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Questions tagged [rm]

rm is the command to remove files

330
votes
10answers
134k 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 ...
78
votes
9answers
58k views

Recovering accidentally deleted files

I accidentally deleted a file from my laptop. I'm using Fedora. Is it possible to recover the file?
153
votes
16answers
222k 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 ...
88
votes
3answers
69k 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 ...
53
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
44
votes
15answers
24k views

How can I delete a file which filename has non-printing characters

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 ...
142
votes
6answers
75k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
6k views

remove oldest files

I`m trying to delete old files from directory and leave only 3 newest files. cd /home/user1/test while [ `ls -lAR | grep ^- | wc -l` < 3 ] ; do rm `ls -t1 /home/user/test | tail -1` ...
26
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
134
votes
4answers
387k views

Delete files older than X days +

I have found the command to delete files older than 5 days in a folder find /path/to/files* -mtime +5 -exec rm {} \; But how do I also do this for subdirectories in that folder?
51
votes
7answers
26k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
18k 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 goes ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

What does *~ mean?

At the end of a makefile I saw rm -f *~ *.class I understand the *.class, but what's *~?
243
votes
3answers
304k 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 preferred....
92
votes
6answers
215k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

removed a vagrant file and now I see .nfs0000000000b869e300000001?

I rm'd a file and now I see: $ l total 64 -rw-rw-r-- 1 502 17229 Sep 17 16:42 page_object_methods.rb drwxrwxr-x 7 502 238 Sep 18 18:41 ../ -rw-rw-r-- 1 502 18437 Sep 18 18:41 ...
133
votes
7answers
193k 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 ...
40
votes
4answers
59k 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 ...
43
votes
7answers
72k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
56k views

Cannot remove file: “Structure needs cleaning”

I have an external hard drive which is encrypted via LUKS. It contains an ext4 fs. I just got an error from rsync for a file which is located on this drive: rsync: readlink_stat("/home/some/dir/...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I remove a file I accidentally created named $file?

I was working on a shell script and I accidentally created a file with the variable as its name. Now I have $file in my ls output, and cannot remove it. What can I do?
155
votes
2answers
292k views

Recursively delete all files with a given extension [duplicate]

I want to delete all *.o files in a directory and its sub-directories. However, I get an error: sashoalm@aspire:~/.Workspace.OLD$ rm -r *.o rm: cannot remove `*.o': No such file or directory On the ...
50
votes
2answers
284k 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 ...
53
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
40
votes
9answers
43k 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 ...
56
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is the wild card character * so different between commands zip and rm?

I put together a script to do some file operations for me. I am using the wild card operator * to apply functions to all files of a type, but there is one thing I don't get. I can unzip all files in a ...
30
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
22k 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),...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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: ...
14
votes
2answers
15k 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
3k views

Delete all files in a folder except the last (most recent) 20 [duplicate]

I want to remove all the files from different directories, and want to keep only latest files 20 files. is this the correct command to do this? ls -t1 /mnt/dwh/ftp/dwh_ftp_cbs/ARLOGS/ | tail -n +22 | ...
3
votes
3answers
10k 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: ...
36
votes
6answers
13k views

Deleting billions of files from a directory while seeing the progress as well

I have a directory of 30 TB having billions of files in it which are formally all JPEG files. I am deleting each folder of files like this: sudo rm -rf bolands-mills-mhcptz This command just runs ...
48
votes
3answers
42k views

What is the difference between 'rm' and 'unlink'?

Assuming you know the target is a symbolic link and not a file, is there any difference between using rm and unlink to remove the link?
46
votes
5answers
77k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

Remove empty directory trees (removing as many directories as possible but no files)

Suppose I have a dir tree like this: ROOTDIR └--SUBDIR1 └----SUBDIR2 └----SUBDIR3 I am looking for a command such that when I input: $ [unknown command] ROOTDIR The whole ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
649 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is “find /var/log -type f -delete” safe on Debian 9?

I never view or care about files in /var/log/ and want to avoid logrotate wasting my system resources (CPU, RAM, I/O, etc.). Are any regular files in /var/log/ necessary for some core Debian program (...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Remove the latest modified file

I have created two files: sample.txt and sample.txt  (the second file contains some hidden characters, e.g. a space). How can I remove the latest modified file? I'm using Linux.
133
votes
2answers
847k views

How do I remove a directory and all its contents?

In bash all I know is that rmdir directoryname will remove the directory but only if it's empty. Is there a way to force remove subdirectories?
72
votes
9answers
118k views

rm -rf all files and all hidden files without . & .. error

rm -rf /some/path/* deletes all non-hidden files in that dir (and subdirs). rm -rf /some/path/.* deletes all hidden files in that dir (but not subdirs) and also gives the following error/warning: rm:...
76
votes
14answers
445k 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,...
84
votes
3answers
36k 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 ...
41
votes
5answers
50k views

How can I remove all symbolic links with a special target?

With the command: ls -la * I can list all my symbolic links. How can I remove all symbolic links which are linked to a special folder? For example: In my directory usr/local/bin I have the ...
48
votes
3answers
112k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
34k 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 ...
39
votes
2answers
7k views

Why can't I remove the '.' directory?

I tried removing the '.' directory. I thought I could just delete my working directory without having to go into a parent directory. The point of my question is to look for some insight into how the ...