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This would be great especially considering the latest version of Ubuntu is very slow when displaying directories on my PC...

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Try rm -rf ~/.local/share/Trash. Found in askubuntu.com/a/468722/2273 – Adam Monsen Nov 10 '15 at 19:53
up vote 9 down vote accepted

At least in Debian and Ubuntu, you can install the trash-cli package. This provides a number of commands for working with FreeDesktop.org Trash Specification compliant trash cans, like GNOME's.


To remove all trashed files, use emtpy-trash. It can also just remove files that have been in the trash more than a certain number of days. Use empty-trash x, where "x" represents the number of days.

I personally have set up a cron job that runs daily to get rid of trash over a week old.

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that's a great answer. – ixtmixilix Oct 14 '10 at 0:05

There is no such thing like a system trash in Linux, but its common for many desktop environments to use ~/.Trash as trash folder. This depends on the window manager you are using.

For Gnome you can empty this folder with: rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

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I suspect the window manager has little to do with what folder is used for trash storage, but I know what you meant :) – Michael Mrozek Oct 10 '10 at 22:41
On my gnome system the trash is found in ~/.local/share/Trash. – Steven D Oct 11 '10 at 4:16
That is only true if all your stuff is on one partition. Every drive/partition has its own trash (wouldn't make sense to move a multiple GB file over to a different drive to store it in the trash) – tante Oct 11 '10 at 8:37
Oh, I wasn't aware of multiple partitions :-) @Steven D: what gnome version are you using? maybe this has changed or is partly distribution specific... – echox Oct 11 '10 at 9:12
I wonder if this trash-spec would help creating a more generic solution? – livibetter Oct 11 '10 at 11:26

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