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tempnam — Generates a temporary filename.


string tempnam(directory, prefix);
string directory: Directory in which to create the file
string prefix: Prefix to filename


Temporary filename; FALSE on error


This function generates a temporary filename unique within the specified directory. This function does not create the file; it only generates a name for it.

If the specified directory doesn't exist, PHP uses the system's default directory for temporary files. This directory is determined by the underlying system's C library tempnam() function and is specified by the environment variable TMPDIR on Linux andTMPon Windows. If the system's C library doesn't provide tempnam() function, PHP uses an internal function to generate a temporary filename, which uses a directory specified by the environment variable TMPDIR as default.


Under Windows operating systems, the tempname follows an 8.3 filename format and has a tmp extension as inpre9D8.tmp. The prefix is truncated to three characters.


Example 351. Create a temporary file

// create a temp file with today's date as prefix
$tempnam = tempnam("/tmp", date('ymd-'));

$fh = fopen ($tempnam, "w")
   or die ("Could not open temporary file.");

if ($fh)
    echo ("Created temporary file called $tempnam");

    // use temporary file here


PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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