I have a bash script that reads filenames, takes a selection of data, build a table, and then adds the header. Unfortunately, at the point to add the header and give the output file, I have the following error message:

./big_table_rcp.sh: line 153: /tmp/out: Permission denied

It is linked with the following line:

| cat - out_${scenario}.txt > /tmp/out && mv /tmp/out ${gauge}_${scenario}.txt

Does anyone know how to give access to the output file?

  • 3
    You should probably use a unique filename. The problem is that /tmp/out was already used by someone else, and you can't overwrite their file.
    – Barmar
    Oct 12 '15 at 20:15
  • does /tmp/out already exist? can you write to it?
    – rogerdpack
    May 16 '19 at 21:39

You may be getting permission errors because you don't have permissions to access /tmp/out or the /tmp directory.

Before the offending line, include somehting like ls -l /tmp | grep out to see what permissions the /tmp/out file has.

In addition, instead of using /tmp/out, use mktemp.

your code here | cat - out_${scenario}.txt > "$tmpfile" && mv "$tmpfile" ${gauge}_${scenario}.txt

From man mktemp:

Create a temporary file or directory, safely, and print its name.


Do not use /tmp/out, but rather /tmp/out.$$ this will not conflict in case of concurrent running, or leftover process, better still, use /tmp/out.${LOGNAME}.$$ which will allow for a user level cleanup.

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