libmaketmpfile man page

pm_make_tmpfile() — create a temporary named file


#include <netpbm/pm.h>

pm_make_tmpfile(FILE **       fileP,
                const char ** filenameP);


This simple example creates a temporary file, writes "hello world" to it, then writes some search patterns to it, then uses it as input to grep:

#include <netpbm/pm.h>

FILE * myfileP;
const char * myfilename;

pm_make_tmpfile(&myfileP, &myfilename);

fprintf(myfile, "^account:\\s.*\n");
fprintf(myfile, "^name:\\s.*\n");


asprintfN(&grepCommand, "grep --file='%s' /tmp/infile >/tmp/outfile");






This library function is part of Netpbm(1).

pm_make_tmpfile() creates and opens a temporary file, returning to you a stream file handle for it and its name.

pm_make_tmpfile() chooses a file name that is not already in use, with proper interlocking to make sure that it actually creates a file and opens the new file, as opposed to merely opening an existing file.

If you don't need to access the file by name, use pm_tmpfile() instead, because it's cleaner.  With pm_tmpfile(), the operating system always deletes the temporary file when your program exits, if the program failed to clean up after itself.

The temporary file goes in the directory named by the TMPFILE environment variable.  If TMPFILE is not set or is set to something unusable (e.g.  too long), pm_tmpfile() falls back to the value of the standard C library symbol P_tmpdir (like the standard C library's tmpfile()).

The name of the file within that directory is like myprog_blrfx, where myprog is the name of your program (arg 0) and the rest is an arbitrary discriminator.

If pm_make_tmpfile() is unable to create a temporary file, it issues a message to Standard Error and aborts the program.


pm_tmpfile() was introduced in Netpbm 10.27 (March 2005).

Document Source

This manual page was generated by the Netpbm tool 'makeman' from HTML source.  The master documentation is at


10 November 2007 netpbm documentation