[Labs-l] Tools: Temporary files on exec/webserver hosts

Tim Landscheidt tim at tim-landscheidt.de
Wed Jun 4 15:06:35 UTC 2014


recently a web application filled up /tmp on a webserver
node with temporary files of several GBytes' size, thus dis-
abling several other tools that ran on that host that needed
space there as well.

In general, using /tmp for temporary files is useful and
correct, but in cases where those files can grow unbounded,
other solutions may be more appropriate.  When estimating
your specific application's size needs, you should keep in
mind parallel requests, dependency on user/database input,
aborted program runs, etc.

You have essentially limitless space beneath
/data/project/$YOURTOOL, so you can easily create a tempo-
rary directory /data/project/$YOURTOOL/var/tmp or similar.
If the temporary files are created by an external program
that you call from your script/web application, you can usu-
ally tell it to use that directory for temporary files by
setting the environment variable TMPDIR to its path.

If you have any questions, please let me know.


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