I'm reading a book about the command line and am poking around my system. I noticed a file inside /tmp/dumps called 'user_stdout.txt', 'user' being my first name. This text file contained chats/stats/game maps/other info all from a steam game session I played last night. Just wondering what and why files are dumped?

1 Answer 1


This is not a standard system file. Any application can write to the /tmp directory; it's meant for temporary files only. Given the content, presumably the developer of that game (or a library that this game uses) decided to write some stuff in this file. It might be debugging information that they forgot to remove before distributing the software.

Any well-written program would not use a file name such as this since there's a risk of collision between two applications. End-user software should be writing such logs under the user's home directory anyway.

  • If I understand correctly, the folder 'dumps' inside /tmp is not a standard system folder, correct? Both the folder 'dumps' and the text file inside dumps, user_stdout.txt, were both put in /tmp either by the steam application, the game (Fist Full of Frags), or both, right?
    – vim_usr
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 20:41
  • @G19shooter Yes, it's this one application that's doing it, and shouldn't. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 20:42

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