Files in /private/tmp/ Directory

Hi, from time to time some files are added to the /private/tmp/ directory when using DEVONthink (1.7.1.). After closing the app the files still remain there. For now, I delete these copies of (e.g. imported PDF files) manually. Is there another way and why does this happen? Thanks, Ansgar

Hi Ansgar,

this not a DT behavior, but a OSX feature. After a restart all this tmp-files are deleted. But you can use c o c ktail or other sys-apps to delete user- and system-tmp-files.


These files are necessary to make drag 'n drop fully Carbon and OS X 10.1.x compatible. Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible to drag contents to the Finder for example. But OS X deletes all temporary files on startup anyway.

Fleming and Shireen: thank you very much for the information about the files in the tmp directory! -Ansgar

I’m curious why DEVONthink doesn’t delete temporary files immediately after they’re used.  Maybe I’m wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be any need for them once they’ve been added to the database.  If nothing more, maybe DT could remove temp files when it exits?  Seems a bit sloppy leaving them around.

Basically because the receiver (another application) might still need them - the files are not created for internal purposes. Instead they ensure that Carbon applications are able to accept dragged contents.

Not sure I fully understand yet…

Let’s say I use the Take Rich Note service to transfer data from Safari to DEVONthink.  That creates a /tmp/*.rtf file with the filename being the same as the new DT note.  Why is that file still necessary after it’s in DT?

Sorry to be stubborn about this. :slight_smile:

If it’s necessary to keep those files around could they be contained within a subdirectory of /tmp to reduce clutter at the top-level and make them easy to recognize as being used by DT?  Thanks!

Services do not create temporary files but starting a drag & drop operation in DEVONthink creates (sometimes) temporary files. Otherwise it would be impossible to drag contents without a file representation to the Dock or the Finder for example.