mktemp [-dtqu] [-p directory] [template]
The mktemp utility makes a temporary filename. To do this, mktemp takes the specified filename template and overwrites a portion of it to create a unique filename. See OPERANDS.
The template is passed to mktemp(3C) for directories or mkstemp(3C) for ordinary files.
If mktemp can successfully generate a unique filename, the file (or directory) is created with file permissions such that it is only readable and writable by its owner (unless the -u flag is given) and the filename is printed to standard output.
mktemp allows shell scripts to safely use temporary files. Traditionally, many shell scripts take the name of the program with the PID as a suffix and used that as a temporary filename. This kind of naming scheme is predictable and the race condition it creates is easy for an attacker to win. A safer, though still inferior approach is to make a temporary directory using the same naming scheme. While this guarantees that a temporary file is not subverted, it still allows a simple denial of service attack. Use mktemp instead.
The following options are supported:
The following operands are supported:
If template is not specified, a default of tmp.XXXXXX is used and the -t flag is implied.
Example 1 Using mktemp
The following example illustrates a simple use of mktemp in a sh(1) script. In this example, the script quits if it cannot get a safe temporary file.
TMPFILE=`mktemp /tmp/example.XXXXXX` if [ -z "$TMPFILE" ]; then exit 1; fi echo "program output" >> $TMPFILE
Example 2 Using mktemp to Support TMPDIR
The following example uses mktemp to support for a user's TMPDIR environment variable:
TMPFILE=`mktemp -t example.XXXXXX` if [ -z "$TMPFILE" ]; then exit 1; fi echo "program output" >> $TMPFILE
Example 3 Using mktemp Without Specifying the Name of the Temporary File
The following example uses mktemp without specifying the name of the temporary file. In this case the -t flag is implied.
TMPFILE=`mktemp` if [ -z "$TMPFILE" ]; then exit 1; fi echo "program output" >> $TMPFILE
Example 4 Using mktemp with a Default Temporary Directory Other than /tmp
The following example creates the temporary file in /extra/tmp unless the user's TMPDIR environment variable specifies otherwise:
TMPFILE=`mktemp -p /extra/tmp example.XXXXX` if [ -z "$TMPFILE" ]; then exit 1; fi echo "program output" >> $TMPFILE
Example 5 Using mktemp to Remove a File
The following example attempts to create two temporary files. If creation of the second temporary file fails, mktemp removes the first file before exiting:
TMP1=`mktemp -t example.1.XXXXXX` if [ -z "$TMP1" ]; then exit 1; fi TMP2=`mktemp -t example.2.XXXXXX` if [ -z "$TMP2" ]; then rm -f $TMP1 exit 1 fi
Example 6 Using mktemp
The following example does not exit if mktemp is unable to create the file. That part of the script has been protected.
TMPFILE=`mktemp -q -t example.XXXXXX` if [ ! -z "$TMPFILE" ] then # Safe to use $TMPFILE in this block echo data > $TMPFILE ... rm -f $TMPFILE fi
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of mktemp with the -t option: TMPDIR.
The following exit values are returned:
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
sh(1), mkstemp(3C), mktemp(3C), attributes(5), environ(5)
The mktemp utility appeared in OpenBSD 2.1. The Solaris implementation uses only as many `Xs' as are significant for mktemp(3C) and mkstemp(3C).