Accidently, I ran sudo rm -r /tmp, is that a problem ?
I recreated it using sudo mkdir /tmp, does that fix the problem ?

After I recreated the directory, In the places section in the sidebar in nautilus in Ubuntu 14.04 I can see /tmp , which wasn't there before .. Is that a problem ?

One last thing, do I have to run sudo chown $USER:$USER /tmp to make it accessible as it was before .. Would there be any side-effects after this ?

By the way, I get this seemingly-related error whenI try to use bash autocompletion

bash: cannot create temp file for here-document: Permission denied


/tmp can be considered as a typical directory in most cases. You can recreate it, give it to root (chown root:root /tmp) and set 1777 permissions on it so that everyone can use it (chmod 1777 /tmp). This operation will be even more important if your /tmp is on a separate partition (which makes it a mount point).

By the way, since many programs rely on temporary files, I would recommend a reboot to ensure that all programs resume as usual. Even if most programs are designed to handle these situations properly, some may not.

  • 2
    /tmp doesn't need to have a partition, though it can be. /tmp can also be a filesystem of type tmpfs or ramfs keeping tmp files in memory. One needs to decide between ram or device depending on use, size of data, etc.
    – bsd
    Aug 12 '14 at 17:06
  • The final info is: drwxrwxrwt 5 root root 4096 أغس 12 20:21 tmp/ .. Is that fine ?
    – Amr Ayman
    Aug 12 '14 at 17:23
  • @AmrAyman These are typical /tmp permissions, yes. rwx everywhere so that everyone can read and write to it, and a sticky bit (t) to ensure individual files ownership/permissions inside /tmp. See here for more info. Aug 12 '14 at 17:26

The directory /tmp must have the permissions 1777 = rwxrwxrwt, i.e. everybody can read, write and access files in the directory, and (t = sticky bit) files may only be deleted by their owner. A lot of things will stop working if this isn't the case, sometimes in bizarre ways.

sudo mkdir -m 1777 /tmp


sudo mkdir /tmp && sudo chmod 1777 /tmp

/tmp must belong to root. Don't change its ownership to another user.

Programs that were using temporary files at the time you deleted them may be a bit confused. A few background programs keep a socket in /tmp and will need to be restarted. The main one is the X server: after deleting /tmp/.X11-unix/X0, you will no longer be able to start any GUI application. You'll need to log out and back in to remedy that (fix the permissions first!).

  • is it not chmod?
    – Ramesh
    Aug 13 '14 at 0:12

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