File::Temp - return name and handle of a temporary file safely
File::Temp - return name and handle of a temporary file safely
use File::Temp qw/ tempfile tempdir /;
$dir = tempdir( CLEANUP => 1 ); ($fh, $filename) = tempfile( DIR => $dir );
($fh, $filename) = tempfile( $template, DIR => $dir); ($fh, $filename) = tempfile( $template, SUFFIX => '.dat');
$fh = tempfile();
require File::Temp; use File::Temp ();
$fh = new File::Temp($template); $fname = $fh->filename;
$tmp = new File::Temp( UNLINK => 0, SUFFIX => '.dat' ); print $tmp "Some data\n"; print "Filename is $tmp\n";
use File::Temp qw/ :mktemp /;
($fh, $file) = mkstemp( "tmpfileXXXXX" ); ($fh, $file) = mkstemps( "tmpfileXXXXXX", $suffix);
$tmpdir = mkdtemp( $template );
$unopened_file = mktemp( $template );
use File::Temp qw/ :POSIX /;
$file = tmpnam(); $fh = tmpfile();
($fh, $file) = tmpnam(); $fh = tmpfile();
$unopened_file = File::Temp::tempnam( $dir, $pfx );
File::Temp can be used to create and open temporary files in a safe
way. There is both a function interface and an object-oriented
interface. The File::Temp constructor or the
tempfile() function can
be used to return the name and the open filehandle of a temporary
tempdir() function can be used to create a temporary
The security aspect of temporary file creation is emphasized such that a filehandle and filename are returned together. This helps guarantee that a race condition can not occur where the temporary file is created by another process between checking for the existence of the file and its opening. Additional security levels are provided to check, for example, that the sticky bit is set on world writable directories. See safe_level for more information.
For compatibility with popular C library functions, Perl implementations of
mkstemp() family of functions are provided. These are, mkstemp(),
mkdtemp() and mktemp().
Additionally, implementations of the standard POSIX
tmpfile() functions are provided if required.
Implementations of mktemp(), tmpnam(), and
tempnam() are provided,
but should be used with caution since they return only a filename
that was valid when function was called, so cannot guarantee
that the file will not exist by the time the caller opens the filename.
This is the primary interface for interacting with
File::Temp. Using the OO interface a temporary file can be created
when the object is constructed and the file can be removed when the
object is no longer required.
Note that there is no method to obtain the filehandle from the
File::Temp object. The object itself acts as a filehandle. Also,
the object is configured such that it stringifies to the name of the
my $tmp = new File::Temp();
by default the object is constructed as if
was called without options, but with the additional behaviour
that the temporary file is removed by the object destructor
if UNLINK is set to true (the default).
Supported arguments are the same as for
(defaulting to true), DIR and SUFFIX. Additionally, the filename
template is specified using the TEMPLATE option. The OPEN option
is not supported (the file is always opened).
$tmp = new File::Temp( TEMPLATE => 'tempXXXXX', DIR => 'mydir', SUFFIX => '.dat');
Arguments are case insensitive.
$filename = $tmp->filename;
This method is called automatically when the object is used as a string.
unlink1) if the constructor was called with UNLINK set to 1 (the default state if UNLINK is not specified).
No error is given if the unlink fails.
This section describes the recommended interface for generating temporary files and directories.
($fh, $filename) = tempfile();
Create a temporary file in the directory specified for temporary
files, as specified by the
tmpdir() function in the File::Spec manpage.
($fh, $filename) = tempfile($template);
Create a temporary file in the current directory using the supplied template. Trailing `X' characters are replaced with random letters to generate the filename. At least four `X' characters must be present at the end of the template.
($fh, $filename) = tempfile($template, SUFFIX => $suffix)
Same as previously, except that a suffix is added to the template after the `X' translation. Useful for ensuring that a temporary filename has a particular extension when needed by other applications. But see the WARNING at the end.
($fh, $filename) = tempfile($template, DIR => $dir);
Translates the template as before except that a directory name is specified.
($fh, $filename) = tempfile($template, UNLINK => 1);
Return the filename and filehandle as before except that the file is automatically removed when the program exits. Default is for the file to be removed if a file handle is requested and to be kept if the filename is requested. In a scalar context (where no filename is returned) the file is always deleted either on exit or when it is closed.
If the template is not specified, a template is always
automatically generated. This temporary file is placed in
(the File::Spec manpage) unless a directory is specified explicitly with the
$fh = tempfile( $template, DIR => $dir );
If called in scalar context, only the filehandle is returned
and the file will automatically be deleted when closed (see
the description of
tmpfile() elsewhere in this document).
This is the preferred mode of operation, as if you only
have a filehandle, you can never create a race condition
by fumbling with the filename. On systems that can not unlink
an open file or can not mark a file as temporary when it is opened
(for example, Windows NT uses the
the file is marked for deletion when the program ends (equivalent
to setting UNLINK to 1). The
UNLINK flag is ignored if present.
(undef, $filename) = tempfile($template, OPEN => 0);
This will return the filename based on the template but
will not open this file. Cannot be used in conjunction with
UNLINK set to true. Default is to always open the file
to protect from possible race conditions. A warning is issued
if warnings are turned on. Consider using the
mktemp() functions described elsewhere in this document
if opening the file is not required.
Options can be combined as required.
$tempdir = tempdir();
Create a directory in
tmpdir() (see File::Spec).
$tempdir = tempdir( $template );
Create a directory from the supplied template. This template is similar to that described for tempfile(). `X' characters at the end of the template are replaced with random letters to construct the directory name. At least four `X' characters must be in the template.
$tempdir = tempdir ( DIR => $dir );
Specifies the directory to use for the temporary directory. The temporary directory name is derived from an internal template.
$tempdir = tempdir ( $template, DIR => $dir );
Prepend the supplied directory name to the template. The template should not include parent directory specifications itself. Any parent directory specifications are removed from the template before prepending the supplied directory.
$tempdir = tempdir ( $template, TMPDIR => 1 );
Using the supplied template, create the temporary directory in a standard location for temporary files. Equivalent to doing
$tempdir = tempdir ( $template, DIR => File::Spec->tmpdir);
but shorter. Parent directory specifications are stripped from the
template itself. The
TMPDIR option is ignored if
DIR is set
TMPDIR is implied if neither a template
nor a directory are supplied.
$tempdir = tempdir( $template, CLEANUP => 1);
Create a temporary directory using the supplied template, but
attempt to remove it (and all files inside it) when the program
exits. Note that an attempt will be made to remove all files from
the directory even if they were not created by this module (otherwise
why ask to clean it up?). The directory removal is made with
rmtree() function from the File::Path module.
Of course, if the template is not specified, the temporary directory
will be created in
tmpdir() and will also be removed at program exit.
The following functions are Perl implementations of the
mktemp() family of temp file generation system calls.
($fh, $name) = mkstemp( $template );
In scalar context, just the filehandle is returned.
The template may be any filename with some number of X's appended to it, for example /tmp/temp.XXXX. The trailing X's are replaced with unique alphanumeric combinations.
($fh, $name) = mkstemps( $template, $suffix );
For example a template of
testXXXXXX and suffix of
would generate a file similar to testhGji_w.dat.
Returns just the filehandle alone when called in scalar context.
$tmpdir_name = mkdtemp($template);
Returns the name of the temporary directory created. Returns undef on failure.
Directory must be removed by the caller.
$unopened_file = mktemp($template);
Template is the same as that required by mkstemp().
This section describes the re-implementation of the
tmpfile() functions described in the POSIX manpage
mkstemp() from this module.
Unlike the POSIX implementations, the directory used
for the temporary file is not specified in a system include
P_tmpdir) but simply depends on the choice of
returned by File::Spec. On some implementations this
location can be set using the
TMPDIR environment variable, which
may not be secure.
If this is a problem, simply use
mkstemp() and specify a template.
$file = tmpnam();
When called in list context, a filehandle to the open file and
a filename are returned. This is achieved by calling
after constructing a suitable template.
($fh, $file) = tmpnam();
If possible, this form should be used to prevent possible race conditions.
See tmpdir in the File::Spec manpage for information on the choice of temporary directory for a particular operating system.
$fh = tmpfile();
The file is removed when the filehandle is closed or when the program exits. No access to the filename is provided.
If the temporary file can not be created undef is returned. Currently this command will probably not work when the temporary directory is on an NFS file system.
These functions are provided for backwards compatibility with common tempfile generation C library functions.
They are not exported and must be addressed using the full package name.
O_CREAT | O_EXCLif you must open such a filename.
$filename = File::Temp::tempnam( $dir, $prefix );
Equivalent to running
mktemp() with $dir/$prefixXXXXXXXX
(using unix file convention as an example)
Because this function uses mktemp(), it can suffer from race conditions.
Useful functions for dealing with the filehandle and filename.
stat()are compared). Then the filename is unlinked and the filehandle checked once again to verify that the number of links on that file is now 0. This is the closest you can come to making sure that the filename unlinked was the same as the file whose descriptor you hold.
unlink0($fh, $path) or die "Error unlinking file $path safely";
Returns false on error. The filehandle is not closed since on some occasions this is not required.
On some platforms, for example Windows NT, it is not possible to unlink an open file (the file must be closed first). On those platforms, the actual unlinking is deferred until the program ends and good status is returned. A check is still performed to make sure that the filehandle and filename are pointing to the same thing (but not at the time the end block is executed since the deferred removal may not have access to the filehandle).
Additionally, on Windows NT not all the fields returned by
be compared. For example, the
rdev fields seem to be
different. Also, it seems that the size of the file returned by
does not always agree, with
stat(FH) being more accurate than
stat(filename), presumably because of caching issues even when
using autoflush (this is usually overcome by waiting a while after
writing to the tempfile before attempting to
Finally, on NFS file systems the link count of the file handle does not always go to zero immediately after unlinking. Currently, this command is expected to fail on NFS disks.
statof filehandle with
statof provided filename. This can be used to check that the filename and filehandle initially point to the same file and that the number of links to the file is 1 (all fields returned by
cmpstat($fh, $path) or die "Error comparing handle with file";
Returns false if the stat information differs or if the link count is greater than 1.
On certain platofms, eg Windows, not all the fields returned by
can be compared. For example, the
rdev fields seem to be
different in Windows. Also, it seems that the size of the file
stat() does not always agree, with
stat(FH) being more
stat(filename), presumably because of caching issues
even when using autoflush (this is usually overcome by waiting a while
after writing to the tempfile before attempting to
Not exported by default.
unlink0except after file comparison using cmpstat, the filehandle is closed prior to attempting to unlink the file. This allows the file to be removed without using an END block, but does mean that the post-unlink comparison of the filehandle state provided by
unlink0is not available.
unlink1($fh, $path) or die "Error closing and unlinking file";
Usually called from the object destructor when using the OO interface.
Not exported by default.
These functions control the global state of the package.
umask()is fixed before opening of the file, that temporary files are opened only if they do not already exist, and that possible race conditions are avoided. Finally the unlink0 function is used to remove files safely.
Will not work on platforms that do not support the
for sticky bit.
sysconf()function. If this is a possibility, each directory in the path is checked in turn for safeness, recursively walking back to the root directory.
For platforms that do not support the POSIX
_PC_CHOWN_RESTRICTED symbol (for example, Windows NT) it is
assumed that ``chown() giveaway'' is possible and the recursive test
The level can be changed as follows:
File::Temp->safe_level( File::Temp::HIGH );
The level constants are not exported by the module.
Currently, you must be running at least perl v5.6.0 in order to run with MEDIUM or HIGH security. This is simply because the safety tests use functions from Fcntl that are not available in older versions of perl. The problem is that the version number for Fcntl is the same in perl 5.6.0 and in 5.005_03 even though they are different versions.
On systems that do not support the HIGH or MEDIUM safety levels (for example Win NT or OS/2) any attempt to change the level will be ignored. The decision to ignore rather than raise an exception allows portable programs to be written with high security in mind for the systems that can support this without those programs failing on systems where the extra tests are irrelevant.
If you really need to see whether the change has been accepted
simply examine the return value of
$newlevel = File::Temp->safe_level( File::Temp::HIGH ); die "Could not change to high security" if $newlevel != File::Temp::HIGH;
sysetc) rather than simply by root.
This is required since on many unix systems
/tmp is not owned
Default is to assume that any UID less than or equal to 10 is a root UID.
File::Temp->top_system_uid(10); my $topid = File::Temp->top_system_uid;
This value can be adjusted to reduce security checking if required.
The value is only relevant when
safe_level is set to MEDIUM or higher.
For maximum security, endeavour always to avoid ever looking at, touching, or even imputing the existence of the filename. You do not know that that filename is connected to the same file as the handle you have, and attempts to check this can only trigger more race conditions. It's far more secure to use the filehandle alone and dispense with the filename altogether.
If you need to pass the handle to something that expects a filename
then, on a unix system, use
"/dev/fd/" . fileno($fh) for arbitrary
programs, or more generally
"+<=&" . fileno($fh) for Perl
programs. You will have to clear the close-on-exec bit on that file
descriptor before passing it to another process.
use Fcntl qw/F_SETFD F_GETFD/; fcntl($tmpfh, F_SETFD, 0) or die "Can't clear close-on-exec flag on temp fh: $!\n";
Some problems are associated with using temporary files that reside on NFS file systems and it is recommended that a local filesystem is used whenever possible. Some of the security tests will most probably fail when the temp file is not local. Additionally, be aware that the performance of I/O operations over NFS will not be as good as for a local disk.
Originally began life in May 1999 as an XS interface to the system
mkstemp() function. In March 2000, the OpenBSD
mkstemp() code was
translated to Perl for total control of the code's
security checking, to ensure the presence of the function regardless of
operating system and to help with portability.
tmpnam in the POSIX manpage, tmpfile in the POSIX manpage, the File::Spec manpage, the File::Path manpage
See the IO::File manpage and the File::MkTemp manpage for different implementations of temporary file handling.
Tim Jenness <email@example.com>
Copyright (C) 1999-2003 Tim Jenness and the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council. All Rights Reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.
Original Perl implementation loosely based on the OpenBSD C code for mkstemp(). Thanks to Tom Christiansen for suggesting that this module should be written and providing ideas for code improvements and security enhancements.
File::Temp - return name and handle of a temporary file safely