rm is the command to remove files

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134
votes
8answers
50k 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 ...
51
votes
7answers
24k views

Recovering accidentally deleted files

I accidentally deleted a file from my laptop. I'm using Fedora. Is it possible to recover the file?
61
votes
3answers
37k views

Why can rm remove read-only files?

If I create a file and then change its permissions to 444 (read-only), how come rm can remove it? If I do this: echo test > test.txt chmod 444 test.txt rm test.txt ...rm will ask if I want to ...
37
votes
1answer
3k views

Does 'rm .*' ever delete the parent directory?

The expression .* is expanded by bash to include the current and parent directories: $ ls -la total 2600 drwxrwxrwx 2 terdon terdon 2162688 Sep 10 16:22 . drwxr-xr-x 142 terdon terdon 491520 Sep ...
67
votes
12answers
87k views

Efficiently delete large directory containing thousands of files

We have an issue with a folder becoming unwieldy with hundreds of thousands of tiny files. There are so many files that performing rm -rf returns an error and instead what we need to do is something ...
45
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
11k views

Make `rm` move to trash

Is there a Linux script / application which, instead of deleting files, moves them to a special “trash” location? I’d like this as a replacement for rm (maybe even aliasing the latter; there are pros ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

Can a file be retrieved by its inode?

I ran following commands in the order specified: $ln a b $ls -i a b 523669 a 523669 b $rm -f a $ls -i b 523669 b I concluded from this test that the command rm actually removes only the filename (a ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What does *~ mean?

At the end of a makefile I saw rm -f *~ *.class I understand the *.class, but what's *~?
29
votes
13answers
12k views

How can I delete a file with no name

I somehow managed to create a file that doesn't seem to have a filename. I found some information regarding how to get more details of the file in the following thread. However, I tried some of the ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I delete a folder with lots of subfolders fast?

I have a folder with 266778 subfolders. How can I delete it? I have tried cd ~/.local/share/Trash/ sudo rm -rf * but it takes much time. After 1 minute 25 seconds real time and 0.072 seconds user ...
27
votes
3answers
22k views

Is there any way to prevent deletion of certain files from user owned directory?

Let's say user has Directory1 and it contains File1 File2 CantBeDeletedFile How to make so the user would never be allowed to delete the CantBeDeletedFile? If I change the ownership of Directory1 and ...
47
votes
6answers
86k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
32k views

How do I recursively shred an entire directory tree?

I have a directory tree that I would like to shred with the Linux 'shred' utility. Unfortunately, shred has no -R option for recursive shredding. How can I shred an entire directory tree ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

How does rm -r go about recursively removing? In what order?

Is there some order of operations to rm? I performed rm on a large directory and am curious where I should look to see what might have been deleted. Does rm work on files first, then directories? Or ...
9
votes
1answer
14k views

Cannot delete a file - permission denied - why?

[db2inst1][testing ~/sqllib/db2dump] rm db2diag.log rm: cannot remove `db2diag.log': Permission denied [db2inst1][testing ~/sqllib/db2dump] id uid=1002(db2inst1) gid=107(db2iadm1) groups=16(dialout),...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Deleting files with spaces in their names

I am trying to delete all the files with a space in their names. I am using following command. But it is giving me an error Command : ls | egrep '. ' | xargs rm Here if I am using only ls | egrep '. ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Deleting files by age

Is there a command to delete all the files in a directory that haven't been modified in N days? I need to clean up some old logs.
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Scripting `rm` and `rm -i`

I want to create a script that whenever there are more than three files being removed, it invokes rm -i by default. I know it will go in initialization files but can't seem to get it working. So far: ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

“no such file or directory” message when deleting a file that exists on NTFS

I have a directory with images. Suddenly I found out that there's a new image with a new name. The image content is similar to another image in another directory but with a different name. I didn't ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Remove files older than 5 days in UNIX (date in file name, not timestamp)

I want to delete log files which are older than 5 days from a directory. But deletion should not be based on the timestamp of file. It should be based on the name of file. For Example todays date is ...
4
votes
4answers
375 views

Remove a directory from inside using the command line interface [duplicate]

Imaging the next simple file structure within the /home/user/ directory: /home/user |--dir0 |--dir1 |--file1 My current directory is 'dir1' and I remove the ...
35
votes
12answers
188k 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 example,...
19
votes
5answers
37k views

How do I recursively delete directories with wildcard?

I am working through SSH on a WD My Book World Edition. Basically I would like to start at a particular directory level, and recursively remove all sub-directories matching .Apple*. How would I go ...
37
votes
2answers
14k 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. Is ...
14
votes
6answers
19k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
117k views

How to recover files I deleted now by running rm *? [duplicate]

By mistake I ran rm * on the current directory where I created many c program files. I had been working on these since morning. Now I can't take out again the time that I spent since morning on ...
46
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is rm allowed to delete a file under ownership of a different user?

From the post Why can rm remove read-only files? I understand that rm just needs write permission on directory to remove the file. But I find it hard to digest the behaviour where we can easily delete ...
30
votes
6answers
58k views

How to delete directories based on `find` output?

I issue the following command to find the .svn directories: find . -name ".svn" That gives me the following results: ./toto/.svn ./toto/titi/.svn ./toto/tata/.svn How could I process all these ...
22
votes
1answer
35k views

Unable to delete file, even when running as root

I am in the process of migrating a machine from RHEL 4 to 5. Rather than actually do an upgrade we have created a new VM (both machines are in a cloud) and I am in the process of copying across data ...
14
votes
2answers
51k views

Cron job to delete files older than 3 days

I need to remove files older than 3 days with a cron job in 3 different directories. (these 3 directories are children of a parent directory /a/b/c/1 & /a/b/c/2 & /a/b/c/3) Can this be done ...
8
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Delete all files except in a certain subdirectory with find

I want to recursively delete all files not accessed in a while in folder a, except all files in the subfolder b. find a \( -name b -prune \) -o -type f -delete However, I get an error message: ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

How can there be a directory named `~`?

I was trying to test out this buggy/new tool to see how it works, and it prompted me to choose a directory to use for stuff I am doing. From the directory ~/Code/indep, I typed in ~/Code/indep/tarbell....
1
vote
4answers
1k views

How to delete the files in one folder which are more than 60 days old in UNIX?

I know how to delete the files which are more than 60 days old by modification time, but I want to delete files based on a timestamp in the file name. For example, I have the below files for each day ...
3
votes
3answers
588 views

Bulk remove a large directory on a ZFS without traversing it recursively

I want to remove a directory that has large amounts of data on it. This is my backup array, which is a ZFS filesystem, linear span, single pool. The data is in this pool called san, mounted on /san ...
1
vote
2answers
746 views

How to remove all files in a directory except hidden ones?

I'm cleaning an output directory before I put things in it. I want to track the output directory in git with a .gitkeep file, but this keeps on getting deleted with my rm -rf "$OUT_DIR" line in a ...
0
votes
1answer
610 views

How many files can rm delete at once? [duplicate]

One of my friends wanted to have more logs in the /var/log/ directory, and after some time of using the system, he tried to access the folder and list it, but instead he got the following error: bash:...
36
votes
2answers
40k views

how can I recursively delete empty directories in my home directory? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to remove all empty directories in a subtree? I create directories very often, scattered over my home directory, and I find it very hard to locate and delete them. I ...
56
votes
3answers
67k views

find - exec rm vs -delete

I'm trying to understand the difference between these two commands: sudo find / -name .DS_Store -delete and sudo find / -name ".DS_Store" -exec rm {} \; I noticed that the execmethod is ...
32
votes
9answers
21k views

How to delete this undeletable directory?

I untarred a corrupt tar file, and managed to end up with some directory that I can not delete, If I try to delete it, it seems like it can not be found, but ls shows it's present, both with bash and ...
14
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
21k views

Move files and delete directories with rsync?

Recently I needed to delete a large number of files (over 1 million) and I read that doing: rsync -av --delete `mktemp -d`/ ~/source && rmdir ~/source Was one of the most optimized ways to ...
15
votes
3answers
8k views

Delete files and directories by their names. No such file or directory

I need to delete all compiled data: directories called build, directories called obj, *.so files. I wrote a command find \( -name build -o -name obj -o -name *.so \) -exec rm -rf {} \; that ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Making a directory protected from 'rm -rf'

I just lost some data in folder A which was inside folder B after doing rm -rf B. Before I could realize what have I done, it was all over. Now a lesson is learnt, I wish to make some of my folder ...
14
votes
3answers
57k views

How can I delete all files with a particular extension in a particular folder?

If I set the current/working directory (navigating to it using cd) to some particular directory and then type: rm *.xvg What will this command do? Is it true that the above command will only ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is rm slow?

I have been trying to use rsnapshot for making backups, but I'm finding it unusable. While it is able to diff a directory (50gb) and duplicate it (hardlinking every file) in a few minutes, and I can ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a UNIX command to list all recently removed files from a system

Accidentally a rm -rf command was launched to my root directory instead of current directory. I stopped file removing by Ctrl+C but some files has already been removed. Is there a LINUX command to ...
15
votes
2answers
553 views

Can I make `rm` interactive only when using globbing? (in either bash or zsh or both)

Whenever I rm multiple items at once with shell globbing and there's even the slightest possibility that the pattern expands to more than I expect it to, I always try to remember to add -i, but (of ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Remove accidentally extracted files [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to de-unzip, de-tar -xvf — de-unarchive in a messy folder? This is a pretty annoying occurrence. Sometimes, I download an archive (tar.gz, tar.bz2, zip, rar, etc) ...