RFC on Cloud Images: Make /tmp a tmpfs

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at ubuntu.com
Thu Jan 21 10:14:21 UTC 2016

Robie Basak [2016-01-21  9:56 +0000]:
> I think we need a single canonical (small c) answer. Let's say that I'm
> an upstream maintainer of a project that currently uses large amounts of
> space in /tmp (say debdiff on kernel sources, for example). A user files
> a bug that his machine now explodes when he uses my program. How should
> I fix the bug?

How is that any different than what we have now? systems with more
memory than space on the root partition do exist [1], systems with
/tmp on tmpfs do exist. We are *not* going from "/tmp has indefinite
space" to "/tmp has little space", we are just changing the limit (not
necessarily downwards even!) to a differently fuzzy definition.

If you program dumps vast amounts of data into /tmp, that is a problem
somewhere no matter what you do. /var/tmp/ has traditionally had a
better chance of carrying large files (but of course also not


[1] We've even had bug reports where people filled the root partition
and then weren't able to log in any more because /tmp/ could not be
written into. We detected this on boot and mounted a small tmpfs over
/tmp/ to mitigate this.

Martin Pitt                        | http://www.piware.de
Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com)  | Debian Developer  (www.debian.org)
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