mktemp (1)

Quick Reference

Create a temporary file or directory.

  • Create an empty temporary file and return the absolute path to it:


  • Create a temporary directory and return the absolute path to it:

mktemp -d

  • Create a temporary file with a specified suffix:

mktemp --suffix "{{.txt}}"


mktemp - create a temporary file or directory


mktemp [ OPTION]... [TEMPLATE]


Create a temporary file or directory, safely, and print its name. TEMPLATE must contain at least 3 consecutive 'X's in last component. If TEMPLATE is not specified, use tmp.XXXXXXXXXX, and --tmpdir is implied. Files are created u+rw, and directories u+rwx, minus umask restrictions.
-d, --directory
create a directory, not a file
-u, --dry-run
do not create anything; merely print a name (unsafe)
-q, --quiet
suppress diagnostics about file/dir-creation failure
append SUFF to TEMPLATE; SUFF must not contain a slash. This option is implied if TEMPLATE does not end in X
-p DIR, --tmpdir[=DIR]
interpret TEMPLATE relative to DIR; if DIR is not specified, use $TMPDIR if set, else /tmp. With this option, TEMPLATE must not be an absolute name; unlike with -t, TEMPLATE may contain slashes, but mktemp creates only the final component
interpret TEMPLATE as a single file name component, relative to a directory: $TMPDIR, if set; else the directory specified via -p; else /tmp [deprecated]
display this help and exit
output version information and exit


Written by Jim Meyering and Eric Blake.


GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report mktemp translation bugs to <>


mkstemp(3), mkdtemp(3), mktemp(3)
Full documentation at: <>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) mktemp invocation'


GNU coreutils 8.29.13-0a854
Source updated
December 2, 2018
Page created
February 9, 2018
Page generated
December 2, 2018