So, what happens if your root partition is full and you reboot your machine ? If it is really full, and in particular there is no space to write anywhere, you might be stuck with a no space on device.

To avoid this problem, there exists a script /etc/init.d/mountoverflowtmp that runs a check to see if there is a minimum acceptable space on /tmp and if there is not, it mounts it overflow. It also checks for unneeded overflow tmpfs for /tmp and removes them if that is appropriate.(src).

But if you do not reboot again, you might get stuck with a mini /tmp directory of 1Mb . This is a neat trick, but you need to know about it to avoid unpleasant and unexpected surprises.

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Oh, but /tmp shall be a

Oh, but /tmp shall be a tmpfs! You Linux guys should consider yourselves lucky for having it, instead of BSD mfs, which has more overhead. (Still useful, though.)