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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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mktemp [options] [template]

Generate a unique temporary filename for use in a script. The filename is based on the specified template, which may be any filename with at least six Xs appended (e.g., /tmp/mytemp.XXXXXX). mktemp replaces the Xs with the current process number and/or a unique letter combination. The file is created with mode 0600 (unless -u is specified), and the filename is written to standard output. With no template specified, the default file tmp.XXXXXXXXXX is created and the -t option is implied.



Make a directory, not a file.


Fail silently in case of error. Useful to prevent error output from being sent to standard error.

-p directory

Generate the temporary file in the specified directory.


Generate a path to the file rooted in a temporary directory. The directory is taken from the TMPDIR environment variable if it is set, or from the -p option. If neither is set, /tmp is used.


Operate in "unsafe" mode and unlink the temporary file before mktemp exits. Use of this option is not recommended.


Print version information and exit.

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