Permissions on key directories/files.

Jim Gettys Jim.Gettys at
Mon Mar 22 19:20:50 EET 2004

Technically, the contents of these directories *are* temporary
files (actually, sockets)

What we *should* have done was put the sockets in a known location
in the file system under X's control.

We didn't, because at the time, systems were often timeshared,
and that would make it difficult for a random user to do an
installation; we could not presume root access on a system.

My age is showing: for .X11-unix, this was sometime in the
middle '80's.  ICE just followed the established trend and came
along a bit later.

If you have an application statically linked, it would not look
in the right location. 

At this date we have somewhat of an interoperability question if
we try to move these directories.  It might be possible to
finesse this by looking both in a new location, and also old
location simultaneously.
                           - Jim

On Mon, 2004-03-22 at 12:04, Lars Hallberg wrote:
> Jim Gettys wrote:
> >Certainly, either: 1) having {x,g,k}dm set up the directories is
> >one fix, 2) a helper program is another, and there may be others
> >I haven't thought about.  But saying the installation process
> >should fix it isn't a robust fix.
> >  
> >
> Alternativly, moving the stuff to /var/.... /var/state/ ???
> People asuming stuff to remain in /tmp shuld read:
> Filesystem Hierarchy Standard
> 3.15 /tmp : Temporary files
> 3.15.1 Purpose
> The /tmp directory must be made available for programs that require 
> temporary files.
> Programs must not assume that any files or directories in /tmp are 
> preserved between invocations of the program.
> IEEE standard P1003.2 (POSIX, part 2) makes requirements that are 
> similar to the above section.
> Although data stored in /tmp may be deleted in a site-specific manner, 
> it is recommended that files and directories located in /tmp be deleted 
> whenever the system is booted.
> FHS added this recommendation on the basis of historical precedent and 
> common practice, but did not make it a requirement because system 
> administration is not within the scope of this standard.
> _______________________________________________
> xdg mailing list
> xdg at
Jim Gettys <Jim.Gettys at>
HP Labs, Cambridge Research Laboratory

More information about the xdg mailing list