Server Administration & Management

Increasing the Size of /tmp Directory

By Default, cPanel’s /tmp partition size is 1024 MB to5120 MB, which in some cases can be way too small.  The /tmp partition on cPanel servers is a file-based partition that can easily be resized.

By default on most servers, /tmp is the temporary dumping place for a lot of things, for example:

  • PHP session files
  • PHP temporary file uploads
  • MySQL temporary files
  • Cache files for certain Apache modules
  • Others temporary files

Most software that uses temporary files or sessions will automatically prefer to use /tmp – this folder is usually set to 777  permissions and therefore writeable by every user on the server.

When your /tmp partition fills up, it can cause noticeable problems for your users. If you run a larger server, the /tmp folder can fill up quickly and be very annoying as far as maintenance is concerned. So there is a following way to increase the size of this partition on a standalone server.

  1. Stop MySQL, Apache, and cPanel services to prevent writing to the /tmp partition
  2. Copy the contents of /tmp to another location, such as /home or /root (cp -rfp /tmp /home)
  3. Unmount /tmp. If you’re unable to, you can do an lsof (lsof |grep /tmp) to see what processes are still writing to it, and kill them off. Or do a lazy unmount (umount -l /tmp)(-l options is use for focefully umount the partition) .
  4. Delete /usr/tmpDSK (rm -rf /usr/tmpDSK)

Now open /scripts/securetmp and look for this line:

#tmpdsksize     = 1024000;    # Must be larger than 250000

And change the “1024000″ value to your desired size in MB, and save the file. Now run the following script to recreate /tmp:


This will recreate your /tmp (tmpDSK) partition using the size you specified. While the securetmp script may be overwritten in a cPanel update, the size of /tmp will not be affected one you alter its size.

January 5, 2011 Posted by | Unix/Linux | , , | 3 Comments