systemd-tmpfiles replaces deprecated opentmpfiles

Title: systemd-tmpfiles replaces deprecated opentmpfiles
Author: Georgy Yakovlev <>
Author: Sam James <>
Posted: 2021-07-15
Revision: 1
News-Item-Format: 2.0
Display-If-Installed: sys-apps/opentmpfiles
Display-If-Installed: sys-apps/systemd-tmpfiles

A tmpfiles [0] implementation provides a generic mechanism to define
the creation of regular files, directories, pipes, and device nodes,
adjustments to their access mode, ownership, attributes, quota
assignments, and contents, and finally their time-based removal.
It is commonly used for volatile and temporary files and directories
such as those located under /run/, /tmp/, /var/tmp/, the API file
systems such as /sys/ or /proc/, as well as some other directories
below /var/. [1]

On 2021-07-06, the sys-apps/opentmpfiles package was initially masked
due to a root privilege escalation vulnerability (CVE-2017-18925 [2],
bug #751415 [3], issue 4 [4] upstream).

The severity of this vulnerability is disputed due to the practical
obstacles to its exploitation in any default or supported configuration.

That said, the use of opentmpfiles is discouraged by its maintainer due
to the unpatched vulnerability and other long-standing bugs [5]. It has
now been declared obsolete in favour of systemd-tmpfiles by opentmpfiles

Users will start seeing their package manager trying to replace
sys-apps/opentmpfiles with sys-apps/systemd-tmpfiles because it is
another provider of virtual/tmpfiles.

Despite the name, 'systemd-tmpfiles' does not depend on systemd, does
not use dbus, and is just a drop-in replacement for opentmpfiles. It is
a small binary built from systemd source code, but works separately,
similarly to eudev or elogind. It is known to work on both glibc and
musl systems.

Note that systemd-tmpfiles is specifically for non-systemd systems. It
is intended to be used on an OpenRC system.

If you wish to selectively test systemd-tmpfiles, follow those steps:

 1. # emerge --oneshot sys-apps/systemd-tmpfiles
 2. # reboot
 3. # rm /etc/runlevels/boot/opentmpfiles-setup
 4. # rm /etc/runlevels/sysinit/opentmpfiles-dev

No other steps required.

If you still wish to use opentmpfiles for the time being, you can unmask [6]
 1. In /etc/portage/package.unmask, add a line:
 2. # emerge --oneshot sys-apps/opentmpfiles

Note that opentmpfiles is likely to be removed from gentoo repository
in the future. You may wish to put it in a local overlay instead [7].