An issue in systemd resulted in the deletion of home directories for users

Published corrective release of the system manager systemd 256.1, which eliminates problem, leading To removal the contents of the /home partition when executing the “systemd-tmpfiles –purge” command added in systemd 256 to remove all files and directories created through settings in tmpfiles.d.

In the systemd 256 release note and in the man manual systemd-tmpfiles It was stated that the “–purge” option deletes all files and directories created through the tmpfiles.d settings, but the name “tmpfiles” in the utility name was misleading and created the impression that the deletion affected only temporary files. However, the tmpfiles.d settings are not limited to temporary files and are also used to automatically create non-existent data directories. In particular, the removal of the contents of home directories is explained by the fact that using the file “/usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/home.conf” the partition “/home” was created and, accordingly, the command “systemd-tmpfiles –purge” led to it removal.


First, to avoid erroneously deleting home directories, systemd developers intended remove the “–purge” option, but then accepted change, which limits the scope of the “systemd-tmpfiles –purge” command – this command can now only be executed if a specific configuration file from tmpfiles.d/ is explicitly specified on the command line and will only remove files and directories associated with it. Also, in the man manual systemd-tmpfiles added a more detailed description of the option and a warning about possible consequences.

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