Tagged Questions

rm is the command to remove files

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2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to remove the directory a symbolic link links to plus the symbolic link?

Say a is a symbolic link to b. I am looking for a simple command to remove both a and b at once that does not require me to know about b.
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Delete files if contents do not match pattern

There are hundreds of .html files in a directory. I need to delete files that don't contain word bluecar in their contents. I thought sed with rm would do that, but I don't know how to combine them.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the reason that “rm -rf a/b” says “a/b is not empty”?

The following script sometimes gives me things like can't remove a/b as it's not empty ssh -T user@host <<EOF cd somewhere rm -rf a/b EOF But I log in to the server and execute rm -rf ...
10
votes
6answers
35k views

How to remove all the files in a directory?

I am trying to remove all files and subdirectories in a directory. I used rm -r to remove all files, but I want to remove all files and subdirectories, excluding the top directory itself. For ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

What's the best way to format a HDD in Linux in order to leave no trace?

I'm running Debian and need a way to format the entire hdd in order to not leave any trace on it because I want to donate it to a friend. So what will be the best way in order to format it? If I ...
24
votes
6answers
28k views

Where do files go when the rm command is issued?

Recently I accidentally did rm on a set of files and it got me thinking where exactly these files end up? That is to say, when working with a GUI, deleted files go to the Trash. What's the equivalent ...
8
votes
2answers
10k views

giving grep output to rm

I'm trying to pipe grep output to rm, but it outputs useless stuff. Is any switch required for rm? Or can rm can be provided a regexp directly? ls | grep '^\[Daruchini'| rm rm: missing operand Try ...
4
votes
2answers
750 views

rm -rf failing if deleting in parallel

rm -rf will fail if something tries to delete the same file tree (I think because rm enumerates the files first, then deletes). A simple test: # Terminal 1 for i in `seq 1 1000`; do mkdir -p ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

I can't remove a directory tree with rm -rf

This seems very strange to me. I'm running kernel 2.6.37.2 and ran: ~]$ cp -r /proc/ here ~]$ rm -rf here I get some permission denies when copying as expected and I eventually hit Control-C. I get ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

How to remove all empty directories in a subtree?

How can I remove all empty directories in a subtree? I used something like find . -type d -exec rmdir {} 2>/dev/null \; but I needs to be run multiple times in order to remove directories ...
4
votes
3answers
281 views

Give a warning when something is about to be deleted (by root)

I know that root can do anything, but is there a way to at least alert root that they are about to delete a folder that perhaps shouldn't be deleted? We keep a work directory in our /tmp folder, and ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

Deleting all files in a folder except files X, Y, and Z

I have a lot of files and folders in a specific folder and I want to delete all of them; however, I wanted to keep files X, Y, and Z. Is there a way I can do something like: rm * | but NOT grep | X ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

How do you run a dry run of rm to see what files will be deleted?

I want to see what files will be deleted when performing an 'rm' in linux. Most commands seem to have a dry run option to show just such information, but I can't seem to find such an option for rm. ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What does *~ mean?

At the end of a makefile I saw rm -f *~ *.class I understand the *.class, but what's *~?
0
votes
1answer
448 views

Inconsistency in behavior of 'rm' when a mounted volume is involved?

If I run the following sequence of commands: mkdir dir ln -s dir link rm -r link/ I get this output: rm: cannot remove `link': Not a directory I get the warning because I could simply have ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I delete everything in a directory?

I'm sorry for asking such a basic question: How do I delete everything in a directory, including hidden files and directories? Right now, I use the following: rm -rf * rm -rf .*
26
votes
5answers
9k views

Recovering accidentally deleted files

I accidentally deleted a file from my laptop. I'm using Fedora. Is it possible to recover the file?
47
votes
8answers
10k views

How do I delete a file whose name begins with “-” (hyphen a.k.a. dash or minus)?

How do you remove a file whose filename begins with a dash (hyphen or minus) -? I'm ssh'd into a remote OSX server and I have this file in my directory: tohru:~ $ ls -l total 8 -rw-r--r-- 1 me ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

Delete files in a directory that match a regexp, using a Mac terminal

How do I delete files in a directory that match a given regexp, or a similar solution, using a Mac terminal?
10
votes
4answers
170 views

What is Linux for SET FILE/ERASE_ON_DELETE?

In VMS one may tell the file system to write junk over the existing contents of a file when it is deleted. Here is the DCL command to identify the file for this kind of treatment: $ SET ...