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This question already has an answer here:

Accidentally, i have got this directory created in my home,

drwxr-xr-x  2 ubuntu ubuntu 4.0K 2012-09-06 07:27  :q!/

I want to remove this somehow. I have tried using escape characters in double quotes but no luck. Is there any clean way to remove it ?

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marked as duplicate by Michael Mrozek Jun 18 '13 at 15:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1  
maybe you should stop using vim so much :) – MattDMo Jun 18 '13 at 13:41
2  
I can delete it using rmdir :q! on my MacOSX using bash and zsh and without any escaping or quoting. I don't understand where you're failing. Can you show us the commands you're running and the error messages you're getting? – rahmu Jun 18 '13 at 13:43
    
ubuntu@gslabrails:~$ rmdir " :q!" >>-bash: !": event not found – Aashish P Jun 18 '13 at 13:50
    
That may be a history expansion problem. rmdir :q\! should work then. What is the output of echo $-? – Hauke Laging Jun 18 '13 at 13:50
    
ubuntu@gslabrails:~$ echo $- >>himBH – Aashish P Jun 18 '13 at 13:52
up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is a history expansion problem. rmdir \ :q\! should work, rmdir ' :q!', rmdir " ":q!, and rmdir " ":q!, too.

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Yeah, you are correct. – Aashish P Jun 18 '13 at 13:55

I used the context menu in my file browser to delete a folder with that name. Unless you don't have any GUI on your system, that should work. No history expansion problem.

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I love this: the Gordian knot approach – evilsoup Jun 18 '13 at 19:52
    
Actually, I just prefer GUI anyway. I'm so unhackerlike :P – Wutaz Jun 19 '13 at 3:36

It is always helpful to use ./ followed by the filename completion feature of bash. It will automatically insert the required escape characters.

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