I want to delete 1 file at a time from my directory which contains so many files, so I want to remove 1 file at a time. Just to avoid too many reads and failed at too many arguments.

    find ./Backup/ -name '*.csv' -maxdepth 1 -exec rm {} \;
    find: warning: you have specified the -maxdepth option after a non-option argument -name, but options are not positional (-maxdepth affects tests specified before it as well as those specified after it).  Please specify options before other arguments.

    find: cannot fork: Cannot allocate memory

I don't want to delete recursively from a child directory thats why -maxdepth 1. Any help and suggestion?

  • It's weird that you're getting that fork error but -delete instead of -exec rm {} \; should solve it. Other than that, just move -maxdepht 1 before -name. Don't forget to test without -delete first. – PSkocik Oct 13 '15 at 12:27
  • The -exec ... '{}' \+ form of find might save on forks, as this emulates xargs in (modern) versions of find. – thrig Oct 13 '15 at 15:48
  • @thrig It saves successive forks, which doesn't really help with a process limit. – Gilles Oct 13 '15 at 21:45
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    Do you have stringent limits on your account? What operating system and distribution is the system running? Are you running a lot of other processes? – Gilles Oct 13 '15 at 21:46
  • Yes,Its a production env. There are so many procsses running on a system. – Aashu Oct 14 '15 at 5:07

The cannot fork message might appear when the swap area is full. The tmpfs filesystem (probably) mounted on /tmp might not have the necessary space for the kernel to create new processes.

Check if /tmp has still room using df -h /tmp. If it is full, try to cleanup /tmp first.

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    Swap and tmpfs are not related except in that they are both subsets of available memory. Room in /tmp is not necessary to create new processes. Room in memory is, but the amount is so small that removing things in /tmp is very unlikely to make a fork possible. – Gilles Oct 13 '15 at 21:48
  • /tmp is not even close to full. – Aashu Oct 14 '15 at 5:08
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    @Gilles, On Solaris /tmp is actual tmpfs and when it is completely (+100%) utilized you will get unable to fork; not enough space messages. The messages the OP get are cannot fork; unable to allocate memory. Apologies that I suggested a Solaris solution and did not ask for the OS first. The OP might check the values of ulimit -a and ulimit -aH to see if there is a memory limit which can be hit during this process. It is also worth trying to look at /etc/security/limits.conf to see if some limits are set. – Lambert Oct 15 '15 at 7:53

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