rmdir when directory is not empty

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at mindspring.com
Tue Dec 20 18:49:41 UTC 2005


On Tue, 20 Dec 2005, Chasecreek Systemhouse wrote:

> On 12/20/05, Daniel B. Thurman <dant at cdkkt.com> wrote:
>
> > I have tried it many times.  I have deleted the entire copy
> > of a copy of / (yes, a copy of root which is some 8GB worth
> > of files) so if this fails for you, perhaps you do not have
> > enough memory, virtual or otherwise.  It is possible that you
> > may run out of memory but it has not happened to me at this
> > time. Maybe your mileage may vary as not all systems are the
> > same :-)
>
> This is pedatic; not all systems are the same but the operating
> systems should act the same.
>
> All the sytems I have used that the "rm -fr" command has failed on
> have been systems with less than 2GB ram.  All of the files have
> been in the tens of thousands and the file names have been many
> characters long (I share file systems between NTFS and HFS+.)
>
> The bottom line: find operates upon one file and one directory --
> rather than globbing them all into memory.

what does globbing have to do with anything?  it doesn't matter how
much content there is under a directory if you simply run:

  $ rm -rf <dirname>

if you do this, globbing is never an issue.

rday




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