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I am writing a Shell Script where I have to delete a file on a remote machine via a Shell Script.

Flow manually:

ssh username@domain.com

.. then at domain:

cd ./some/where
rm some_file.war

How to accomplish that task?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 22 down vote accepted

You can pass the ssh client a command to execute in place of starting a shell by appending it to the ssh command.

ssh username@domain.com 'rm /some/where/some_file.war'

You don't have to cd to a location to remove something as long as you specify the full path, so thats another step you can skip.

The next question is authentication. If you just run that, you will get prompted for a password. If you don't want to enter this interactively you should set up publickey authentication.

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3  
I thought -c was cipher_spec - no? I didn't think -c was required for command passing. –  Scott Wilson Jul 27 '11 at 12:31
    
Thank you all you guys for quick answers. This answer was the one containing the most of the parts to the solution so @Caleb got the tick this time. –  mico Jul 27 '11 at 12:38
    
Should we add -f to rm executing remote call ? –  Fedir May 7 at 15:43
    
@Fedir NO! The question specifically asks about files not directories and if there are any warnings or errors thrown by rm they should certainly be passed on to the caller unless the user knows what to expect and why they are overriding something. Lots of mistakes and frustrating debuging later can be avoided by only using the options you need in a given senario. –  Caleb May 7 at 20:20
1  
@Fedir The -f option to rm is short for --force and has an effect an whether errors are thown for non-existing files or bogus arguments. Usually commands run over non interactive shells default to being less interactive anyway, but it yous is not or you are getting an interactive prompt the thing to do would be to fix the settings directly related to that. If you are scripting this you shouldn't have that issue anyway, and if you are in an interactive shell (where you have the possibility of catastrophic typos) you should use -I on --interactive=never to set your desired behavior. –  Caleb May 9 at 14:06

The ssh command has a command parameter (last parameter in the command) that you can use to run remote commands.

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Setup passwordless keys then add the command as part of the ssh command. See: http://www.dotkam.com/2009/03/10/run-commands-remotely-via-ssh-with-no-password/

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Even better, you could use sftp instead of plain ssh shell.

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Care to explain why and show how? –  Caleb Aug 1 '11 at 17:39
    
'sftp' meant for file transfers and does it better than plain ssh. It is somewhat like FTP server in an SSH tunnel. –  Tomer Cohen Aug 16 '11 at 20:06
    
I know exactly how SFTP works. The point is the OP was asking for a way to do this in a script. Can you provide an example of how you would do so with SFTP? –  Caleb Aug 16 '11 at 21:52
    
-b batchfile Batch mode reads a series of commands from an input batchfile instead of stdin. Since it lacks user interaction it should be used in conjunction with non-interactive authentication. A batchfile of ‘-’ may be used to indicate standard input. sftp will abort if any of the following commands fail: get, put, rename, ln, rm, mkdir, chdir, ls, lchdir, chmod, chown, chgrp, lpwd, df, symlink, and lmkdir. Termination on error can be suppressed on a command by command basis by prefixing the command with a ‘-’ character` –  Tomer Cohen Aug 17 '11 at 20:37

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