MKTEMP(3)               NetBSD Library Functions Manual              MKTEMP(3)

     mktemp, mkstemp, mkdtemp -- make unique temporary file or directory name

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

     #include <stdlib.h>

     char *
     mktemp(char *template);

     mkstemp(char *template);

     char *
     mkdtemp(char *template);

     The mktemp() function takes the given file name template and overwrites a
     portion of it to create a file name.  This file name is unique and suit-
     able for use by the application.  The template may be any file name with
     some number of `X's appended to it, for example /tmp/temp.XXXXXX.  The
     trailing `X's are replaced with the current process number and/or a
     unique letter combination.  The number of unique file names mktemp() can
     return depends on the number of `X's provided.  Although the NetBSD
     implementation of the functions will accept any number of trailing `X's,
     for portability reasons one should use only six.  Using six `X's will
     result in mktemp() testing roughly 26 ** 6 (308915776) combinations.

     The mkstemp() function makes the same replacement to the template and
     creates the template file, mode 0600, returning a file descriptor opened
     for reading and writing.  This avoids the race between testing for a
     file's existence and opening it for use.

     The mkdtemp() function is similar to mkstemp(), but it creates a mode
     0700 directory instead and returns the path.

     Please note that the permissions of the file or directory being created
     are subject to the restrictions imposed by the umask(2) system call.  It
     may thus happen that the created file is unreadable and/or unwritable.

     The mktemp() and mkdtemp() functions return a pointer to the template on
     success and NULL on failure.  The mkstemp() function returns -1 if no
     suitable file could be created.  If either call fails an error code is
     placed in the global variable errno.

     Quite often a programmer will want to replace a use of mktemp() with
     mkstemp(), usually to avoid the problems described above.  Doing this
     correctly requires a good understanding of the code in question.

     For instance, code of this form:

           char sfn[15] = "";
           FILE *sfp;

           strlcpy(sfn, "/tmp/ed.XXXXXX", sizeof sfn);
           if (mktemp(sfn) == NULL || (sfp = fopen(sfn, "w+")) == NULL) {
                   fprintf(stderr, "%s: %s\n", sfn, strerror(errno));
                   return (NULL);
           return (sfp);

     should be rewritten like this:

           char sfn[15] = "";
           FILE *sfp;
           int fd = -1;

           strlcpy(sfn, "/tmp/ed.XXXXXX", sizeof sfn);
           if ((fd = mkstemp(sfn)) == -1 ||
               (sfp = fdopen(fd, "w+")) == NULL) {
                   if (fd != -1) {
                   fprintf(stderr, "%s: %s\n", sfn, strerror(errno));
                   return (NULL);
           return (sfp);

     Often one will find code which uses mktemp() very early on, perhaps to
     globally initialize the template nicely, but the code which calls open(2)
     or fopen(3) on that filename will occur much later.  (In almost all
     cases, the use of fopen(3) will mean that the flags O_CREAT | O_EXCL are
     not given to open(2), and thus a symbolic link race becomes possible,
     hence making necessary the use of fdopen(3) as seen above).  Furthermore,
     one must be careful about code which opens, closes, and then re-opens the
     file in question.  Finally, one must ensure that upon error the temporary
     file is removed correctly.

     There are also cases where modifying the code to use mktemp(), in concert
     with open(2) using the flags O_CREAT | O_EXCL, is better, as long as the
     code retries a new template if open(2) fails with an errno of EEXIST.

     The mktemp(), mkstemp() and mkdtemp() functions may set errno to one of
     the following values:

     [ENOTDIR]          The pathname portion of the template is not an exist-
                        ing directory.

     The mktemp(), mkstemp() and mkdtemp() functions may also set errno to any
     value specified by the stat(2) function.

     The mkstemp() function may also set errno to any value specified by the
     open(2) function.

     The mkdtemp() function may also set errno to any value specified by the
     mkdir(2) function.

     chmod(2), getpid(2), open(2), stat(2), umask(2)

     The mktemp() conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'').  It was how-
     ever removed from the specification in the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008
     (``POSIX.1'') revision.  The mkstemp() and mkdtemp() functions conform to
     IEEE Std 1003.1-2004 (``POSIX.1'') and IEEE Std 1003.1-2008
     (``POSIX.1''), respectively.

     A mktemp() function appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

     The mkstemp() function appeared in 4.4BSD.

     The mkdtemp() function appeared in NetBSD 1.4.

     For mktemp() there is an obvious race between file name selection and
     file creation and deletion: the program is typically written to call
     tmpnam(3), tempnam(3), or mktemp().  Subsequently, the program calls
     open(2) or fopen(3) and erroneously opens a file (or symbolic link, fifo
     or other device) that the attacker has created in the expected file loca-
     tion.  Hence mkstemp() is recommended, since it atomically creates the
     file.  An attacker can guess the filenames produced by mktemp().  When-
     ever it is possible, mkstemp() or mkdtemp() should be used instead.

     For this reason, ld(1) will output a warning message whenever it links
     code that uses mktemp().

     The mkdtemp() function is nonstandard and should not be used if portabil-
     ity is required.

     The use of mktemp() should generally be avoided, as a hostile process can
     exploit a race condition in the time between the generation of a tempo-
     rary filename by mktemp() and the invoker's use of the temporary name.  A
     link-time warning will be issued advising the use of mkstemp() or
     mkdtemp() instead.

NetBSD 6.0                      April 29, 2010                      NetBSD 6.0

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