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


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

System units:


User units:



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. 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.


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.


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

Note that this option does not alter how the users and groups specified in the configuration files are resolved. With or without this option, users and groups are always resolved according to the host's user and group databases, any such databases stored under the specified root directories are not consulted.

-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. 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_ADMIN 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.


On success, 0 is returned. If the configuration was invalid (invalid syntax, missing arguments, ...), so some lines had to be ignored, but no other errors occurred, 65 is returned (EX_DATAERR from /usr/include/sysexits.h). Otherwise, 1 is returned (EXIT_FAILURE from /usr/include/stdlib.h).


systemd(1), tmpfiles.d(5)