System Administration Guide
Chapter 5, Maintaining system security

Sticky directories

Sticky directories

Another feature that may affect daemons is sticky directories. If a directory's mode includes this permission bit only the owner of the file or root can remove the file from the directory. Daemons that manipulate temporary directories may behave improperly if files that they had assumed they could delete cannot be deleted.

You can handle this situation in one of two ways. First, remove the directory's sticky bit. This solves the daemon problem, but users must be cautioned about the security implications of using that directory for holding temporary files. The other solution is to modify the daemon and its corresponding helper program to agree on a new convention for file sharing. This second situation assumes that you have source code available and that you have the expertise and budget to modify the application.