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I know that by definition "tmp" means "temporary" and that therefore, these files might not be necessary for blender to function.

I can see that some of them look like automatically saved copies of my projects because of their naming.

However, certain files such as the one with a little "forbidden" sign seem to hold some kind of importance so I thought I'd ask...

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    $\begingroup$ I believe some of them can help you restore the last session in case of crash. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Apr 15 '16 at 23:26
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quit.blend is a copy of the latest project at the moment when you quit blender.If you where to use "Recover Last Session" that would be the file that gets used. The quit.blend file works even on projects that where never saved, but where active when you closed blender.

Note that if blender crashes, or the blender app is force-closed (interrupting the process) this file will not be updated.

The rest are the previous version of other files you where working on, and were created as auto-save versions most likely (it really depends on how you set up your preferences).

If you want to reclaim .0001% of your hard drive space you can delete all of these files and blender would still work. None of those files are necessary for blender's operation.

As a rule, nothing that is precious to you, or that you'd regret loosing should ever be in the tmp folder. Depending on the operating system sometimes those files get cleared away automatically on boot.

The rest of the folders are not blender related and might contain information used by open apps or ongoing processes... I don't know what would happen if they get deleted... but that is not a question for the blender.stackexchange...

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To expand on cegatons answer - /tmp/ is the default location for some data paths unless you change them.

The main one is the render output, unless you change the output filepath before rendering, your renders will be saved to tmp. Changing the output path before saving your startup file will prevent any renders going into tmp.

Simulation cache files can also be saved in tmp. While most prevent saving of external cache data until the blend file is saved, the fluid simulation will save it's cache files to tmp if you haven't saved the blend file first. If you then save the file, the path will still point to data in tmp instead of moving the data to where you saved your blend.

The ocean modifier is another that will store it's data in tmp if you haven't saved the file before baking the simulation.

If you save your blend file to disk before starting any simulations then the data will first get saved within the same folder as your blend file.

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