I'd like to investigate when files in /tmp get removed. I run CentOS 7. Policy regarding deleting files from that directory is governed as follows:

RHEL7 and RedHat-like with systemd it's configured in /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/tmp.conf, called by systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service)

I guess that three-year-old files are old enough to be deleted. So I set access time this way

find  /tmp/payaramicro*tmp -exec touch -m -a -t 201512180130.09 {} \;

However, when I run systemd-tmpfiles --clean those files won't get deleted. Why? Perhaps it has something to do with their dates as stat some-file shows today's date in one of its lines in output:

Access: 2015-12-18 01:30:09.000000000 +0100 Modify: 2015-12-18 01:30:09.000000000 +0100 Change: 2018-04-18 12:20:54.095962410 +0200

1 Answer 1


Yes, systemd-tmpfiles --clean considers change times too. You can see this by running it with debug logs enabled:

SYSTEMD_LOG_LEVEL=debug systemd-tmpfiles --clean

You’ll see it mentioning that the change time is too new.

  • Thanks, that's it. On a side note, how do change file dates so that the file would be available for systemd-tmpfiles --clean?
    – menteith
    Apr 18, 2018 at 11:17
  • You can’t control the change time (other than by changing your system’s notion of the current time). Apr 18, 2018 at 11:53

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