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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 ...
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....
168
votes
5answers
34k views

I deleted /bin/rm. How do I recover it?

Just for fun, I thought I would use this command on my Raspberry Pi running Raspbian: sudo rm -f /bin/rm I thought I could just reinstall coreutils: I was wrong! apt-get install --reinstall ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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?
127
votes
2answers
128k 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 want ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
83
votes
1answer
9k views

Why does the following script delete itself?

If you create an executable file with the following contents, and run it, it will delete itself. How does this work? #!/bin/rm
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?
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,...
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:...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
51
votes
5answers
102k views

How do I remove all sub-directories from within a directory?

This question is kind of a phase II to the first question I posted at here I have a directory that contains a bunch of sub-directories, .zip files, and other random files not contained within a sub-...
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 ...
50
votes
5answers
129k views

How to avoid the need to issue “y” several times when removing protected file

I'm looking for a solution to be used as a response to "rm: remove write-protected regular file [x] ?" I was thinking of issuing a character followed by carriage return for several amount of times, ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
45
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I harden bash scripts against causing harm when changed in the future?

So, I deleted my home folder (or, more precisely, all files I had write access to). What happened is that I had build="build" ... rm -rf "${build}/"* ... <do other things with $build> in a ...
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 ...
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 ...
42
votes
4answers
55k 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 `...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
33
votes
3answers
139k 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 delete ...
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 ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did powering down my machine after a bad `rm` save my files?

Classical situation: I ran a bad rm and realized immediately afterwards that I had removed the wrong files. (Nothing critical and I had tolerably recent backups, but still annoying.) Knowing that ...
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 ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

How to unlink (remove) the special hardlink “.” created for a folder?

On Linux, when you a create folder, it automatically creates two hard links to the corresponding inode. One which is the folder you asked to create, the other being the . special folder this folder. ...
29
votes
5answers
48k views

Delete files in directory without erroring if it's already empty

As part of a deployment script, I want to dump some cached stuff from my temp directory. I use a command like: rm /tmp/our_cache/* However, if /tmp/our_cache is empty (fairly common when pushing ...
27
votes
6answers
73k views

How do I pipe ls to grep, and delete the files filtered by grep?

I wanted to delete some package in my home file, but the filename was too long (google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb). So, I decided to use the command ls|grep chrome|rm to pipe the files to grep to ...
27
votes
2answers
9k views

I made a mistake last night, which deleted 1800GB of my File-Server unintentionally

I ran this command yesterday, I thought on a test machine, but it was a File-Server connected through SSH. sudo rm -rf /tmp/* !(lost+found) My terminal emulator is Konsole. My system is Debian 7. ...
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 ...
24
votes
8answers
28k views

How do I delete everything in a directory?

How do I delete everything in a directory, including hidden files and directories? Right now, I use the following: rm -rf * rm -rf .*
24
votes
1answer
2k views

Since when do the POSIX and GNU rm not delete /?

For several years now, the GNU rm utility won't delete / unless it is called with the --no-preserve-root option. However, the command rm -rf / has been lodged in the collective subconscious as ...
23
votes
8answers
20k views

Have rm not report when a file is missing?

I have a bash script that I want to remove files from various directories. Frequently, they won't be there because they weren't generated and that's fine. Is there a way to get the script not to ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I delete a file named “>”?

I was running a Python script that malfunctioned and used sudo to create a file named >. How can I get rid of this file? Of course, when I try sudo rm >, I get the error bash: syntax error ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

Why doesn't find . -delete delete current directory?

I would expect find . -delete to delete the current directory, but it doesn't. Why not?