Configuring cleanup functionality of temporary files

This page contains instructions for configuring the cleanup feature in the research module. This feature helps users find and remove files that should not be archived or published.


Some software automatically creates temporary, cache or metadata files. For example, Windows Explorer can automatically create Windows thumbnail cache files that contain cached thumbnails of images. Such files should typically not be archived or published. Removing these files manually is cumbersome, so Yoda has a cleanup tool that enables users to find these files easily and optionally remove them.

Yoda searches for these files using a set of filename selection masks, such as wildcards. The selection masks are configured at a system-wide level by the system administrator.

Defining selection masks

Selection masks are used to match a type of file by its name.

Mask - find specific files

It is possible to search for files that have a specific name.

For example:

    mask definition: 'Thumbs.db'

This mask will match files named ‘Thumbs.db’.

Mask - use of wildcards

It is possible to use all common wildcards in the creation of a mask.

For example:

    mask definition using wildcard:  '.*''

This mask will match files with a name starting with ‘.’.

Multiple masks

Masks can be concatenated with a comma.

For example:

    multiple masks in mask definition: '.*','Thumbs.db'

Configuring the variable

When creating a new Yoda instance, set variable ‘temporary_files’ in the group_vars, as explained in Configuring Yoda and run the playbook.

Default selection masks

By default, Yoda uses these selection masks:

  • ‘._*’ # MacOS resource fork
  • ‘.DS_Store’ # MacOS custom folder attributes
  • ‘Thumbs.db’ # Windows thumbnail images


In the research space action menu in the Yoda portal, select the option ‘Cleanup temporary files’.