Richard Freeman on 15 Jul 2010 18:48:49 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Laptop recovery--useful data to collect?--A tangent

On 07/15/2010 03:15 PM, JP Vossen wrote:
Files and directories located in /var/tmp must not be deleted when the
system is booted. Although data stored in /var/tmp is typically deleted
in a site-specific manner, it is recommended that deletions occur at a
less frequent interval than /tmp.

While I'm a big fan of FHS in general, and when wearing my gentoo dev hat it is just policy, in this case I'm not sure that this is all that critical.

I've been running for years with /var/tmp mounted on a tmpfs. Data is quite thoroughly deleted on reboot as a result. Never had a problem with this.

Gentoo uses /var/tmp/portage as the place where it does all its builds, which makes mounting that on tmpfs a VERY significant performance boost, regardless of RAM. For moderately-sized packages all those object files and other intermediates never touch the disk this way. Worst case you run out of RAM and swap, which means that some of the intermediates get written to disk in a lazy manner, rather than all of them hitting the disk systematically. I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of gentoo users have /var/tmp on tmpfs. The distro itself persists /var/tmp, and the tmpreaper default settings are moderately relaxed there.

In any case, following FHS is never a bad thing.

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