dh_installtmpfiles - Linux


dh_installtmpfiles is a tool used within the Debian packaging system to generate scripts for installing and removing temporary files. It ensures that these files are properly managed throughout the package installation and removal process.


dh_installtmpfiles [options] [source-dir]


  • -c, –create : Create a new tmpfiles.d file.
  • -r, –remove : Remove an existing tmpfiles.d file.
  • -m, –mode : Set the mode of the generated tmpfiles.d file.
  • -g, –group : Set the group of the generated tmpfiles.d file.
  • -o, –owner : Set the owner of the generated tmpfiles.d file.
  • -p, –package : Set the package name of the generated tmpfiles.d file.
  • -a, –add : Add a list of paths to a specific target directory.
  • -d, –delete : Delete a list of paths from a specific target directory.
  • -f, –file : Install a file from a source path to a specific target directory.
  • -l, –link : Create a symbolic link from a source link to a target link within a specific target directory.
  • -D, –debbuild: Create the scripts inside a debbuild invocation.
  • -s, –dm: Create debian mint style tmpfiles rules.


Creating a New tmpfiles.d File

dh_installtmpfiles --create /path/to/my_tmpfiles.d

Adding a File to a Target Directory

dh_installtmpfiles --add /tmp /path/to/myfile

Creating a Symbolic Link

dh_installtmpfiles --link /tmp /path/to/source-link /path/to/target-link

Common Issues

Missing Permissions

If the generated tmpfiles.d file does not have the correct permissions, it may not be executed properly. Ensure that the file has appropriate ownership and modes.

Conflicting Paths

dh_installtmpfiles overwrites existing paths by default. If you want to avoid this, use the --add or --link options instead.


dh_installtmpfiles can be integrated with other Debian packaging tools, such as dh_installdeb and dpkg. It can also be used in conjunction with other tmpfiles-related tools, such as checktmpfiles.

Related Commands

  • dh_installdeb: Install Debian packages.
  • dpkg: Manage Debian packages.
  • tmpfiles: Manage temporary files and directories.