Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Mac OS /tmp folder
February 2, 2006 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Mac OS 10.3.9: How do I access the /tmp directory? It seems to be hidden from me, but I know that some files I need somehow ended up in there.
posted by wavejumper to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
 
From the Finder, choose Go to Folder from the Go menu, then type your desired destination in the box. It'll take you there even if the folder is hidden.
posted by pmbuko at 6:15 AM on February 2, 2006


You'll need to use something like TinkerTool if you want to be able to see hidden files in the Finder. TinkerTool has an option to enable hidden files.

Or you can just use Terminal and avoid the Finder all together.
posted by qwip at 6:19 AM on February 2, 2006


Do you know basic Unix commands? If so, you can start up the Terminal program, change up two directories and you'll see the tmp directory, if you just needed to look in there.

- So, go into the Utilities directory and start the program called Terminal.
- type cd ../.. to change up two directories
- type ls and you'll see the tmp directory listed
- type cd tmp to change into the temp directory and ls again will list the files in there. typing ls -al will show files that have a name starting with a dot.
posted by jessamyn at 6:21 AM on February 2, 2006


Hmm...cool, so all sorts of stuff hidden away. Can't find the files I was looking for (they were huge H.264 video renders), but I assume even if I can't find them, they will be overwritten automatically, not fester somewhere in there taking up space?

Followup question: With terminal, how do you access files or directories that have spaces in the name, such as "Cleanup At Startup"? I mean, how do you type that?
posted by wavejumper at 6:24 AM on February 2, 2006


you can either put quotes around it, or 'escape' your spaces with the forward slash / , like this:

Cleanup/ at/ Startup
posted by pmbuko at 6:26 AM on February 2, 2006


oops! make those backslashes!
posted by pmbuko at 6:28 AM on February 2, 2006


thanks, guys and dolls
posted by wavejumper at 6:28 AM on February 2, 2006


Even better, type the first few letters on the name and hit tab.

(or use the Finder)
posted by cillit bang at 6:32 AM on February 2, 2006


/tmp is actually a ramdisk. It's not likely that any files "written" there will stay for long.
posted by srburns at 6:42 AM on February 2, 2006


/tmp is NOT a ramdisk. Tmp is just erased every time you reboot.

The easiest way to access /tmp is to use the "Go To Folder" menu item in the Finder's Go menu and type in /tmp in the dialog box.

Another way is to open the terminal and type "open /tmp"
posted by schwa at 6:47 AM on February 2, 2006


Is my first response invisible or something??
posted by pmbuko at 6:52 AM on February 2, 2006


OSX also does what's called tab completing when you're typing at the command line, so if you have a file with a long name and a lot of spaces, you can just type the first few letters [case sensitive] and then hit the tab key and it will type the rest of the file name, including the proper backslashes. This only works once you've typed in a unique string of letters that identify the one file, so if you have two files lettertomomdecember23 and lettertogeorgedecember22 you'd have to type lettertomTAB and it would fill in the rest.
posted by jessamyn at 6:56 AM on February 2, 2006


jessamyn, that's not OS X, that's bash.
posted by cytherea at 7:11 AM on February 2, 2006


crap, my bad, I changed from tcsh to bash so long ago, I totally forgot. Ignore me, or read this to learn a bit more about what cytherea is talking about.
posted by jessamyn at 7:20 AM on February 2, 2006


There was also an automator action listed on macosxhints.com that was a Finder plugin to toggle hidden files. I used to have hidden files visible with TinkerTool, but they create a lot of clutter and I don't need to see them very often. What I would like is the ability to turn on hidden files in just one directory, namely Sites in my case for dealing with .htaccess files and their ilk.
posted by jxpx777 at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2006


crap, my bad, I changed from tcsh to bash so long ago, I totally forgot

tcsh does it too. :) But it's the shell, not OS X itself.
posted by kindall at 8:29 AM on February 2, 2006


The Terminal.app works fine, and that's what I usually do. However, there's a nifty Dashboard wdiget that will make the Finder show hidden files, should you ever decide to upgrade to 10.4

It's here, and does that one job fairly well.

It's also worth noting that /tmp is not the only place that OS X stores temporary files. I know that when I write Objective-C programs, and ask the NSFileManager toolkit to give me a temporary directory, it gives me /var/tmp instead, which is distinct from /tmp (which is actually a symlink to /private/tmp).
posted by teece at 9:04 AM on February 2, 2006


OSX also does what's called tab completing when you're typing at the command line

jessamyn, that's not OS X, that's bash


Guess what? OS X does do it.

Try it in that "Go To Folder..." dialog, start typing the folder location and hit tab. You can type, say, "/U", hit tab and get "/Users/". It even works with a lower-case "/u"
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:23 PM on February 2, 2006


« Older CEO-Filter: Advertising Questi...   |  I need new ideas and different... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.