I was installing some packages in Synaptic and noticed a folder named /root/Desktop which had 3.7 GB in temp files, being short on space I thought of deleting the files, but feared damaging my system! File names are:

tmp0D70qQm6blGGLXN6M-U-mcsCugga-mj.FDrOqsZzZtcsP0jD9o1nW0Vm4QTG7a9epCNcqOKJ-bjY WqAlaeFRonymw0OyU6Sjkb  L3gNf4zmQ6yBhxkA.zAAl8bsplFcykmH7O.JGUBLCHVZ8TxLz-8o26rm yRgUjtHJyT3e.pcT0cb1fPxkegefIn8KA7ahPH_ d_A7IEOicrM0igjd5Z0sqRVw8_BP3h5zhNhy-idBQrnTuZouUPUgW    
tmp2ih6YaOM.hPU.P5XBa_y DZDy.xRfyVQ9O6o-kMnSpE30jvHiGpynIPwZeXjFy8KQHmRj7.omL4sPHilOo_A10BBbUXp_-sijSiYR26UGQRDt0ulrM4L7CR8QGm1jCDL_ujcz8DMYriIF0fJzfl8WyNpo9ryaxZOhdDLBNRo1.TEhXwhvJVJXrBIJFIRqPk.d7MGxu-_d_DKp1T-8hd7IEGQMVt76Nen9HNSGEOo MtaLlIhR3Mc-tYdclG
tmp2qR1P3bbZ ohpE5LvpU1Qv8aSEWdTzJF16oP0saLjUCT_b9LzBDUtHK9ZISnEdzYqMFAiwVLqHtCtBiGEyoYVeyGHw_ VcDR6nz2-m94E NfNMOlYq4mYJQSJ90e80qp1jfa0nRnBMKB4KNEy8Zpsc1hKbol9oX5z3JanRSrjrYChN9VCm7r-PefSzplPTD3uPktlQ7hs_0Edn-l_80loFSsWrL9_65jVIfV141UupscuPp9LGPv 3rlko.
tmpJzX_jHF-.3M9eMeTjw24rIrFNp5VZc0jQY1G 4udfLutpQnTuip2CjZg_9xisAcb4Oyf96jVJSYhq.BBNAbPmcta2L5U cofNt95VTfSe1ezE8se38LW4lCM4jvllG8N6tqIAnFRR-SmHmux.83ZIO1InaIwCOLh3fQo1P1cZcInyRT 8-u77dg3r1iy1KUCZsT wmLDbN3cEcWDM 6vVitOdFOgFj8yObLvCFOtk9622tdwI5eVP0znnZV

I just moved from Xubuntu to Cinammon and from there to Gnome, so I am guessing these files are interface-related.

Please tell me if they are safe to delete or not?

  • 1
    Since they start with tmp I believe it is safe to delete them. I am not 100% sure but what can go wrong. Imagine the worst case scenario. Some application might not work. I doubt you will loose valuable data. I also doubt you will harm the OS. Try to move them first and see if everything works. Then delete them.
    – nobody
    Dec 30, 2015 at 8:23
  • 1
    I have never seen files with such names, let alone in /root/Desktop, let even more alone of that size. I would not rest until I knew what application or utility writes these files. Isn't there anything you can tell from the file creation dates, or something like head tmp... or strings tmp...?
    – Jos
    Dec 30, 2015 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


No one can absolutely, positively tell you this is 100% safe!

It is very likely to be safe (99% certainty), therefore:

  1. Take a full system back-up!!!
  2. Rename the files.

Now use the system for a while and see if you have no adverse effects.

  1. Delete the files.

If anything goes wrong: Restore the back-up! (or rename the files back to what they were)

You are taking back-ups are you???

  • 1
    As you've never accepted an answer on this site before: If this answer helped you, don't forget to click the grey at the left of this text, which means Yes, this answer is valid! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Dec 30, 2015 at 9:01
  • 1
    I think a full system backup for deleting a few files beginning with "tmp" is an overkill.
    – nobody
    Dec 30, 2015 at 18:07
  • 1
    @MuaadElSharif: Fantastic! +1 for your question!
    – Fabby
    Dec 30, 2015 at 23:03
  • 2
    A full system backup is NEVER overkill if you have a plan. It takes me a few seconds to plug in a USB 3.0 drive and run a script to rsync and changes since my last backup. On my desktop that has lots of financial data I couldn't replace, I have scripts called by cron to back up every hour, every day, every week, and every month.
    – Marc
    Dec 31, 2015 at 0:24
  • 2
    @Fabby: I'm tempted! I could fit a century's data on a 1TB usb drive.
    – Marc
    Dec 31, 2015 at 1:11

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