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Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006


(PHP 3, PHP 4, PHP 5)

tempnam -- Create file with unique file name


string tempnam ( string dir, string prefix )

Creates a file with a unique filename in the specified directory. If the directory does not exist, tempnam() may generate a file in the system's temporary directory, and return the name of that.

Prior to PHP 4.0.6, the behaviour of the tempnam() function was system dependent. On Windows the TMP environment variable will override the dir parameter, on Linux the TMPDIR environment variable has precedence, while SVR4 will always use your dir parameter if the directory it points to exists. Consult your system documentation on the tempnam(3) function if in doubt.

Note: If PHP cannot create a file in the specified dir parameter, it falls back on the system default.

Returns the new temporary filename, or FALSE on failure.

Example 1. tempnam() example

$tmpfname = tempnam("/tmp", "FOO");

$handle = fopen($tmpfname, "w");
fwrite($handle, "writing to tempfile");

// do here something


Note: This function's behavior changed in 4.0.3. The temporary file is also created to avoid a race condition where the file might appear in the filesystem between the time the string was generated and before the script gets around to creating the file. Note, that you need to remove the file in case you need it no more, it is not done automatically.

See also tmpfile(), sys_get_temp_dir() and unlink().

Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006