TMPWATCH(8) System Administrator's Manual TMPWATCH(8)
tmpwatch - removes files which haven't been accessed for a period of time
tmpwatch [-u|-m|-c] [-MUXadfqstvx] [--verbose] [--force] [--all]
[--nodirs] [--nosymlinks] [--test] [--fuser] [--quiet]
[--atime|--mtime|--ctime] [--dirmtime] [--exclude path]
[--exclude-user user] [--exclude-pattern pattern]
tmpwatch recursively removes files which haven't been accessed for a given time. Normally, it's used to clean up directories which are
used for temporary holding space such as /tmp.
When changing directories, tmpwatch is very sensitive to possible race conditions and will exit with an error if one is detected. It does
not follow symbolic links in the directories it's cleaning (even if a symbolic link is given as its argument), does not switch filesystems
(including non-trivial bind mounts), skips lost+found directories owned by the root user, and only removes empty directories, regular
files, symbolic links, and on some systems also unused sockets.
By default, tmpwatch dates files by their atime (access time), not their mtime (modification time). If files aren't being removed when ls
-l implies they should be, use ls -u to examine their atime to see if that explains the problem.
If the --atime, --ctime or --mtime options are used in combination, the decision about deleting a file will be based on the maximum of
these times. The --dirmtime option implies ignoring atime of directories, even if the --atime option is used.
The time parameter defines the threshold for removing files. If the file has not been accessed for time, the file is removed. The time
argument is a number with an optional single-character suffix specifying the units: m for minutes, h for hours, d for days. If no suffix
is specified, time is in hours.
Following this, one or more directories may be given for tmpwatch to clean up.
Make the decision about deleting a file based on the file's atime (access time). This is the default.
Note that the periodic updatedb file system scans keep the atime of directories recent.
Make the decision about deleting a file based on the file's mtime (modification time) instead of the atime.
Make the decision about deleting a file based on the file's ctime (inode change time) instead of the atime; for directories, make
the decision based on the mtime.
Make the decision about deleting a directory based on the directory's mtime (modification time) instead of the atime; completely
ignore atime for directories.
Remove all file types, not just regular files, symbolic links and directories. On systems where tmpwatch can remove unused sockets,
make the decision only based on file times, ignoring possible use of the socket.
Do not attempt to remove directories, even if they are empty.
Remove root-owned files even if root doesn't have write access (akin to rm -f).
Do not attempt to remove symbolic links.
Report only fatal errors.
Attempt to use the "fuser" command to see if a file is already open before removing it. Not enabled by default. Does help in some
circumstances, but not all. Dependent on fuser being installed in /sbin. Not supported on HP-UX or Solaris.
Don't remove files, but go through the motions of removing them. This implies -v.
Don't remove files owned by user, which can be an user name or numeric user ID.
Print a verbose display. Two levels of verboseness are available -- use this option twice to get the most verbose output.
Skip path; if path is a directory, all files contained in it are skipped too. If path does not exist, it must be an absolute path
that contains no symbolic links.
Skip paths matching pattern; if a directory matches pattern, all files contained in it are skipped too. pattern must match an abso-
lute path that contains no symbolic links.
cron(1), ls(1), rm(1), fuser(1)
Erik Troan <email@example.com>
Preston Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nalin Dahyabhai <email@example.com>
Miloslav Trmac <firstname.lastname@example.org>
4th Berkeley Distribution 2009-10-15 TMPWATCH(8)