories with an
           age parameter configured will be cleaned up.

           If this option is passed, the contents of directories marked
           with D or R, and files or directories themselves marked with
           r or R are removed.

           Execute "user" configuration, i.e.  tmpfiles.d files in user
           configuration directories.

           Also execute lines with an exclamation mark.

           Only apply rules with paths that start with the specified
           prefix. This option can be specified multiple times.

           Ignore rules with paths that start with the specified prefix.
           This option can be specified multiple times.

           A shortcut for "--exclude-prefix=/dev --exclude-prefix=/proc
           --exclude-prefix=/run --exclude-prefix=/sys", i.e. exclude
           the hierarchies typically backed by virtual or memory file
           systems. This is useful in combination with --root=, if the
           specified directory tree contains an OS tree without these
           virtual/memory file systems mounted in, as it is typically
           not desirable to create any files and directories below these
           subdirectories if they are supposed to be overmounted during

           Takes a directory path as an argument. All paths will be
           prefixed with the given alternate root path, including config
           search paths.

           When this option is used, the libc Name Service Switch (NSS)
           is bypassed for resolving users and groups. Instead the files
           /etc/passwd and /etc/group inside the alternate root are read
           directly. This means that users/groups not listed in these
           files will not be resolved, i.e. LDAP NIS and other complex
           databases are not considered.

           Consider combining this with -E to ensure the invocation does
           not create files or directories below mount points in the OS
           image operated on that are typically overmounted during

           Takes a path to a disk image file or block device node. If
           specified all operations are applied to file system in the
           indicated disk image. This is similar to --root= but operates
           on file systems stored in disk images or block devices. The
           disk image should either contain just a file system or a set
           of file systems within a GPT partition table, following the
           Discoverable Partitions Specification[1]. For further
           information on supported disk images, see systemd-nspawn(1)'s
           switch of the same name.

           Implies -E.

           When this option is given, one ore more positional arguments
           must be specified. All configuration files found in the
           directories listed in tmpfiles.d(5) will be read, and the
           configuration given on the command line will be handled
           instead of and with the same priority as the configuration
           file PATH.

           This option is intended to be used when package installation
           scripts are running and files belonging to that package are
           not yet available on disk, so their contents must be given on
           the command line, but the admin configuration might already
           exist and should be given higher priority.

           Copy the contents of config files to standard output. Before
           each file, the filename is printed as a comment.

           Do not pipe output into a pager.

       -h, --help
           Print a short help text and exit.

           Print a short version string and exit.

       It is possible to combine --create, --clean, and --remove in one
       invocation (in which case removal and cleanup are executed before
       creation of new files). For example, during boot the following
       command line is executed to ensure that all temporary and
       volatile directories are removed and created according to the
       configuration file:

           systemd-tmpfiles --remove --create


       systemd-tmpfiles tries to avoid changing the access and
       modification times on the directories it accesses, which requires
       CAP_FOWNER privileges. When running as non-root, directories
       which are checked for files to clean up will have their access
       time bumped, which might prevent their cleanup.

EXIT STATUS         top

       On success, 0 is returned. If the configuration was syntactically
       invalid (syntax errors, missing arguments, ...), so some lines
       had to be ignored, but no other errors occurred, 65 is returned
       (EX_DATAERR from /usr/include/sysexits.h). If the configuration
       was syntactically valid, but could not be executed (lack of
       permissions, creation of files in missing directories, invalid
       contents when writing to /sys/ values, ...), 73 is returned
       (EX_CANTCREAT from /usr/include/sysexits.h). Otherwise, 1 is
       returned (EXIT_FAILURE from /usr/include/stdlib.h).

SEE ALSO         top

       systemd(1), tmpfiles.d(5)

NOTES         top

        1. Discoverable Partitions Specification

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the systemd (systemd system and service
       manager) project.  Information about the project can be found at
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       a bug report for this manual page, see
       This page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-12-18.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2020-12-18.)  If you discover any rendering
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       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

systemd 247                                          SYSTEMD-TMPFILES(8)

Pages that refer to this page: coredump.conf(5)systemd.exec(5)tmpfiles.d(5)systemd.directives(7)systemd.index(7)systemd-coredump(8)