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How to Not Keep a Cluttered Desktop

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Feb. 3rd, 2008 | 10:04 am

Yesterday I got the question "Why does your folder list have a Tmp?"

Because I do not want a desktop filled with files I do not want to
keep long term. I generate "temporary" files all the time. More often
then not they are from me converting Keynote files to PowerPoint
files. I have originals, I do not need to keep around these copies.

Why tmp? Because OSX deletes all of the contents of it each time I
reboot my laptop. By linking it to my home directory I make it
possible to create a link in the Finder. This saves me from having to
go through my desktop and delete files manually (which is what I
observe other OSX users doing).

How do you do this?

Create a logical link in your home directory like so:

ln -s /tmp /Users/brian/Tmp

After that you can just drag and drop it into your Finders "PLACES"
list. From now on it is simple to save documents there from any OSX
application. No need to worry about cleaning it up, this will be done
on each reboot.
Tmp Folder.png

Update: Yes, I forgot to put the "Tmp" on the end of the symbolic create. Ooops :) Though the command will work anyways, since trying to create a link to a directory will just force the creation of the link into the directory (aka it does not overwrite).

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Comments {2}


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from: kytty
date: Feb. 4th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)

Great tips! Have you got any for the old-fashioned type of desktop? I suppose I could label a box "tmp" but not sure where I'd find someone to automatically empty it for me ;p

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Yazz D. Atlas


from: aaton
date: Feb. 6th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)

1. Launch Terminal
2. ln -s /tmp

Since your currently in your home dir you don't actually need to provide the full path.

$ pwd
$ ln -s /tmp
$ ls -ld tmp
lrwxr-xr-x 1 yazz staff 4 Feb 5 18:41 tmp -> /tmp

Now for other systems like Redhat a file may be deleted before it reboots if it put in /tmp. There is a command that is run via cron.daly that calls tmpwatch. It removes files based on when the item was last accessed.

As for Debian, there is a variable in /etc/default/rcS called TMPTIME which determans what to remove after a reboot.

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